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CODE 98149
SEMESTER 2° Semester
MODULES Questo insegnamento è un modulo di:


The module deals with fundamentals and advanced concepts of the analytical and computational mechanical modeling of materials and structures for the assessment of existing buildings and the analysis of masonry and reinforced concrete buildings.



Mechanical modeling of materials and structures for the assessment of existing buildings. Fundamentals in structural modeling and analysis of masonry and reinforced concrete buildings. Basics of computational modeling of existing buildings with computational laboratory activities


The attendance and active participation in the proposed training activities (online and frontal lessons and problems) together with the individual study will allow the student to gain basic knowledge in:

the fundamentals of continuum modeling of laminated and FRP composites;

the fundamentals of structural models currently in use to assess the safety of masonry and  reinforced concrete buildings;

the fundamentals of the finite element method as a prerequisite for an informed use of commercial codes


For a successful learning, basic knowledge of mathematics, physics, structural and solid mechanics is required; no formal prerequisites are set.


The module consists in 50 hours of frontal lessons, lab activities and in-class activities. Slides will be provided before each lesson. The presentation of theoretical contents alternates with exercises and applicative examples. The aim is to encourage learning and discussion employing the appropriate technical terminology for analytical and computational mechanical modeling of materials and structures for the assessment of masonry, reinforced concrete and existing buildings. The exercises and applicative examples are similar to those proposed in the mid-term and/or final exams.

Transversal skills in terms of communication and independent learning ability will be also acquired through problem solving with the teacher.


The programme of the module includes presentation and discussion of the following topics.

Mechanical modelling of materials and structures for the assessment of existing buildings (10 hours):

mechanical behavior of materials, isotropy, anistotropy and orthotropy; material modeling, linear elastic constitutive equations for isotropic and orthotropic materials; limit of elasticity; failure criteria for both isotropic brittle and ductile materials and for orthotropic materials.

Basics of computational modelling of existing buildings with computational laboratory activities (20 hours):

introduction to the finite element method, the direct stiffness method; the bar element, trusses, shape functions, beam and plane elements; FE modelling, convergence issues; introduction to the FE code SAP, computational lab activities.

Fundamentals in structural modelling and analysis of masonry and reinforced concrete buildings (20 hours):

methodological approaches to structural modelling of existing buildings; mechanical models for masonry and masonry structures; brick, mortar joints, cohesive-frictional and no-tensile resistant models; the masonry arch; structural hinges of eccentrically compressed masonry columns; limit strength domains; instability of compressed masonry columns; constitutive models and limit strength domains for biaxially stressed masonry, anisotropy behavior; load carrying capacity of masonry arches, incremental analysis and limit analysis; the arch interaction with the confining structural components; out-of-plane collapse modelling of masonry walls due to seismic actions and vault thrust; modelling the effects of tie rods on the out-of-plane stability of masonry walls; in-plane collapse of perforated masonry walls, analytical and computational models; modelling of masonry vaults; modelling infilled r.c. frames under seismic inertia forces.


Class slides will be uploaded on the web classroom before each lesson. Students are encouraged to take notes during the classes and discuss their doubts with the teacher in order to assess the level of their comprehension on the contents.

The notes taken in class and the material in the web classroom are sufficient to prepare the mid-term and final exams. Additional books could be suggested to support the slides and the notes at any time during the lessons or on the web classroom.


Exam Board

VITO DIANA (President)




Class schedule

The timetable for this course is available here: Portale EasyAcademy



The final exam of the module consists in passing an oral test.

The oral test consists in an interview: the students can be required to solve exercises, describe concepts, present theories and formulations concerning all topics presented in class.

Students are encouraged to contact via e-mail the teachers to agree on an exam date.

The final grade for the module will take into account the correctness and completeness of answers, as well as the quality of exposition, the correct use of technical terminology and critical reasoning ability.

During the teaching period three written tests, as mid-term exams for each submodule (on "Mechanical modelling of materials and structures", "Computational modelling of structures" and "Structural modelling and analysis of masonry and reinforced concrete buildings") will be proposed to the students attending classes in the present semester and will substitute for the final oral exam. In this case, a minimum mark of 15 out of 30 is required for passing each mid-term exam; the grade for the module will be the weighted average of the marks obtained in the three submodules. A minimum mark of 18 out of 30 is required for passing.


Details on how to prepare the mid-term and final exams and on the degree of deepening of each topic will be given during lessons.

The oral exam includes questions concerning all the topics presented in class.

The exam aims to assess the ability to apply the theoretical and computational bases object of the module to general or specific cases of interest in modeling of existing buildings.

Exam schedule

Data appello Orario Luogo Degree type Note
18/01/2024 14:00 GENOVA Scritto
08/02/2024 14:00 GENOVA Scritto
13/06/2024 14:00 GENOVA Scritto
11/07/2024 14:00 GENOVA Scritto
12/09/2024 14:00 GENOVA Scritto


Students with particular needs are asked to contact the teachers at the beginning of lessons.

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