Be Boundless

IABSE Outstanding Paper Award


July 13, 2020

Paolo Calvi

Assistant professor Paolo Calvi

In recognition of his work to investigate the collapse of the Morandi Bridge in Italy, assistant professor Paolo Calvi is one of eight recipients of a 2020 Outstanding Paper Award bestowed by the International Association for Bridge and Structural Engineering (IABSE).

The award is presented annually to the authors of a paper published in the preceding year’s issues of IABSE’s journal Structural Engineering International, with the goal of “encouraging and rewarding contributions of the highest quality.”

In collaboration with researchers in Italy, Calvi co-authored a paper titled “Once Upon a Time in Italy: The Tale of the Morandi Bridge,” which was recognized as an outstanding paper in one of two categories, the scientific paper category. The paper details the collapse of a portion of the Morandi Bridge in Genoa, Italy, which killed more than 40 people in 2018. The researchers investigated the history of the bridge leading up to the tragic event and discuss possible inadequacies of the bridge and potential reasons for the collapse. Built during the Italian construction boom in the 1960s, the bridge suffered from a variety of structural issues that were reproduced by the authors through complex non-linear analyses and advanced numerical models exceeding 500,000 degrees of freedom.