Pietro Gambarova

Professor emeritus of Politecnico di Milano


"Pietro Giovanni Gambarova was a professor of Structural Engineering. After graduating in Aeronautical Engineering from Politecnico di Milano and a period of assistantship in Aeronautical Structures, he moved to Civil Engineering (Institute of Construction Science and Technology, then Department of Structural Engineering, and in recent years Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering), where he carried out his scientific and teaching activities in Construction Technology. He has been a visiting professor at Northwestern University (Evanston, Chicago) and at the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne - EPFL. He was also on the teaching staff of the Somali National University and the 'Fratelli Pesenti' School of Specialisation at the Politecnico di Milano.

Over the years, he has been the director of the Department of Structural Engineering, president of the Civil Engineering Degree Course, and one of the promoters of the Doctorate in Structural, Seismic and Geotechnical Engineering, of which he was also the coordinator. In these positions, he has always placed emphasis on internationalisation, both for the students of the Civil Engineering degree programme and for the lecturers and PhD students.

Pietro Gambarova's scientific interests focused on non-destructive testing of materials and structures; flat and shell structures; the mechanics of reinforced concrete, with particular regard to reinforcement-concrete interaction, shear and punching; high and very high-strength concretes; and the fire and high-temperature performance of concrete mixes and their structures. In the last 25 years of the 20th century, in years of great technical-scientific ferment, he contributed to the emergence of a more scientific approach to the calculation of reinforced concrete structures, based on experimental and numerical mechanics. In the 2000s, with a group of young and enthusiastic colleagues, he made internationally recognised contributions on structural performance in the presence of natural fires, and on particular topics such as the surface splitting of concrete and the second-order effects in walls and columns exposed to fire.

Gambarova has collaborated extensively with Italian universities and institutions (CNR, MURST and ENEA), as well as with foreign universities (Chicago, Lausanne, Gothenburg, Taipei, Istanbul, Muscat-Oman and Pakistan) in national and international projects, and has been a member of various American and European committees for building regulations. International projects include two European projects that are still current, one on the safety of structures in nuclear power plants, and the other on very high-strength concretes for special uses (protective structures, alternative energy plants and waste-to-energy plants)."

[career highlights kindly provided by professor Gambarova in 2023]