Giuseppe Grandori

Professor emeritus of Politecnico di Milano


  • Year of nomination: 1997
  • Facility: Department of Structural Engineering [facility name no longer in use]

"On 1 November 1996, Professor Giuseppe Grandori retired from academic work at Politecnico due to reasons of age, having dedicated 50 years to the engineering school, 13 as a research assistant and 37 as a professor.

Especially gifted in both written and spoken communication, Grandori has established fruitful collaborations with innovative results in all aspects of academic activity: organisation, teaching and research.

Serving as Vice Rector during the protests of the 1960s, he opened a constructive dialogue with the student organisations; aware of the potential in all fields of engineering opened up by automatic calculation, he collaborated with Dadda and Lunelli on the launch of the Computing Centre of Politecnico di Milano; he anticipated the current structure of the university by promoting first the unification of the separate Engineering and Architecture Institutes of Construction Science, then the merger of the Institutes of Construction Science and of Construction Technology into a single body on the scale of a department in the modern sense.

All new educational initiatives have been driven and supported by Grandori: the formation of new faculties for budding (the first example being Pavia), the technical-scientific renewal of the engineering faculty curricula (Civil Engineering Structuring, Environmental Engineering, Specialist programmes in Seismic Engineering in anticipation of the doctoral programme).

Finally Grandori has made the most brilliant and significant contributions in his scientific research: he initially dealt with classic topics of construction science, gaining national recognition. Subsequently, he dedicated himself to seismic engineering, not only working on specific problems but as a national leader, founder and guide of the Italian research school (a school that was formed around the Finalised Geodynamics Project of the CNR, which he guided to a significant degree on the topic of seismic risk) which has dealt and continues to deal with both aspects of seismic resistance, and the characterisation of seismic excitation in terms of cost-benefit analysis in order to optimise resources. Grandori's scientific work in the seismic field was also greatly appreciated abroad and this success was crowned by his presidency of the International Association of Earthquake Engineering (IAEE) in the period 1988-92.

Nor should it be forgotten that Grandori is still active in the scientific field and is currently developing investigations in the field of control of uncertainties in seismic risk assessments, an important and foundational theme for a rational risk mitigation policy with a view to optimising resources."

[extract from the 1997 nomination statement]