PhD in Engineering and Information Technology for Structural and Environmental Monitoring and Risk Management – EIT4SEMM

Academic Year 2020-2021
Subject area Engineering Studies
Cycle 36
Coordinator Prof. Alessandro Marzani
Language English
Duration 3 years
Positions 9 positions. More information in the PhD Programme Table
Application deadline May 21, 2020 at 01:00 PM (Expired)
Enrolment period From Jul 08, 2020 to Jul 20, 2020
Doctoral programme start date Nov 01, 2020
Operating centre
Main Department
Department of Civil, Chemical, Environmental, and Materials Engineering - DICAM
Associated Departments
Department of Electrical, Electronic, and Information Engineering "Guglielmo Marconi" - DEI
Department of Computer Science and Engineering - DISI
Department of Mathematics - MAT
"Ercole De Castro" Advanced Research Center on Electonic System- ARCES
Mobility abroad
6 months
Research topics

The following learning, teaching and research areas have been identified:

  • Physical models (analytical and numerical), system identification
  • Structural mechanics
  • Fluid mechanics, hydrology and soil mechanics
  • Geomatics and autoID
  • Process safety and loss prevention
  • Remote sensing and earth observation systems
  • Climate change monitoring and control
  • Positioning systems
  • Sensors and actuators, interoperability and dependability
  • Communication and sensor networks, Internet of Things, Web of Things
  • Energy harvesting and power management
  • ICT techniques for energy efficiency in buildings and cities
  • Nondestructive tests, methods and technologies
  • Signal and image processing, computer vision
  • HW/SW design of embedded systems
  • Machine learning applied to structural and environmental monitoring
  • Advanced information processing methodologies, wearable computing, high performance computing
  • Information management, big data, crowd sensing, data availability, data privacy and security
  • Data modelling, data analysis/uncertainty, learning and cognitive analytics, prediction, decision support
  • Domain specific platforms and services
  • Modelling and simulation methodologies and tools for complex systems
  • Safety, risk analysis and management
  • Resilience and resilience engineering
  • Logistics (in ordinary and extraordinary conditions)
  • Optimization schemes/strategies
  • Reliable systems design and project based learning
  • Environmental multi-source pollution and control
  • Sea pollution control and coastal management
  • Emergency management and communication
  • Circular economy and circular resource management.
Job opportunities and potential areas of employment
Career opportunities are related to those positions requiring senior researcher’s whit research and managing capabilities devoted to the development of innovative monitoring methodologies and technologies in all the typical fields of materials, civil, chemical, or environmental engineering. The PhD EIT4SEMM (ex SEHM2) is born to provide and combine methodological and technological competences before offered separately from the PhD programmes in Civil Engineering, Chemical, Environmental and Materials Engineering, the PhD programme in Computer Science and Engineering and the PhD programme in Electronics, Telecommunications and Information Technologies. Most of the PhD students who attended in the last years the two previous PhD programmes obtained a professionally satisfying employment at public or private bodies: public administration, utilities management agencies, professional companies, research institutes.
Admission Board

