Hydraulics and Maritime Construction Laboratory

The Hydraulics group has the Hydraulics and Maritime Construction Laboratory, which houses equipment and instruments useful for studies and simulations of: marine and river dynamics, pressure flows, biological flows.


The main laboratory activities are related to:

  • Coastal hydro-morphodynamics.
  • Wave-motion-structure interactions (dynamics around submerged pipelines or piles, impact on walls or reefs, etc.).
  • Dynamics of the oscillating boundary layer of a seabed.
  • Fluvial hydro-morphodynamics.
  • Urban flooding.
  • Water losses and energy recovery in distribution networks.
  • Cardio-vascular system.


The laboratory features a 50m×1m×1.3m wave channel with internal dimensions, equipped with: wave generator consisting of a rigid blade immersed in water with piston movement; glazed side walls in the central 36m for optical measurements; passive systems at the end to limit wave reflection in the measurement area.

The laboratory also has a channel for free-flowing (river) currents with a variable slope (between 0° and 5°), with internal dimensions of 15m×0.6m×0.6m. The channel is equipped with: two pumps for varying the water load and flow rate; a recirculation system; various types of weirs; glazed side walls for optical measurements; two mobile trolleys for positioning the instrumentation along the channel.

The instrumentation available for the two channels is as follows:

  • Electroresistive probes for liquid level measurement
  • Ultrasonic level sensors
  • Laser depth gauge
  • ADV three-dimensional current meter, for measuring point velocities
  • Eco-Doppler Profilometer, for measuring velocity profiles
  • Load cell, for force measurement
  • Miniature sensors and sensors, for pressure measurement
  • Optical measurement system consisting of: digital cameras, light sources of various types, digital image processing systems

There is also a facility for experimental investigations on pressurised currents, consisting of a hydraulic pipeline circuit capable of replicating the typical conditions of a real aqueduct network, equipped with:

  • Vertical multistage pump
  • Three-phase inverter
  • Start-up flow valve
  • Electromagnetic flow meter
  • Diaphragm pressure gauges

The bio-fluid dynamics laboratory is dedicated to modelling biological flows. It is equipped with a pulsating pump system, equipped with an expansion chamber and heated loading basin. The system is designed to reproduce pulsed flows within silicone models for in vitro simulation of the fluid dynamics of the circulatory system, monitored with the following instrumentation:

  • Pressure transducers for physiological flows
  • Ultrasonic flowmeter with in-line sensor
  • Optical measurement system


Prof. Matteo Postacchini (head of the laboratory)

Livio Luccarini (technical contact)

Giacomo Trozzi (technical contact)

Prof. Maurizio Brocchini

Prof. Sara Corvaro

Prof. Carlo Lorenzoni

Prof. Luciano Soldini

Dr. Giovanna Darvini

Dr. Gianluca Zitti