The Structural Engineering research group in Ancona records excellence from the earliest years, with the arrival of Giovanni Menditto among the first full professors, chair in 1976 of the course of Structural Engineering, and of Francesco Martinez Y Cabrera, chair in 1976 of the course of Bridges and Great Structures until 1979. The same course, in the first year of activation, was hold by Sergio Musmeci, considered to be one of the world’s leading Italian structural engineers. Prof. Menditto, who transferred his professorship to Structural Mechanics in the late 1970s, founded the Institute of Structural Mechanics and Structural Engineering. He was the head of the Institute for about 20 years and began the construction of the DICEA Materials and Structures Testing Laboratory, now named after him.
Meanwhile, Luigino Dezi graduated and began his academic career at the Institute of Structural Mechanics and Structural Engineering; He was full professor in 1994 and head of the Institute and the laboratory from 1998 to 2004. He was chair of the course of Structural Engineering and Theory and Design of Bridges. In the next years he become a national and international point of reference in the field of Structural Engineering and Bridge Engineering, participating actively in the main international working groups such as IABSE, ECCS and fib. Besides him, the following retired professors must by cited: Vittorio Mosco, Rodolfo Antonucci, Silvio Albanesi and Roberto Giacchetti, together with Roberto Capozucca, who is now full professor.
In a few years, under the Prof. Dezi’s guidance, a cohesive group developed, based on hard work, collaborations and expertise, from which currently prominent figures in the national academic scene emerged: Andrea Dall’Asta, Graziano Leoni and Alessandro Zona (Full Professors at UniCAM), in addition to current professors at UnivPM, Fabrizio Gara, Laura Ragni and Sandro Carbonari, all of whom were his students. In addition, it is worth mentioning the success of young researchers such as Michele Morici (UniCAM) and others working abroad, such as Enrico Tubaldi (University of StrathClyde), Fabio Freddi (UCL, London) and Alessandro Tombari (University of Brighton).
In the assessments of the research quality, carried out by the Italian national agency for the evaluation of universities and research institutes (ANVUR), the group had very positive ratings, classifying first in 2004-2010 and always in the first quartile in the other two evaluations.
The group’s mission is to deepen, through theoretical and experimental studies, the topics of primary interest in the field of Structural Engineering in both the national and international research framework, and the practice engineering, and to teach the most innovative and professionalizing aspects of the Structural Engineering to new students, including applications, design issues and technological aspects.
In the research field, the group has been and is currently among the international leaders in the field of steel-concrete composite structures and bridges, with significant contributions in the analytical modelling, analysis of the shear-lag effect, long-term effects (creep and shrinkage), and the influence of construction techniques. Many significant contributions have been made by the research group in the field of earthquake engineering such as dynamic soil-foundation-structure interaction, seismic base isolation of buildings and bridges, dynamic characterization for the prediction of the structural behaviour at operating and testing conditions, reinforcement methods with innovative materials, and, more recently, integrated, seismic, and health monitoring, currently ongoing for numerous residential buildings, bridges, and churches.