Faculty Directory
Alessandro Rotta Loria

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)

M.Sc. in Building Engineering, Politecnico di Torino 

B.Sc. in Building Engineering, Politecnico di Torino

Research Interests

Professor Rotta Loria works at the intersection of geomechanics, energy, and environmental sustainability. In this context, he develops with his group theoretical and experimental investigations to understand, characterize, and predict the impact of energy transfers on the structure, properties, and behavior of geological materials: soils, rocks, concrete, and systems thereof. This work aims to unravel how structural modifications caused by perturbations that include thermal and electric fields affect the capability of geological materials to sustain mechanical forcing, to transfer heat, or to allow fluids permeation, from depths of meters to kilometers. Rotta Loria's overarching goal is to understand geological materials at their most fundamental – structural – level and to investigate the essential features of their properties and behavior (e.g., thermo-hydro-chemo-mechanical).

The aim of this basic research is threefold: (1) Inspire new, environmentally friendly techniques to engineer geomaterials via minimal and renewably generated energy; (2) Invent novel geotechnologies to help conserve or develop the natural and built environments via the harvesting or storage of energy; (3) Conceptually develop geosystems with reconfigurable capabilities to cope with environmental forcing and general human activity needs. The theories and results developed by Rotta Loria's group serve unprecedented interactions with the subsurface, with the aim to revolutionize the sustainability and quality of our lives.

Significant Recognition

  • Bright Spark Lecture Award, International Society for Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering, 2020
  • 2021 Seoul Biennale of Architecture and Urbanism, Main Exhibition Project Awardee, “CHICAGO: Cooling and Heating Interventions in Chicago Achieved via Geothermal Opportunities”, 2020
  • Zeno Karl Schindler Prize for excellence in environmental sustainability research, 2019
  • DFI Young Professor Paper Competition Award, 2018
  • Earth Sciences and Engineering award, EPFL, 2017
  • Excellence in scientific research award, EPFL, 2016
  • Optime Award for excellence in M.Sc. studies, 2013
  • Ivrea Gas Agency award for excellence in B.Sc. studies, 2011

Significant Professional Service

  • Founder and organizer, Northwestern Sustainability Lecture Series, 2020
  • Task Force Leader, Academia-Industry Partnership for Innovation on Energy Geotechnics, International Society for Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering, 2019-present
  • Editorial Associate, Geomechanics for Energy and Environment, 2018-present
  • Reviewer for 20+ international scientific journals in the fields of energy, geomechanics, structural mechanics, and physics, 2017-present

Selected Publications

Laloui L. and Rotta Loria A.F. (2019) Analysis and design of energy geostructures, Elsevier