Panel Lecturers

Pierre Smars

Pierre Smars, Taiwan

Short bio

Dr Pierre SMARS is assistant professor at the department and graduate school of cultural heritage conservation at the National Yunlin University of Science & Technology in Taiwan. He has a degree in architectural engineering from the UCLouvain (B) and completed a master degree in conservation of monuments and a Ph.D. in structural engineering, both at the KULeuven (B).
He had been working at the R. Lemaire Centre for Conservation at the KULeuven and as a research associate at the University of Bath (UK). Before his arrival in Taiwan in 2005, he collaborated with the University of Aachen for the documentation of archaeological sites in Kazakhstan, Afghanistan and in Pakistan.
His research interests are safety assessment of heritage structures, surveying techniques and ancient construction techniques. He has a particular interest for Gothic vaults and other objects where geometrical, technical and structural aspects are intimately related.
His most recent research concerns the dynamic behaviour of block structures and arches, the ethics of structural interventions in archaeological sites (following a series of missions in Baalbek and Tyre as a structural engineer consultant for UNESCO) and the constructional aspects of vernacular architecture in Taiwan.
He is a long-time member of ICOMOS and of ISCARSAH.
Arun Menon

Arun Menon, India

Short bio

Arun Menon, Associate Professor of Structural Engineering at IIT Madras, holds a first degree in architecture, and PhD in earthquake engineering from University of Pavia, Italy (ROSE School). His research interests are in structural aspects of historical constructions, earthquake behaviour of historical masonry structures, earthquake-resistant structural masonry, and earthquake risk assessment. He is author/co-author in these areas in about 85 technical articles. He currently coordinates the activities of National Centre for Safety of Heritage Structures (NCSHS), a Ministry of HRD (Govt. of India) -supported research centre at IIT Madras. He was an Expert Member on the International Coordinating Committee (BICC) for the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Bagan, Myanmar, and currently is a Member, Expert Advisory Group to International Conservation Committee (ICC) for Vat Phou UNESCO World Heritage Site in Laos PDR. He is currently National Scientific Counsellor of ICOMOS India and is an expert member of ISCARSAH (International Scientific Committee on Analysis and Restoration of Structures of Architectural Heritage). He has been involved in conservation projects in India (Rashtrapati Bhawan, IIM, Ahmedabad, Madurai Meenakshi Temple), Bhutan (Tango Monastery, Wangdue Phodrong Dzong), Myanmar (UNESCO World Heritage Site of Bagan) and The Philippines (San Sebastian Basilica, Manila).

Arun Menon, India

Short bio

Arun Menon, Associate Professor of Structural Engineering at IIT Madras, holds a first degree in architecture, and PhD in earthquake engineering from University of Pavia, Italy (ROSE School). His research interests are in structural aspects of historical constructions, earthquake behaviour of historical masonry structures, earthquake-resistant structural masonry, and earthquake risk assessment. He is author/co-author in these areas in about 85 technical articles. He currently coordinates the activities of National Centre for Safety of Heritage Structures (NCSHS), a Ministry of HRD (Govt. of India) -supported research centre at IIT Madras. He was an Expert Member on the International Coordinating Committee (BICC) for the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Bagan, Myanmar, and currently is a Member, Expert Advisory Group to International Conservation Committee (ICC) for Vat Phou UNESCO World Heritage Site in Laos PDR. He is currently National Scientific Counsellor of ICOMOS India and is an expert member of ISCARSAH (International Scientific Committee on Analysis and Restoration of Structures of Architectural Heritage). He has been involved in conservation projects in India (Rashtrapati Bhawan, IIM, Ahmedabad, Madurai Meenakshi Temple), Bhutan (Tango Monastery, Wangdue Phodrong Dzong), Myanmar (UNESCO World Heritage Site of Bagan) and The Philippines (San Sebastian Basilica, Manila).
Arun Menon
Luca de Sanctis

