Presentation

The Ph.D. course in Environmental and Hydraulic Engineering belongs to the Ph.D. School of Civil Engineering and Architecture. The Ph.D. course consists of two curricula: one in Environmental Engineering and one in Hydraulic Engineering.


The aim of the Ph.D. course in Environmental and Hydraulic Engineering is the education of high-level professional profiles and researchers, which are able to deep the representations in fluid mechanics, hydraulics and environmental engineering and to associate the understanding of the natural phenomena to the ability of abstracting (by theoretical, numerical and physical models) original quantitative representations to design engineering works and evaluate their impacts in the context of the Civil, Environmental and Hydraulic Engineering.
The aim of the Ph.D. course is to integrate the skills and the approaches of different subjects to get a complete comprehension and quality representation of the phenomena related to the Environmental and Hydraulic Engineering, for the hydraulic design and verification and for the design and the control of appropriate and innovative management and recovery systems.


Hydraulic engineering in Rome has a long historical tradition. Main objectives of the research in this field have been:

-design of aqueducts and sewage systems;

-prediction of extreme events (e.g. related to Tevere River flood)

-rational use of landscapes (e.g. drainage and reclamation).

Theoretical and experimental findings in hydraulics in the last two centuries, allow to revisit design criteria and to apply fluid mechanics knowledge in several fields different from civil engineering. In this sense, hydrology, turbulence, wave propagation, dispersion processes and biological flows are fields in which the national and international researches are focused. Today a specific interest is focused on the knowledge of the water bodies and atmosphere for a practical management and preservation of the environment.

In the curriculum in Hydraulic Engineering, the research themes are: fluid mechanics; dynamic of turbulence; hydraulics of distribution networks; maritime hydraulic; hydraulics structures; maritime structures; hydrology; defense of the coastline; integration of the motion equations in contravariant form; simulation of the free-surface flows in presence of shock; two-phase flows; turbidity currents; minimum flow rate downstream from a reservoir; dynamic of the large water bodies; two-dimensional and three-dimensional turbulence; optical methods for the relief of the fluid velocity and density; instability in fluid mechanics; bio-engineering; arteriovenous circulation; atmospheric boundary layer; dispersion of pollutants; laboratory simulation of fluids in a rotating frame; land and sea breezes, slope winds and heat islands; pours media; hydrogeology; modification of the design criteria in hydraulics due to climate change.


Together with Hydraulics and Hydraulic structures, the other field of interest of the Ph.D. course is related to all the problems regarding the control, application and management of the environmental resources and regarding the development of technology and innovative processes aimed to the optimal design environmentally compatible engineering works. In particular, the phenomena of the pollution diffusion in different environmental sectors are studied by models and experimental activities; the engineering solutions aimed to contain or limite the propagation of the pollution phenomenon, are also studied and researched.

In the curriculum in Environmental Engineering, the main research themes are: remediation of contaminated sites; mechanical characterization of the solid waste; hydrological and slope instability; planning, forecast and management of the flood events; remote-sensing; planning, forecast and management of the atmospheric pollution; recovery, reuse and recycling of waste materials; naturalistic engineering technique; wastewater treatment and reuse; drinking water treatment; treatment and disposal of solid wastes; water pollution control.

The Ph.D. course lasts three years, the program activities are organized into two phases:

-the first year is mainly devoted to acquire theoretical basis and knowledge of methodologies by courses, seminars and conferences. A specific research topic is also selected and a supervisor, from the Academic Board, is assigned to the Ph.D. student, in order to follow him/her. The transition to the second year is made by a verification of the activities done.
-the second and third years are devoted to the development of the specific research project, supervised by the supervisor.

Ph.D. thesis are theoretical, numerical or experimental.

Concerning the numerical thesis, the supervisor provides suitable computing resources. The experimental thesis can be carried out either in the Hydraulic Laboratory, in Hydraulic Structures Laboratory or in the Environmental Engineering Laboratory, both belonging to the Department of Civil, Building and Environmental Engineering (DICEA).
The technical-scientific competences of these Laboratories are well documented by the large number of papers published in the best national and international journals and by participation of the authors to scientific conferences, presenting the results of the activities here conducted. The Laboratories are also involved in a number of contracts funded by the European Community or by private or public companies or institutions or industries.

The expertise acquired by the Ph.D. in Environmental and Hydraulic Engineering, beside of being fundamental for the Italian University institution (as demonstrated by the increasing of the international bibliography related to these studies) is also of key relevance to provide support to different Authorities, such as Protezione Civile, Autorità di Bacino, National and Regional Agency fot the Environmental Protection (APAT, ARPA), Plublic Technical Instistutions, Institutions for management of water, energy and waste resources, research institutes, private or public design companies and many others, in either the design and planning activities or the management of the most critical situations and contexts.

In many disciplinary sectors, like, for example, river and coastal hydraulics, hydrology, geotechnics, geophysics, sanitary and environmental engineering and ecology, the physical and mathematical modelling, in the last decades, has undergone a significant development; the availability of new calculation and experimental tools, as well as tecniques of acquisition of environmental data, give the opportunity to satisfy the new needs in environmental engineering as: simulation in fluid mechanics, hydraulics and hydrology, climatological forecasting, the study of the mechanism that control catastrophic events as flooding, protection of groundwater and surface water against environmental pollution, recycling of waste material and, more generally, the environmental protection.
However, the construction of physical and mathematical models that are representative of physical, biological, chemical and ecological phenomena and processes (which increases the availability of computational methods) requires a multidisciplinary teaching approach which is essential to understand the complexity of natural phenomena.
A better understanding of complex hydraulic and environmental systems is an indispensable basis for an evaluation of the risk affecting it and the consequent decision of intervening.
The applicative aspect of the PhD course is fully expressed in the adaptation of the design methodology and execution processes to the modern requirements of environmental protection and conservation of renewable and non-renewable resources.
This is particularly relevant in Italy where the landscape instability and natural risks are among the highest in the world.
All the aspects of the PhD course, the theoretical and applicative ones and the oen related to engineering science are fully expressed in the adaptation of the design methodology and execution processes to the modern requirements of environmental protection and conservation of renewable and non-renewable resources.
The present Ph.D. course differs from the other Doctorate programs of the geological and environmental sector because extends the activity from the research on individual phenomena to the research finalized to a quantitative approach on natural hydraulic systems and more generally complex environmental systems, which is the result of the integration of the following methodology:

-analysis and study of the natural phenomena whit particular attention to the intensity and return period of the catastrophic events;
-implementation of physico-mathematical models representing the natural phenomena;
-development of tools for model solving and application.
Experimental data and field measurements allow to establish limit conditions and to verify and validate the models.

The Department of Civil Building and Environmental Engineering which the present Ph.D. belongs to have all the expertise and skills required to ensure the best development of the proposed Ph.D. curricula; it also possesses the experimental and numerical tools and equipment needed to achieve the above mentioned goals fixed by the Ph.D. in Environmental and Hydraulic Engineering.



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