Faculty Directory
Alessandro Rotta Loria

Louis Berger Assistant Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering


2145 Sheridan Road
Tech A120
Evanston, IL 60208-3109

847-467-1340Email Alessandro Rotta Loria


Research Website


Civil and Environmental Engineering


Ph.D. in Mechanics, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne (EPFL) – 2018

M.Sc. in Architectural Engineering, Politecnico di Torino – 2013

B.Sc. in Architectural Engineering, Politecnico di Torino – 2011

Research Interests

Professor Rotta Loria works at the intersection of the fields of Mechanics of Materials, Energy, and Electrochemistry. By harnessing theoretical, computational, and experimental investigations, the work of his group aims to unveil the influence of environmental perturbations deriving from climate shifts and human activity, including heat and electric current flows, on the capability of geomaterials, geostructures, and geosystems to sustain mechanical loads, allow fluid permeation, and transfer heat. His research program addresses temporal problems lasting from seconds to decades and spatial problems ranging from the size of the particles that constitute soils and concrete to the size of earth-contact structures and cities. With these premises, such work has culminated in unprecedented studies focusing on the performance of civil structures and infrastructures serving as geothermal heat exchangers and thermal batteries (i.e., so-called energy geostructures), the performance of civil structures and infrastructures undergoing the influences of subsurface urban heat islands (i.e., so-called underground climate change), and the performance of novel approaches harnessing thermal and electric energy to tailor the structure, properties, and behavior of geomaterials, geostructures, and geosystems. Ultimately, this work aims to advance geological energy production and storage, manufacturing, and construction, serving human development on Earth and beyond.

Significant Recognition

  • Crain’s Chicago Business’ 40 Under 40 Award, Crain’s Chicago Business, 2023
  • Scott Sloan Best Paper Award, Computers and Geotechnics, 2023
  • Curriculum Innovation Award, The Alumnae of Northwestern University, 2022
  • CAREER Award, The National Science Foundation, 2021
  • World Innovator Under 35, Top 100 Global List, MIT Technology Review, 2021
  • Promising Investigator Award, International Association for Computer Methods and Advances in Geomechanics, 2021
  • Bright Spark Lecture Award, International Society for Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering, 2020
  • Project Awardee for ”CHICAGO: Cooling and Heating Interventions in Chicago Achieved via Geothermal Opportunities,” Seoul Biennale of Architecture and Urbanism, 2021
  • Award for Excellence in Environmental Sustainability Research, Zeno Karl Schindler Foundation, 2019
  • DFI Young Professor Award, Journal of the Deep Foundations Institute, 2018
  • Earth Sciences and Engineering Best Paper Award, 2017, EPFL
  • Excellence in Scientific Research Award, 2016, EPFL

Significant Professional Service

  • Founder and organizer, Northwestern Sustainability Lecture Series
  • Secretary, Energy Geotechnics Task Force, American Society of Civil and Environmental Engineers
  • Task Force Leader, Academia-Industry Partnership for Innovation on Energy Geotechnics, International Society for Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering
  • Editorial Associate, Geomechanics for Energy and Environment
  • Reviewer for international journals, funding agencies, and evaluation committees
  • Member of 10+ technical and scientific societies
  • Instructor of 10+ continuing education courses
  • Reviewer for 20+ international scientific journals in the fields of geomechanics, structural mechanics, energy, and physics

Selected Publications

Laloui L. and Rotta Loria A.F. (2019) Analysis and design of energy geostructures, Elsevier Academic Press, 1098 pages, ISBN: 9780128206232.