Professor Rotta Loria will deliver an invited lecture entitled “Thermal Cycling of Granular Materials: Influence on Engineering Properties” on November 19th, in the context of the XVI Pan-American Conference on Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering, to be held in Cancun, Mexico. The lecture will be focusing on the influence of thermal cycles applied to granular materials such as coarse-grained soils on the related engineering properties and behavior. The results of cutting-edge laboratory experiments and numerical simulations at the particle length scale will address this fundamental subject, allowing to expand on the capability of the investigated materials to sustain mechanical loads, to be permeated by fluids and to transfer heat over thermal cyclic loading.

The book Analysis and Design of Energy Geostructures is out!

Transforming all structures in contact with the ground to provide combined structural support and renewable energy supply to built environments is the cutting-edge role of energy geostructures. Professor Alessandro Rotta Loria is the co-author of a new book, first of its kind, about the science and engineering of energy geostructures.

Energy geostructures are a breakthrough that make the subsurface as a spatial, material and resourceful medium to sustain human activity with a limited impact on the environment. A substantial amount of renewable geothermal energy and waste thermal energy is readily available in the ground. Geostructures, including foundations and general earth-contact structures, are essential means for the structural support of built environments through the ground. By leveraging the previous concepts, energy geostructures represent integrated earth-contact structures and thermal energy carriers for all built environments. The uses of energy geostructures are broad and include, without being limited to, space heating and cooling, as well as hot water production. In most developed or developing countries, such energy requirements constitute from 50 to 80% of the total energy consumed by buildings, whose sector represents from 25 to 50% of the world final energy consumption. Meeting the previous energy requirements via the harvesting of a renewable energy source such as geothermal energy, while also providing combined structural support, makes energy geostructures a powerful technology to revolutionize built environments towards a sustainable end.

Co-authored with Professor Lyesse Laloui, Director of the Laboratory of Soil Mechanics of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne (EPFL) and widely considered as a pioneer in the research and development of energy geostructures, the book “Analysis and Design of Energy Geostructures” is published today to serve the scopes of Geomechanics, Structural Mechanics and Energy. This book focuses on the interdisciplinary and integrated competence required to address the analysis and design of energy geostructures from energy, geotechnical and structural perspectives for the first time. This book also serves as a holistic source of theoretical and experimental competence about heat and mass transfers, as well as of the mechanics of geomaterials and structures to address broad subjects and challenges arising in the fields of civil, environmental and energy engineering, geology, architecture, and urban project management.

Structured in five parts and sixteen chapters, the book “Analysis and Design of Energy Geostructures” provides critical competences that present and future generations of scientists and engineers need to acquire for resolving urgent environmental and societal challenges associated with the built world. The book resorts to generational efforts of scientists in developing competence about energy geostructures, which are gathered in this treatise through an integrated and holistic approach. Blossomed and developed globally for approximately twenty years, the science and engineering of energy geostructures have been continuously and increasingly subjected to utmost attention across the fields of Geomechanics, Structural Mechanics and Energy. The book “Analysis and Design of Energy Geostructures” marks a leadership in this scope that is expected to last for future generations of scientific discoveries and engineering developments.


Lyesse Laloui, Alessandro F. Rotta Loria, “Analysis and Design of Energy Geostructures, Theoretical Essentials and Practical Application,” Elsevier, ISBN: 9780128206232, 2019, p. 1098.

Research paper figures among the top cited since 2016 in the journal Computers and Geotechnics

The co-authored article entitled “Numerical study on the response of a group of energy piles under different combinations of thermo-mechanical loads” by Alice Di Donna, Alessandro F. Rotta Loria and Lyesse Laloui figures as one of the top cited research papers in the international scientific journal Computers and Geotechnics (source: Scopus). The paper presents one of the first analyses available about the multiphysical behavior of so-called energy pile groups, that is, innovative geotechnical structures that can provide combined structural support and energy supply to all types of built environments. The considered research has contributed to the development of fundamental knowledge for the analysis and design of such geotechnical structures, which are subjected to the unprecedented combination of mechanical and thermal loads.