Luca de Sanctis, Italy

Short bio

Born in Naples on September 1971, Prof. Luca de Sanctis obtained his undergraduate degree at the University of Naples Federico II, followed by a PhD ‘Sapienza’ University of Rome (1998-2001). In 2006 he joined the Department of Engineering of University of Napoli ‘Parthenope’, where he is now Associate Professor of Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering. His research fields of interest are: (a) failure envelopes and macro-elements for pile groups; (b) numerical and physical modelling of foundations and embedded retaining structures; (c) geo-risk assessment and mitigation for monuments and historical sites. He has authored about 90 scientific publications. He has been awarded by IACMAG in 2008 for the paper ‘Bearing Capacity of Piled Rafts on Soft Clay Soil’, published on Journal of Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Engineering, ASCE (excellent paper award). Nominated member of TC212, Deep Foundations, of ISSMGE. He has obtained substantial research funding by public and private institutions. Keynote/Invited lecturer at many national and international conferences.
Pietro Matracchi

Pietro Matracchi, Italy

Short bio

Pietro Matracchi is an architect and Associate Professor at the Architecture Department of the University of Florence, where he has taught Architectural Restoration since 2002. He taught the same subject at the universities of Pisa and Perugia. He is the author of papers and monographs on architectural diagnostics aimed at the study of construction techniques, construction phases and conservation problems of materials and structures. The subjects he has covered include some of the most relevant Italian civil and religious buildings, such as the Museo Nazionale del Bargello in Florence, the cathedrals of Perugia, Pisa and Siena, the complex of S. Maria del Fiore and Palazzo Pitti in Florence, the Medici villa in Poggio a Caiano, Santa Maria della Consolazione in Todi, theatre architecture of the 19th century and architectural works by Francesco di Giorgio Martini and Giorgio Vasari. He is author of studies on architectural complexes extended on urban scale as the towers of San Gimignano.
In his research he has paid special attention to the philological problems in the interpretation of surveys and concrete architectural artefacts, in relation to archival documents.

Pietro Matracchi, Italy

Short bio

Pietro Matracchi is an architect and Associate Professor at the Architecture Department of the University of Florence, where he has taught Architectural Restoration since 2002. He taught the same subject at the universities of Pisa and Perugia. He is the author of papers and monographs on architectural diagnostics aimed at the study of construction techniques, construction phases and conservation problems of materials and structures. The subjects he has covered include some of the most relevant Italian civil and religious buildings, such as the Museo Nazionale del Bargello in Florence, the cathedrals of Perugia, Pisa and Siena, the complex of S. Maria del Fiore and Palazzo Pitti in Florence, the Medici villa in Poggio a Caiano, Santa Maria della Consolazione in Todi, theatre architecture of the 19th century and architectural works by Francesco di Giorgio Martini and Giorgio Vasari. He is author of studies on architectural complexes extended on urban scale as the towers of San Gimignano.
In his research he has paid special attention to the philological problems in the interpretation of surveys and concrete architectural artefacts, in relation to archival documents.
Pietro Matracchi
Dimitris Egglezos

Dimitris Egglezos, Greece

Short bio

Dimitris Egglezos is a civil engineer specialized in soil mechanics, soil dynamics, geotechnical earthquake engineering, soil structure interaction and monument restoration. He received his BA and PhD degrees at the National Technical University of Athens, where he taught (1993-1997) and undertook various specialized Geotechnical Laboratory Projects, including dynamic lab tests for the Rion – Antirrion bridge. His professional and research experience include: design of shallow and deep foundations, soil improvement, stabilization of sliding slopes, soil dynamic response, design of reinforced earth embankments, design of road and airport pavements, stabilization of rock slopes and caves with heritage value, assessment of the structural stability, restoration and interpretation of the structural pathology of monumental structures (indicatively in Olympia, Rhodes, Crete, Attica etc). He has served as a consultant for the Hellenic Ministry of Public Works for the Geotechnical issues of the Road Construction Project for the Olympic Games 2004 at Athens (2001-2004), as well as of the Hellenic Ministry of Culture and Sports for the excavation (2014) and the restoration project of the Amphipolis Monuments at the Kasta Tomb (2015-2021) and the Temple of Apollo Epicurius at Bassae in Peloponnese (2021-2023). He had been the Head engineer for the Restoration of Athenian Acropolis Circuit Wall (2006-2009).
Sebastiano Rampello

