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Francesco Tornabene

Personal information and short biography

Francesco Tornabene Born in Bologna, on January 13th, 1978

SSD: Structural Mehcanics, ICAR/08 Affiliation (since September 10th 2018): Department of Innovation Engineering, Università del Salento, Lecce.

Affiliation (up to September 9th 2018): DICAM, Dipartimento di Ingegneria Civile, Chimica, Ambientale e dei Materiali, Scuola di Ingegneria e Architettura, Alma Mater Studiorum - University of Bologna, Bologna.

List of Titles

2004 - Today: Author of more than 210 scientific publications.

2004 - Today: Reviewer activity for more than 160 National and International Journals.

September 2018 - Today: Assistant professor at the University of Salento.

July 2018 - Today: Member of the European Academy of Sciences (EurASc).

June 2018 - Today: Member of the International Research Center on Mathematics and Mechanics of Complex Systems (M&MOCS).

5 April 2018 - 5 April 2024: National Academic Qualification as Full Professor in Mechanics of Solids and Structures (08/B2)

September 2017: First author of the scientific paper: “F. Tornabene, N. Fantuzzi, M. Bacciocchi, E. Viola (2018) - Mechanical Behavior of Damaged Laminated Composites Plates and Shells: Higher-Order Shear Deformation Theories, Composite Structures 189, 304-329”, winner of “IAN MARSHALL’S AWARD for Best Student Paper” during the ICCS20, 20th International Conference on Composite Structures, September 4, 2017.

August 2017 - Today: Co-Editor of the International Journal: The Open Civil Engineering Journal.

7 April 2017 - 7 April 2023: National Academic Qualification as Associate Professor in Mechanics of Solids and Structures (08/B2) and Aeronautic, Aerospace and Naval Engineering (09/A1).

January 2017 - Today: Editor-In-Chief of the International Journal: Journal of Composites Science.

January 2017 - Today: 40th position and ranking 20 in the Top Italian Scientists List (Engineering Area) (

October 2016: Second Author of the scientific paper: “N. Fantuzzi, F. Tornabene, M. Bacciocchi, R. Dimitri (2017) - Free Vibration Analysis of Arbitrarily Shaped Functionally Graded Carbon Nanotube-Reinforced Plates, Composites Part B 115, 384-408” winner of the “Best Student Paper Award”, during the International Conference Multiscale Innovative Materials and Structures - MIMS16, October 28-30, 2016.

2014 - Today: Editor-In-Chief of the International Journal: Curved and Layered Structures.

2014 - Today: Co-organizer of International Conferences: SPB2015 (International Conference on Shells, Plates and Beams, 9-11 September 2015, Bologna, Italy), MECHCOMP2 (2nd International Conference on Mechanics of Composites, 11-14 July 2016, Porto, Portugal), ICCS19 (19th International Conference on Composite Structures, 9-11 September 2016, Porto, Portugal), MECHCOMP3 (3rd International Conference on Mechanics of Composites, 4-7 July 2017, Bologna, Italy), ICCS20 (20th International Conference on Composite Structures, 4-7 September 2017, Paris, France), ICCS21 (21th International Conference on Composite Structures, 4-7 September 2018, Bologna, Italy).

April 2014: First Author of the Scientific Paper: “F. Tornabene, A. Ceruti (2013) - Free-Form Laminated Doubly-Curved Shells and Panels of Revolution Resting on Winkler-Pasternak Elastic Foundations: A 2-D GDQ Solution for Static and Free Vibration Analysis, World Journal of Mechanics 3(1), 1-25”, considered as one of the best papers published in the Engineering section at the Scientific Research Publishing Inc.

2013 - Today: Member of the Editorial Board of International Journals: Journal of Engineering (from November 2017 to Today), International Journal of Engineering & Applied Sciences (from October 2017 to Today), Composite Structures (from 2016 to Today), Technologies (from 2016 to Today), Journal of Applied and Computational Mechanics (from 2016 to Today), Journal of Composites Science (from 2016 to Today), Advanced Materials and Technologies (from 2015 to Today), Heliyon (from 2014 to Today), International Scholarly Research Notices (from 2014 to Today), Mathematical Problems in Engineering (from 2014 to Today), ISRN Mechanical Engineering (from 2013 to Today), Journal of Computational Engineering (from 2013 to 2017), Advances in Aircraft and Spacecraft Science (from 2014 to 2016).

June 2013: First Author of the Scientific Paper: “F. Tornabene, N. Fantuzzi, E. Viola, E. Carrera (2014) - Static Analysis of Doubly-Curved Anisotropic Shells and Panels using CUF Approach, Differential Geometry and Differential Quadrature Method, Composite Structures 107, 675-697”, winner of the “IAN MARSHALL’S AWARD for Best Student Paper” during ICCS17, 17th International Conference on Composite Structures, June 21, 2013.

