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Upcoming Webinars

Webinar: Without even touching it: the story of the Leaning Tower of Pisa

When: Oct. 7, 2022 14-15.00 hrs CET

Register in advance for this webinar: Click Here

Fees: None (free for all).

This Webinar is being organised by the Italian group of IABSE and the Task Group 5.1 on Forensics Structural Engineering.

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

The history of the Leaning Tower of Pisa, a monument with an age of 850 years, a settlement of 3 m and an out of plumb of 5 m, is briefly recalled. The intervention of underexcavation carried out in the 1990’s is described; it succeeded in arresting the progress of the inclination of the monument, though fully respecting its integrity. Several lessons have been learned by this experience. First, the analysis of the history of the Tower, and particularly its monitoring in the last decades, greatly contributed to a thorough understanding of the mechanism of instability and to the conception of a stabilising intervention. Secondly, an important role has been played by a truly interdisciplinary approach. This is probably a banal observation since the importance of a shared culture among the different actors of conservation and restoration appears by now widely recognized. In fact, many preach interdisciplinarity but few practice it, probably because it is a not easy matter. Finally, it is shown that a modicum of good luck won’t do any harm!


Speaker: Carlo Viggiani is Emeritus Professor at the University of Napoli Federico II where he had been teaching Foundation Engineering from 1975 to 2009. He is Author or Co-Author of 5 books and 230 technical papers; has been Editor of the Italian Geotechnical Journal; component of the Editorial Board of the Journal of Numerical and Analytical Methods in Geomechanics. He has been State of the Art Reporter at the ICSMFE in New Delhi, 1994 (Mitigation of Natural Hazards: Landslides and Subsidence) and at the ICSMGE in Osaka, 2005 (Pile foundations). He has been Chairman of TC19 (later TC301) (Preservation of Monuments and Historic Sites) of the ISSMGE, and participated to the conservation of a number of monuments affected by geotechnical problem, including the Leaning Tower of Pisa. Involved in the design and construction of earth dams, civil and industrial buildings, bridges, tunnels and underground constructions, stabilisation of landslides. Consultant for Italian Railways and Underground Transportation Systems in Rome, Napoli, Torino, Bologna, Firenze. Involved in the design of the suspension bridge over the Messina Straits.

Introduction: Prof. Maria Giuseppina Limongelli, member of the IABSE Italian Group and vice Chair of the IABSE e-learning board; John Duntemann, Chair of IABSE Task Group 5.1 on Forensic Structural Engineering.

Moderators: Dr. Fabrizio Palmisano, IABSE Task Group 5.1, Member of the Italian NG, Vice-Chair, IABSE Bulletin Board; Prof. Claudia Vitone, Associate Professor of geotechnical engineering at the Technical University of Bari.


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