On 23 May, ENAC researchers from architecture, civil and environmental engineering gathered at the SG building for a day filled with inspiring presentations, interactive research demonstrations and lively discussions.
The keynote speaker at this year’s event was Laurent Ney, a civil and structural engineer from Belgium, CEO of Ney & Partners and a key international figure in footbridge construction. He started off the day by reminding participants of how historical and urban influences come into play in a bridge’s design, using a number of recent projects to illustrate his point.
The morning program continued with engaging lectures given by early career researchers from MIT, the University of Tübingen and the University of Moratuwa in Sri Lanka. They presented their work on the mechanics of soft materials, recent discoveries regarding oil-eating microbes, as well as reflections on the possible role of architects as industrial policymakers.
After an enjoyable lunch, the participants spent the early part of the afternoon exploring the school’s research exhibition, in which ENAC’s three departments set up some 30 stands. Lab teams gave interactive demonstrations of some of their key projects for their colleagues from other disciplines.
The panel discussion on the theme “water as a resource in a changing world,” led by Claudia Binder and Tom Battin, brought to light the expertise of professors Tamar Kohn, Andrea Rinaldo, Anton Schleiss and Paola Viganò in the areas of water quality, hydrology, hydroelectrics and the strategic role of rivers in urbanism.
To round off the day, the initial results of the cross-disciplinary projects that received ENAC Exploratory Grants at last year’s Research Day were presented. This was followed by a prize-giving ceremony: Jacopo Grazioli, from the Environmental Remote Sensing Laboratory, received the Luce Grivat Prize for his PhD thesis, while the ENAC Earth Science and Engineering Awards for Doctoral Research, which recognize a publication, went to Alessandro F. Rotta Loria from the Laboratory of Soil Mechanics, and Majid Bastankhah from the Wind Engineering and Renewable Energy Laboratory.