April 2012 - Today: Representative for the Erasmus exchanges of the School of Engineering and Architecture for the Civil Engineering courses and for several internship in companies.

April 2012 - Today: Member of the Scientific Committee of the CIMEST Centre and International Conferences: CACMSIstanbul2015 (1st International Conference on Advances in Composite Materials and Structures, 13-15 April 2015, Istanbul, Turkey), CACMSSaoPaulo2016 (2nd International Conference on Advances in Composite Materials and Structures, 25-27 April 2016, Säo Paulo, Brazil), ICCS18 (18th International Conference on Composite Structures, 15-19 June 2015, Lisbon, Portugal).

June 2012 - Today: inserted in the website Shell Buckling People (

April 2012 - Today: Author, promoter and developer of the software DiQuMASPAB (Differential Quadrature for Mechanics of Anisotropic Shells, Plates, Arches and Beams).

April 2012 - Today: Lecturer at the Alma Mater Studiorum - University of Bologna for the following Classes: Dynamics of Structures M for the a.y. 2012/2013 and 2013/2014; Computational Mechanics M fort the a.y. 2013/2014; Theory of Structures M from the a.y. 2014/2015 to the Today; Plates and Shells M from the a.y. 2014/2015 to Today.

April 2012 - September 2018: Assistant professor at the Alma Mater Studiorum - University of Bologna.

2012 - Today: Invited Chairman and organizer of thematic sessions in various International Conferences: ICMNMMCS2012 (International Conference on Mechanics of Nano, Micro and Macro Composite Structures, Torino, Italy, 18-20 June 2012), ICCS17 (17th International Conference on Composite Structures, Porto, Portugal, 17-21 June 2013), AIMETA2013 (XXI° Convegno Italiano dell’Associazione Italiana di Meccanica Teorica e Applicata, Torino, Italy, 17-20 September 2013), MECHCOMP2014 (1st International Conference on Mechanics of Composites, Stony Brook University, Long Island, USA, 8-12 June 2014), ICCM2017 (8th International Conference on Computational Methods, Guilin, Guangxi, China, 25-29 July 2017), ICCM2018 (9th International Conference on Computational Methods, Rome, Italy, 6-10 August 2018).

November 2011 - January 2012: Fixed-term researcher for the research programme entitled: Advanced Computation systems for Anisotropic Materials.

February 2011 - October 2011: Owner of the Research Grant entitled: Design Methodologies for Recycling Applied to the Nautical Field.

2009 - Today: Research Activity in collaboration with Professors of Foreign and National Universities, such as: Daniel J. Inman, Isaac B. Elishakoff, Serge Abrate, J.N. Reddy, Antonio J.M. Ferreira, Erasmo Carrera, Romesh C. Batra, Mohamad S. Qatu, Ashraf M. Zenkour, Moshe Eisenberger, Alex Kalamkarov, Salvatore Brischetto, Fernando Fraternali, Luigi Ascione, Saeed Kamarian, Ramkumar Kandasamy, Yong Li, Giovanni Della Puppa, M. Trautz, S. Cao, M. Nejati, A. Asanjarani, Giorgio Zavarise, Patrizia Trovalusci, Francesco Ubertini, Stefania, Tomasiello, R. Jiwari, Domagoj Lanc, Rita F. Rango, Liz G. Nallim.

January 2007 - January 2009: Owner of the Research Grant entitled: Unified Formulation of Shell Structures Made of Anisotropic Materials. Numerical Analysis by means of the Generalized Differential Quadrature Method and the Finite Element Method.

May 2007: Obtained the PhD in Mechanics of Structures. Title of the Thesis: Modeling and Solution of Shell Structures made of Anisotropic Material.

January 2005 - December 2011: Adjunt Professor (tutor contract) activities of supporting the teaching for the course of Structural Mechanics L, a.y. 2005/2006 and a.y. 2007/2008, for the course Mechanics Design and Laboratory T, a.y. 2010/2011.

November 2004: Winner of the Carlo Felice Jodi grant for graduated students in structural mechanics.

January 2004: Obtained the Qualification for the Mechanical Engineering Profession.

Dicembre 2003: First position obtained in the competition for the admission in the PhD courses in Mechanics of Structures.

July 2003: Degree in Mechanical Engineering at the Alma Mater Studiorum – University of Bologna. Title of the thesis: Dynamic Behavior of Cylindrical Shells: Formulation and Solution.