Sebastiano Rampello, Italy

Short bio

Sebastiano Rampello is Professor of Geotechnical Engineering at the University of Rome La Sapienza – Dipartimento di Ingegneria Strutturale e Geotecnica – teaching Foundations and earth retaining structures and Deep excavations and tunnelling in urban areas held at the1st and the 2nd years of the Master of Science in Civil Engineering.
In recent years he has dealt with the following research topics:
– interaction of tunnelling and deep excavations with massive historical buildings and monuments;
– reduction of tunnel-induced displacements via diaphragm walls;
– reduction of ground movements induced by deep excavations using sacrificial cross-walls or buttress-walls pre-installed inside the excavation area, or pre-installed soil improvement in front of the wall;
– seismic performance and failure interaction domains of caisson foundations of bridge piers;
– evaluation of seismic stability and performance of slopes and earth dams.
He is national coordinator of the research project funded by the Department of Civil Protection through the Consortium RELUIS on the WP 2: Slope Stability and is coordinator of the research unity of Rome La Sapienza for the research project of national interest, PRIN, on Risk Assessment of Earth Dams and River Embankments to Earthquakes and Floods (REDREEF), funded by the Italian Ministry of University and Research (MUR).

Sebastiano Rampello, Italy

Short bio

Sebastiano Rampello is Professor of Geotechnical Engineering at the University of Rome La Sapienza – Dipartimento di Ingegneria Strutturale e Geotecnica – teaching Foundations and earth retaining structures and Deep excavations and tunnelling in urban areas held at the1st and the 2nd years of the Master of Science in Civil Engineering.
In recent years he has dealt with the following research topics:
– interaction of tunnelling and deep excavations with massive historical buildings and monuments;
– reduction of tunnel-induced displacements via diaphragm walls;
– reduction of ground movements induced by deep excavations using sacrificial cross-walls or buttress-walls pre-installed inside the excavation area, or pre-installed soil improvement in front of the wall;
– seismic performance and failure interaction domains of caisson foundations of bridge piers;
– evaluation of seismic stability and performance of slopes and earth dams.
He is national coordinator of the research project funded by the Department of Civil Protection through the Consortium RELUIS on the WP 2: Slope Stability and is coordinator of the research unity of Rome La Sapienza for the research project of national interest, PRIN, on Risk Assessment of Earth Dams and River Embankments to Earthquakes and Floods (REDREEF), funded by the Italian Ministry of University and Research (MUR).
Sebastiano Rampello
Gianpiero Russo

Gianpiero Russo, Italy

Short bio

He graduated in Civil Engineering in University of Napoli Federico II in 1992. In 1996 he obtained the title of Doctor of Philosophy. In 1997-1999 he was visiting researcher at the University of Ghent (Belgium) and at the Building Research Establishment (UK). In 2005 he was appointed as associate professor in Geotechnical Engineering and he is now full professor of Foundation Engineering at University of Napoli Federico II. From 2017 he is involved in three different Master courses of the University of Napoli Federico II and of the University of Rome La Sapienza. He has been invited as panelist or as keynote lecturer and state of the art reporter in a number of national and international conferences and particularly in 2005, he was designated as co-author by ISSMGE for the General Report on the State of the Art of Pile foundations (Osaka). He is author of nearly 150 scientific publications and a monograph in English, published by Taylor & Francis on the topics of shallow and deep foundations. He is an elected member of the presidential council board of the Italian Geotechnical Association (member of ISSMGE).
Jean-David Vernhes

