It is important to underline the unity of the PhD proposal, in which the different paths are inserted, in a complementary way, in an interdisciplinary and interconnected path of innovation always inherent in sustainability.

To best achieve these objectives, the PhD is structured on 3 curricula: one dedicated to Civil Engineering topics, another focused on Environmental Engineering topics and a third focused on Materials Engineering topics. The research paths covered in this PhD course will integrate with the transversal nature of the themes that distinguish the Scuola di Dottorato E4E (Engineering for Economics – Economics for Engineering), to which this Course belongs.

Civil Engineering
In this curriculum, particular emphasis will be placed on the innovative character of buildings, combining performance, safety, durability and healthiness, with the themes of risk mitigation (seismic, hydrogeological, fire, biological), the recovery, reuse and management of end of life of materials, also with reference to the recent harmonized regulations on Public Procurement, energy saving, green building and green building, sustainability and recycling. To achieve these objectives, the contribution offered by the conscious use of new materials is essential, such as, for example, structural composites (FRP, FRCM, TRM, TRC) and with natural and/or recycled fibers, laminates, smart and engineered materials (metamaterials), shape memory and tensegrity materials, high performance binders (HPC, UHPFRC), self-healing and natural, biomaterials and bio-inspired/bio-based materials. The techniques and methods used are typical of physical and analytical modeling, computational and experimental mechanics and hydraulics aimed, also with interdisciplinary approaches, at the design of innovative structures and materials and new structural forms. The topics addressed extend to the interaction between structures and the physical environment, with particular reference to seismic, hydraulic, wind, natural and man-made risk engineering, as well as to the assessment of vulnerability, monitoring, intervention techniques on the built and of the technological and regulatory aspects.

Environmental Engineering
In this curriculum, the study and modeling of pollution phenomena and the dynamics of pollutants in the environment and in the atmosphere will be deepened; analyzes of environmental impact and health, eco-toxicological and major accident risks; the design, management and verification of water, wastewater and sludge treatment and recovery plants; the management of waste with a view to process and product sustainability for the circular economy. To these applications are added the topics relating to the protection and rehabilitation of the soil, water and air components and ecosystems, to the development of monitoring plans and projects and to the criteria and intervention techniques for the management, characterization, reclamation and environmental recovery and function of contaminated soils, aquifers and sediments. Recent research topics concern the applications of remote sensing for the study of the urban heat island (UHI), with the development of mitigation techniques based on the use of cool materials and urban green management strategies, and epidemiological studies that require knowledge related to the dispersion mode and behavior of air pollutants. These are flanked by the applications of metric survey, aerial and terrestrial, and of the analysis of spatial data with their cartographic representation. The research activities involve the natural and urbanized sectors, the infrastructures and the built, modern and historical heritage. The research topics of greatest interest are those oriented towards the development of integrated methodologies and sensors for monitoring instability processes and deformation phenomena with rigorous quantification of the obtainable accuracy.

Materials Engineering
In this curriculum, the training and research on materials will start from the design, where chemical compositions and architectures will be chosen (e.g.: matrix and reinforcement in composite materials, succession of layers in multilayer coatings, etc…) starting from an extensive literature search , from the application of statistical methods (e.g.: DOE) and, in collaboration with research centers and European companies, from multiscale modeling and machine learning. It will then continue with the creation of the material through state-of-the-art synthesis and production processes or more recent experimentation of the various categories of materials (from solid-state synthesis, to smelting in high-temperature furnaces, from high-energy grinding, to deposition in the form of a coating, etc…). The PhD student will then evaluate the performance of the materials through a complete characterization that will start from the microstructure and end with the functional properties necessary for the applications for which they were designed (mechanical, tribological, anti-corrosion, electronic, magnetic, optical, chemical, biological, etc… ). The Materials Engineering topics of this doctorate include all categories of materials (metals, ceramics, polymers, composites, in “bulk” or coating form), thanks to the training and research activities of the members of the Council. The extensive network of international collaborations and the involvement in numerous funded projects of the members of the Council will allow the PhD student to carry out studies on the most recent topics of great interest in the field of Materials Engineering (e.g.: high-entropy alloys, geopolymers, free coatings of critical raw materials, high solar reflectance glazes, materials and films for electrolysers for the production of green hydrogen, nanostructured and molecular materials, biocompatible materials for medicine, etc…).