July 2001: Patent for the Industrial InventionFriction Clutch for High Performance Vehicles”, Question n. BO2001A00442 field on 13-07-2001 in Bologna. Owner: Alma Mater Studiorum - University of Bologna.

Luglio 1997: High School Degree (“Maturità Classica) achieved at the Liceo Classico “S. Luigi” in Bologna.




Scientific Activities

The investigated research topics are the following:

Research Topics

  1. Research activity in “Structural Mechanics”: Theory of Plates and Shells, Theory of Arches with Variable Cross-Section and Curvature, Theory of Beams.

  2. Research activity in “Computational Mechanics”: Generalized Differential Quadrature Method, Finite Element Method, Strong Formulation Finite Elements, Time Integration Methods.

  3. Research activity in “Innovative Materials and Smart Materials”: Functionally Graded Materials, Carbon Nanotubes, Variable Angle-Tow Composites.

  4. Research activity in “Fracture Mechanics”: Orthotropic and Piezoelectric Materials.

  5. Research activity in “Elastic Stability”: Non-Conservative Forces.

Research Activities

The research activity aimed mainly to investigate the structural behavior of composite doubly-curved shells, focusing the attention also to the innovations in the industrial processes for the development of new classes of materials. All the considered theoretical models have been validated by means of numerical applications based on the differential quadrature method. These topics can be included in the macro categories, presented in detail in the following.

Structural Mechanics

The research activity in the structural mechanics topic has focused mainly on the analysis of plates and shells made of composite materials. Shell structures occupy an important role in civil, mechanical, architectural, aerospace and naval engineering. The wide use of shells in engineering is due to several advantages. These structures show an extraordinary efficiency in bearing with external loads, a high degree of resistance, good stiffness and a high strength-to-weight ratio. For these reasons, doubly-curved shells have been the main topic of several researches from 1940 up to date.

A shell is a three-dimensional solid that can be studied with the classical theory of elasticity. However, the calculations based on this kind of theory could be computationally burdensome, since these models require a huge number of degrees of freedom. The initial three-dimensional problem is reduced to a two-dimensional one defined on the middle surface of the structure through the introduction of appropriate hypotheses. In addition to the classic theory of elasticity (3D Elasticity), several Higher-order Shear Deformation Theories (HSDTs), characterized by different kinematic models, have been developed and analyzed. The theoretical framework on which these theories are based is given by the so-called Carrera Unified Formulation (CUF). The formulation in hand has allowed the study and the consequent implementation in a computational code of two different approaches to deal with composite doubly-curved shells: the Equivalent Single Layer (ESL) and the Layer-Wise (LW). The first approach uses a kinematic expansion of the generalized displacements referred to the shell middle surface; the second one, instead, considers the displacements on the lower and upper surfaces of each layer that composes the laminate as main degrees of freedom, whereas the intermediate displacements represent the kinematic expansion of the model. It is important to remind that the CUF includes also most of the classical theories, such as the Classical Shell Theories (CSTs) and the First-order Shear Deformation Theories (FSDTs). Examples of these approaches are the Kirchhoff-Love and Reissner-Mindlin theories, respectively.

The geometries under investigation includes doubly-curved shells and panels (shells of revolution and shells of translations), singly-curved shells (conical, cylindrical and spherical shells), and degenerate shells (circular and rectangular plates). By means of the differential geometry, it has been possible to evaluate all the geometric parameters involved in the governing equations of the considered structures. In the more general circumstance of arbitrarily-shaped shells, the coefficients at issues, such as the main radii of curvature, have been defined in a principal and orthogonal curvilinear coordinate system. In addition, free-form shells and panels have been investigated. Their peculiar shapes have been mathematically defined by means of the so-called Bézier curves.

The structural theories that describe the mechanical behavior of a singly-curved shell of translation are used also to deduce the corresponding higher-order theories for planar beams with curvilinear axis made of composite materials. The Carrera Unified Formulation still represents the theoretical framework of the theories at issue. Nevertheless, the expansion along the width coordinate has been neglected in order to analyze arches and beams characterized by variable cross-sections and curvatures.

The validity of these models has been proven by many numerical applications, in terms of dynamic and static behavior. In particular, a posteriory stress and strain recovery procedure has been developed for the static analysis. This procedure has allowed to obtain useful results for the structural design, by using the three-dimensional elasticity equations. This aims at avoiding the delamination, an issue that typically affects laminated composites. All the results have been accomplished by means of a MATLAB code and can be easily obtained again. The comparison with the values obtained by some commercial codes, such as Ansys, Nastran, Abaqus, Femap, VisualNastran Desktop, Pro\Engineer and Straus, has allowed to prove the validity of the considered structural models.

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