Jean-David Vernhes, France

Short bio

TC301 member since 2015. Currently associate professor of geotechnics at the UniLaSalle Institute in Beauvais (France), in charge of the Bachelor of Geology and Environmental engineering curriculum. Graduated in Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geophysics in 1998 (Paris-Sorbonne University). Worked as field engineer and project manager for Solétanche-Bachy (VINCI) and ANTEA over ten years before committing to Higher Education and Research in 2011 at UniLaSalle. Over those years, has mainly dedicated his area of Research to the interactions between Geotechnics and both material and intellectual Heritage. This activity includes field back-analyses of existing works (mainly retaining walls and earthworks), through collaboration with archaeologists, as well as transcriptions / interpretations in today’s concepts and vocabulary of treatises written during the Modern period. Organised the April 15, 2021 Conference on Engineering Geology applied to the restoration of Notre-Dame de Paris.

Jean-David Vernhes, France

Short bio

TC301 member since 2015. Currently associate professor of geotechnics at the UniLaSalle Institute in Beauvais (France), in charge of the Bachelor of Geology and Environmental engineering curriculum. Graduated in Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geophysics in 1998 (Paris-Sorbonne University). Worked as field engineer and project manager for Solétanche-Bachy (VINCI) and ANTEA over ten years before committing to Higher Education and Research in 2011 at UniLaSalle. Over those years, has mainly dedicated his area of Research to the interactions between Geotechnics and both material and intellectual Heritage. This activity includes field back-analyses of existing works (mainly retaining walls and earthworks), through collaboration with archaeologists, as well as transcriptions / interpretations in today’s concepts and vocabulary of treatises written during the Modern period. Organised the April 15, 2021 Conference on Engineering Geology applied to the restoration of Notre-Dame de Paris.
Jean-David Vernhes
Paolo Simonini

Paolo Simonini, Italy

Short bio

Paolo Simonini, MSc, PhD, is Professor of Geotechnical Engineering at the University of Padova, Padova, Italy.
1981, Graduation with honors in Civil Engineering (MSc), University of Padova (UNIPD); 1987: Doctoral Degree at the Technical University of Torino in Geotechnical Engineering.

Carrier history:
1987-89: Teaching assistant at the University of Trento;
1990-1998: Research assistant of Geotechnical Engineering at UNIPD;
1998-2004: Associate Professor at UNIPD;
2005: Professor of Geotechnical Engineering at UNIPD.
2009-2012: President of the Civil Engineering Council;
2012-2015: President of the School of Engineering, University of Padova.
2015-2018: President of the Italian Academic Society of Geotechnical Engineering
2016-2019: Co-Founder and Vice-President of the Civil and Industrial Safety Engineering Master Course.
2016-2018: President of the National Committee for Professorship Selection.
2017-Vice-President of the Council of the Master in Safety Engineering
2020- Member of the National Council for Public Works

Focus on recent research:
Studies on geotechnical engineering for the preservation of historic city of Venice, namely the San Marco Square Project, to protect the most famous island of San Marco against recurrent flooding.
Site testing: Use of CPTU to predict maximum stiffness in soils; Applicability of SCPTU and SDMT to characterize the soils of the Venice Lagoon; CPTU calibration to predicting secondary compressions in sands and silts, MPM numerical modelling of CPTU penetration;
Site monitoring: Use of InSAR to monitor settlements on coastal structures; landslide monitoring and data interpretation, use of optical fibers to monitor subsurface groundwater flows;
Landslide: Evaluation of impact forces on structures realized to protect against rapid landslide and debris flow with MPM.
Studies on erosion processes and instability of leveee and dams in the Venetian Plain.

Scientific committees:
Member of Scientific Committee of International Research Society Interpraevent. The Research Society works to set up preventive protection against disasters and supports interdisciplinary research to protect our living space against flooding, debris flow, avalanches and mass movements.

Member of the Board of the Material Point Method Community (Univ. Cambridge, UPC Barcelona, TU Delft, TU Hamburg-Harburg, Deltares; Virginia Tech, UC Berkeley).

Member of the Municipal Committee for the preservation of the Chapel of Scrovegni, the most relevant example of Giotto Painting in Italy.