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Alessandro Simoni

Associate Professor

Department of Biological, Geological, and Environmental Sciences

Academic discipline: GEO/05 Engineering Geology

Curriculum vitae

Name: Alessandro Simoni

Current Position
Associate Professor (GEO/05, Applied Geology), Università di Bologna.

Ph.D., Earth Sciences, Università di Bologna, 1999
M.S., Geology, Università di Bologna, 1995.

Academic appointments
2017, National Scientific Qualification as Full Professor (04/A3)
2005 – 2014, Assistant Professor, Dept. of Earth Sciences, University of Bologna
2000 – 2004, Research Associate, Dept. of Earth Sciences, Università di Bologna
1999 – 2000, Postdoctoral research associate, Dept. of Earth Sciences, University of Bologna

Research interests
Geological and Geotechnical characterization of soils, rock masses and complex formations; Slope hydrology and hydrogeology; Experimental field monitoring of landslides and debris flows; Debris flow triggering mechanisms and hazard assessment; Slope stability analysis (limit equilibrium and numerical methods); InSAR techniques for landslide detection and monitoring.
2018. Co-founder of FRAGILE srl, Spin-Off Company of the University of Bologna specialized in InSAR analysis and Geological interpretation (

Participation in National and International research projects:
Gis-based integrated platform for debris flow risk mitigation, monitoring and modelling. Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio di Padova e Rovigo (Projects of excellence): 2013-2015. Associate Investigator.
Time-Space prediction of high impact landslides under changing precipitation regimes. MIUR (Italy): PRIN 2012. Co-Investigator in M.Berti research unit.
Improved Accessibility: Reliability and security of Alpine transport infrastructure related to mountainous hazards in a changing climate. European Fund for regional development, Alpine Space: 2010-2012. Scientific responsible in Unibo research unit.
Integrated Airborne and Wireless Sensor Network systems for landslide monitoring. MIUR (Italy): 2007-2010. Co-Investigator in M.Berti research unit.
Analysis of debris flow triggering mechanisms. MIUR (Italy): 2004-2005. Co-Investigator in M.Ghirotti research unit.
THARMIT. Torrent hazard control in the European Alps. European Commission 5th framework programme, 2001-2003. Co-Investigator in A.Lamberti research unit.
Monitoring slope instability in urban areas of historical interest. MIUR (Italy): 2002-2003. Co-Investigator in M.Ghirotti research unit.
Analysis of stress-state and deformation in slope instability processes. MIUR (Italy): 2001-2002. Co-Investigator in C.Elmi research unit.
The role of tectonics in Apennines morphogenesis. MIUR (Italy): 2000-2001. Co-Investigator in C.Elmi research unit.
Geomorphological processes and anthropic activity in the Reno river basin. MIUR (Italy): 1998-1999. Co-Investigator in C.Elmi research unit.
CEE-DFR. Debris Flow Management and Risk Assessment in the Alpine Region. European Commission 4th framework programme, 1996-1999. Co-Investigator in R.Genevois research unit.
An integrated approach for analysing earthquake-induced surface effects: Montese Area. CERG (European Centre on Geomorphological Hazard, Strasbourg): 1996-1997. Co-Investigator in D.Castaldini research unit.

Participation in Privately funded research project
Study and management of landslide phenomena along the rail routes pertaining to the Bologna compartment and analysis of monitoring data of sensitive areas along the high-speed rail line. RFI (Italian Rail Network): 2016-2018. Principal Investigator.
Landslide mapping along the rail routes pertaining to the Bologna compartment and analysis of monitoring data of sensitive areas along the high-speed rail line. RFI (Italian Rail Network): 2013-2015. Associate Investigator.
Analysis of the effectiveness of slope drainage countermeasures by means of experimental field monitoring. Borghi Azio S.p.A.: 2009-2013. Principal Investigator.
Study of Rock Block Slides occurring in the Marnoso-Arenacea Fn. with the aid of monitoring data. Emilia Romagna Region, Soil defence service: 2008-2011. Principal investigator.
10 more contracts (1999 to 2009) on topics ranging from slope stabilization and monitoring to geological consultance for Civil Engineering.

Research abroad:
2005 (3 months), Norwegian Geotechnical Institute – International Center for Geohazards, Oslo, Norvegia. Hydrological triggering of slope instability phenomena. In collaborazione with Dr. Kjell Karlsrud, Dr. James M. Strout and Dr. Farrokh Nadim
2003 (3 months), The University of Melbourne – Civil and Environmental Engineering Dept., Australia. Subsurface flow on clay slope: experimental data and monitoring. In collaboration with Prof. Andrew W. Western.
2001 (3 months), Massachusetts Institute of Technology – EAPS Dept., USA. Study of morphologic evolution of mountainous slopes using DEMs. In collaboration with Prof. Kelin X. Whipple.
1999 – 2000 (4 months), University of Oxford – Department of Engineering Science, U.K.. Shear resistance of granular materials. In collaboration with Prof. Guy T. Houlsby
1997- 1998 (6 months), Massachusetts Institute of Technology – EAPS Dept., USA. Experimental study of debris flow rheology: transition between viscous and frictional behaviour. In collaboration with Prof. Kelin X. Whipple.
1995 (6 mesi), British Geological Survey, U.K.. Landslide hazard assessment in Basilicata Region. In collaboration with Dr. Paul Gostelow.

Peer-review activity
Since 2009, for the following journals: Geophysical Research Letters, Natural Hazards, Italian Journal of Geosciences, Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences, Journal of Hydrology, Soils and Foundations, Applied Geomatics, Geomorphology, Engineering Geology, Journal of Geophysical Research-Earth Surface, Hydrological Processes, Remote Sensing.

Courses taught:
2014-present, Applied Geology, undergraduate course, Università di Bologna
2014-present, Rock Mechanics, undergraduate course, Università di Bologna.
2009-present, Engineering Geology, graduate course, Università di Bologna.
2005-2010: Hydrogeology, Università di Bologna.
2000-2005: Co-lecturing in the following courses: Applied Geology, Underground exploration and in-situ tests (Università di Bologna)
2006-2007: Lecturing for RECLAIMM, co-operation programme aimed to improve the management of natural risks in Latin America (NGI, CEPREDENAC, funded by Norwegian Govt.).
Post-doctoral scholars supervised:
Martina Chiara Morandi, 2014-2015. Landslide inventory, analysis and management along rail routes.
Silvia Franceschini, 2015-2017. Landslide Hazard assessment and management along rail routes.
Benedikt Bayer. 2016-17. Landslide analysis with satellite radar interferometry and Sentinel 1.
Graduate students supervised:
Pierpaolo Ciuffi (2019 – ongoing). Satellite radar interferometry for early detection of catastrophic landslides.
Benedikt Bayer (Ph.D, 2014-2016). Investigating the deformation responses of slow moving landslides to intense precipitation events in Northern Italy with differential interferometry (DInSAR).
Maria Mammoliti (Ph.D., 2008-2010). Methods to assess debris flow hazard in the Alpine enviroment.
Giulia Biavati (Ph.D., 2003-2005). Empirical and Numerical analysis to evaluate the effectiveness of drainage systems in clay slopes. Co-tutor.
Mauro Generali (Ph.D., 2001-2003). Characterization, monitoring and triggering of landslides in low plasticity clay soils. Co-tutor.
Tutor or co-tutor in more than 50 degree (M.Sc.) thesis in Geological Sciences, Applied Geosciences and Geology and territory, Università di Bologna.

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