Inauguration of the new spaces of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering

Five new research laboratories built

In Building 4 of the Leonardo Campus, the redevelopment of 4000 m2 dedicated to the research activities of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering has been completed. 

This new large space brings together different research groups dealing with multiple topics such as Environment, Geodesy and Geomatics, Hydraulics, Mechanics of Materials and Structures, Water Science and Engineering, Design, Diagnostics and Structural Rehabilitation, Structures and the Environment, Transport Infrastructure and Geosciences. The physical proximity of the state-of-the-art laboratories ensure the necessary synergies to address every subject in a multidisciplinary manner.

In particular, DICA's laboratory system was enhanced with five new rooms totalling 1500 m2:

  • the Environmental Engineering Laboratory (LIA), which works on environmental quality and pollution issues and develops technological solutions for remediation and purification that combine effectiveness, efficiency, recovery and sustainability;
  • the Diagnostic and Investigation Laboratory on Building Materials, which deals with the chemical-physical-mechanical characterisation of building materials for restoration works, experiments with new materials and consolidation techniques for Cultural Heritage and develops diagnostic investigations of historical buildings;
  • the Laboratory of MEMS, Micromechanics and full field Measurements (M3Lab), which carries out mechanical tests on microsystems and field measurements using digital image correlation techniques;
  • the Solid-Liquid Interface Nanomicroscopy and Spectroscopy Lab (SoLINano-Σ Lab), in which chemical-physical phenomena at the solid-liquid interface will be studied, with application, e.g., to surface reactive processes typical of flows in porous media;
  • the Petrographic Collection, with rocks from all over Italy and different parts of the world, and the artificial rock wall on which students can practice performing geological-structural surveys.

The new spaces were inaugurated in the presence of Rector Donatella Sciuto, the Head of the Department Attilio Frangi, and Stefano Susani, CEO of Tecne - Gruppo Autostrade per l'Italia, who deliverted the lecture ‘Civil-environmental engineers and the infrastructure of everyday life'.

Today we have achieved an important result. The University wanted to focus on research by renovating entire Laboratories with a forward-looking investment. We are in a historical phase where the fragility of the natural and built environments in the face of the effects of climate change is becoming increasingly evident, and this calls for interventions that improve their resilience in a sustainable manner while facilitating the energy transition. DICA, in its current form, has all the skills and tools to make an important contribution to this challenge, 

Attilio Frangi commented.

Investing in the redevelopment of laboratories and in new research infrastructures is one of the major goals of Politecnico di Milano's Strategic Plan 2023/25, which has been drafted in the spirit of environmental, economic and social sustainability. And this is a clear example of that. This initiative has been carried out in continuity with the work of the previous Rector and fits perfectly into the University's key lines. Italy is now rediscovering the importance of civil engineering for the making its territories safe; Politecnico di Milano is the leading technical University in the country and is giving a clear signal: we combine different skills and expertise and we create a synergy between them in order to provide concrete answers to citizens and businesses.

the Rector added.