Civil and Environmental Engineering Welcomes Giuseppe Buscarnera and Gianluca Cusatis

Guiseppe Buscarnera and Gianluca CusatisGiuseppe Buscarnera and Gianluca Cusatis joined the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering this fall.  Dr. Buscarnera is appointed Assistant Professor in the Geotechnical Engineering program and Dr. Cusatis is appointed Associate Professor in the Structural Engineering and Infrastructure Materials area and a member of the Theoretical and Applied Mechanics (TAM) faculty.

Prof. Buscarnera received both his B.S. and M.S. degrees in civil engineering from the Politecnico di Milano. His M.S. research project involved the numerical analysis of underground cavities exposed to chemical degradation.

Prof. Buscarnera earned his doctoral degree within a PhD program involving the Politecnico di Torino, Milano and Bari (Scuola Interpolitecnica di Dottorato). His doctoral research addressed the activation of fast landslides induced by rainfall events. During his PhD he has been awarded with the Rocca Fellowship that supported a period of research studies at MIT and his dissertation was awarded with the Alert PhD Prize by the ALERT Geomaterials association.

Prof. Buscarnera’s contributions focused on the mechanical response of unsaturated geomaterials, the theory of material stability and the stability analysis of slopes and led to publications on several international journals, as the International Journal for Numerical and Analytical Methods in Geomechanics, European Journal for Environmental and Civil Engineering, Géotechnique, Géotechnique Letters and International Journal of Solids and Structures.  Prof. Buscarnera has been involved in the educational activities of the M.S. Program C.E.R.M. (Civil Engineering for Environmental Risks Mitigation) at the Politecnico di Milano and this year he will be teaching mechanics as well as constitutive modeling for coupled processes in geomaterials.

In addition to Prof. Cusatis' faculty appointment, he is the area coordinator of the Structural Engineering and Infrastructure Materials (SEIM) program.  Prof. Cusatis graduated from the Politecnico di Milano (Milan, Italy) where he obtained his “Laurea” degree in 1998, with a thesis on the viscoelastic behavior of concrete subjected to variable temperature and humidity, and his Ph.D. degree in 2002, with a dissertation dealing with mesoscale modeling of concrete.

Prior to joining Northwestern, Prof. Cusatis was a faculty member at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute for six years (2005-2011). He taught undergraduate and graduate courses of the civil engineering curriculum and performs research in the field of computational and applied mechanics, with emphasis on heterogeneous and quasi-brittle materials; concrete and reinforced concrete modeling; infrastructure materials. In addition, his research interests include: micro- and meso-mechanics, linear and nonlinear fracture mechanics, nonlinear constitutive modeling, concrete creep, rate effect on material strength, moisture and heat transfer, and concrete-steel interface behavior.

Prof. Cusatis has authored seminal articles on discrete modeling of concrete and he has been invited speaker at several National and international conferences. He serves as principal investigator for several projects sponsored by federal agencies such as NSF, DTRA, DHS, and ERDC. He is member of ASCE, ACI, RILEM, USACM and he is active in several technical committees. He serves as chair of the ACI 446 committee on fracture mechanics of concrete.