Surname Name University Role email
Gnani Elena Università di Bologna Member
Patella Marco Università di Bologna Member
Silvestri Stefano Università di Bologna Member
Castaldi Paolo Università di Bologna Substitute
Gandolfi Stefano Università di Bologna Substitute
Salmon Cinotti Tullio Università di Bologna Substitute
Learning outcomes
The primary objective of the PhD programme is to acquire the necessary skills to carry out highly qualified research activities in the field of structural and environmental monitoring and management. This requires i) knowledge on civil, chemical, material and environmental engineering to understand models as well as their evolutionary key indicators and also ii) knowledge of the key enabling technologies offered by the information engineering, with in particular the new paradigms for the implementation of systems based on sensors miniaturization, wireless connectivity and Web of Things. Students from civil and environmental engineering will receive specific training on information engineering as detailed in ii) and vice versa those students coming from the fields of information engineering will receive main training on point i), with the objective of promoting a multidisciplinary competence to the PhD students as well as to improve the development of their soft skills.
Activities to be carried out by Doctoral candidates
The scientific activities of the PhD students is configured mainly in theoretical and experimental development of a research topic of particular relevance in the context of the chosen monitoring and management area, also in collaboration with other universities and/or research centers of international renown as well as with industries. A thorough understanding of the bibliographic references (i) is a necessary condition for the development of the PhD research, moreover (ii) the PhD thesis has to provide an important numerical and experimental activity of the processes investigated. To perform the experimental activity, the PhD students have access to the laboratory hosted by the Interdepartmental Centre “E. De Castro” (ARCES ,
- SHM: electronic systems and wireless sensor networks prototyping, anti-vibration table; static and dynamic large scale testing facilities, laservibrometer;
- ARES: sensor modelling and characterization, cad stations, probe stations, climatic chamber, and profilometer for precise surface topography analysis for applications on MEMS directly on-wafer;
- LYRAS: analog circuits and sensor interfaces;
- MARS: IoT, Web of Things and Interoperability of Embedded Systems.
The PhD students will have access to the Computational Mechanics Laboratory of the DICAM Department which is equipped with advanced computing systems and software packages. The access to HPC resources will be obtained through the participation to the competitive calls published by CINECA (e.g. PRACE calls). For research and development issues in collaboration with companies/industries, partnerships are possible.
The training usually occupies 40% of the time and is focused primarily (but not exclusively) in the first year whereas the remaining time is mainly devoted to research, which is mainly concentrated in three semesters, from the third to fifth. The last six months are mainly focused dissemination activities and the final paper preparation.
Research training activities compliant with the Doctoral programme's learning outcomes
The planned training activities are dedicated to the acquisition of fundamental knowledge in the fields characterizing the PhD programme. This is achieved participating to seminars and specialized courses, organized by the DICAM, DEI, DISI, MAT departments and by ARCES center, as well as within the other PhD programmes of the University of Bologna. Of particular interest will be the seminars organized at national level by research organizations and associations working in the field of monitoring and prevention (eg. INAIL, AIPnD, etc.). The participation in national and international conferences is strongly suggested. The training courses are calibrated for each student in relation to the previous career of studies and, as anticipated, are aimed at providing interdisciplinary skills. Knowledge in the general areas for the PhD programme such as mathematical tools for numerical modelling and signal processing, is considered basic and essential. Such knowledge will be identified by the student along with his advisor and following the indications given by the Advisory Board of the PhD programme. Common complementary training to all doctoral students will cover European funding schemes, intellectual property and scientific writing. These courses will run within the first two years of training. The training of doctoral students is normally completed by a period abroad, not less than six months, at universities and/or research centers. Moreover, the students will be encouraged to join the international projects participated by their supervisors. Examples of currently running projects are: CONNECT, RIA, ECSEL, Building and district level monitoring and actuator for energy efficiency (2017-20); CONVERGENCE, FLAG-ERA call, Tema: High Efficiency Sensor Networks. The thesis is prepared in English.
Internationalization features
The announcement of selection for the admission at the PhD course will be disseminated at the international level via the research networks of Advisory Board members. It will also be given high visibility to the competition by using both local (AlmaLaurea) and international (ResearchGate, EngineerOxy, Linkedin, etc.) web channels. In order to foster the participation of foreign students, the admission test (carried out by evaluation of the curriculum vitae, qualifications certificates and an oral interview), will be held in English or Italian. At the moment there are no positions fully dedicated to foreign students, but there is full readiness to support national and international funding in such directions. Courses and specific seminars offered to the PhD students, as well as meetings of the Advisory Board and the communication between the PhD coordination team and the PhD students, will be held in English language. Except for particular situations, all the PhD students must take training activities in international research centers and laboratories (located in foreign countries) for periods of 6 to 18 months. Their period abroad is aimed at the acquisition of experimental and /or modelling techniques and skills in general which are complementary to those developed at the home University in Bologna; also it allows them to frame in a suitable international framework, methods and ideas, the research themes developed. It's also provided the exchange of foreign doctoral students for periods of at least six months, both in the context of the same partnerships, both in the context of specific international agreements (ERASMUS, Projects H2020, CSC, CONFAP, etc.). As such, two MSCA PhD student have been already enrolled and a further MSCA PhD student is scheduled for this 36th cycle.
Expected research results and products
In addition to the final thesis, the ability of the student to carry out research activity should be documented by some presentations at international congresses as well as by some papers published in first rank international scientific journals for the research fields of PhD programme. The development of national and international patents is greatly appreciated.
Doctoral programme Academic Board
Surname Name University/Institution Qualification
Buratti Nicola Università di Bologna Professore Associato
Castaldi Paolo Università di Bologna Ricercatore Confermato
Ciriello Valentina Università di Bologna Professore Associato
Cozzani Valerio Università di Bologna Professore Ordinario
De Marchi Luca Università di Bologna Professore Associato
Degli Esposti Vittorio Università di Bologna Professore Associato Confermato
Di Felice Marco Università di Bologna Professore Associato
Gandolfi Stefano Università di Bologna Professore Ordinario
Giorgetti Andrea Università di Bologna Professore Associato
Gnani Elena Università di Bologna Professore Associato
Marzani Alessandro Università di Bologna Professore Associato
Mazzotti Claudio Università di Bologna Professore Ordinario
Minelli Matteo Università di Bologna Professore Associato
Morigi Serena Università di Bologna Professore Ordinario
Patella Marco Università di Bologna Professore Ordinario
Rossi Davide Università di Bologna Ricercatore A Tempo Determinato - Art.24 Co.3 Lett. B) - L.240/2010
Salmon Cinotti Tullio Università di Bologna Professore Associato Confermato
Silvestri Stefano Università di Bologna Professore Associato
Tartagni Marco Università di Bologna Professore Associato Confermato
Tonni Laura Università di Bologna Professore Associato