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Thesis projects available

THESIS PROJECTS AVAILABLE FOR A.Y. 2019-20

Unibo Supervisor: Dr. Camilla Colla 

  • Location: LISG Engineering Laboratory, via Terracini, Bologna

Many historical and heritage buildings are made of masonry. However the word “masonry” includes a high-variety of types, varying in materials (bricks, stones, mixed materials), workmanship, section, etcetera. In this laboratory experience, the candidate will deepen knowledge on masonry and on the use of non-destructive testing techniques for investigating historical masonry walls in controlled conditions, learning how to find out their characteristics and possible defects or decay. Project available starting date: spring 2020. 

  • Location: LISG Engineering Laboratory, via Terracini, Bologna

Masonry walls as found in historical buildings may appear similar from the outside, however the wall section can vary significantly from wall to wall. From this, the quality of construction changes considerably and so its behaviour. In this laboratory experience, the candidate will learn about different types of masonry sections and will investigate masonry both indirectly via non-destructive testing techniques and through direct mechanical test, acquiring a personal experience of testing procedures and equipment for measurements, learning specific skills spendable in the work market or for further studies after this degree. Project available starting date: spring 2020. 

  • Location: Province of Verona, Veneto region

Re-use and re-destination of abandoned or under-used buildings require a preliminary knowledge of the state of health of construction materials and of the structure, as well as knowledge of the history of the object. Together with visual inspection procedure, a number of non-destructive methodologies are available to the scientists for investigating different materials for different purposes. In this thesis’ project proposal, the candidate will have the opportunity of self experimenting (under close guidance by the tutor and assisting the tutor) with procedures and methodologies, including testing techniques such as IR thermography and radar in order to learn where and how to investigate areas of the building and how to set-up and use the equipment in order to collect valuable data. Special focus on timber. A few days of in-field experience in a historical villa will be spent in data collection. To this, data post-processing and visualization will follow by using specific software on own laptop or on lab computer. The candidate will acquire specific, highly-technical and characterising skills, spendable in the work market after the degree. Project foreseen starting date: February-March 2020. 

  • Location: province of Brescia, Lombardy region, Italy

Italy, as every other world’s country, has a large stock of heritage and historical buildings, in use for different purposes, including private or public use. Although in use every day, such historical buildings, especially if they have public function, need maintenance and upgrade to comply with legislation, in order to reduce risk to citizens and goods. However, no intervention on the object can start prior to having collected a detailed and complete knowledge of the conditions of its materials and structure. In addition to visual inspection, non-destructive investigation techniques can rapidly provide valuable information about employed construction techniques, materials used, hidden areas inside sections, defects, various forms of decay. In a small town, at about 1000 m altitude, investigations will be carried out in historical stone masonry constructions via combined use of different non-destructive testing techniques, in order to collect sufficient knowledge about the building. In the first part of the project, the candidate will take part in person in the investigations on site, lasting a few days, and will be instructed on correct procedures and methodologies (including use of IR thermography and GPR radar). In the second part of the experimental project, data post-processing and visualization will take place by operating specific software on own laptop or on lab computer. While working on site, the candidate can expect to see different professionals working at the same time (architects, engineers, restorers, surveyors, art historians, communication media managers, …).The candidate will acquire specific and characterising skills, spendable in the work market or suitable for further studies. Project foreseen starting date: end of February-beginning of March 2020. 

 

Unibo Supervisor: Silvia Mirri, PhD 

  • “Virtual Koguryo Cave: design and development of a virtual environment with Blend4Web”

The aim of this thesis is to collaborate with a computer science master degree student at the design and development of a virtual environment reproducing a Koguryo Cave by using Blend4Web technology (https://www.blend4web.com/). The thesis will investigate the design issue of the project from an “expert in the field” point of view, collaborating at the design of the virtual environment and of the interaction flows and mechanisms and at the evaluation phases of the system. The student will be partially involved in the development of the software. 

  • “Act like a Cultural Heritage Diagnostician: design and development of a Serious Game”

The aim of this thesis is to collaborate with a computer science master degree student at the design and development of an interactive game, by using web-based technologies. The game will be mainly devoted to be played by kids, teenagers and young adults. The goal of the game is to involve people, engaging them in learning and understanding cultural heritage diagnosis, how they work, which information and results they can provide. The game will let the player simulate the application and the conduction of some analysis and diagnosis on a predefined set of pieces of art. The player will earn points and scores by applying them. The student will be involved in the design of the game elements and the game mechanisms, in the design of the interface and in the development of an interactive prototype (based on the interface). The student will be partially involved in the development of the software.  

  • “Diagnosis dataset collection for a machine learning-based classification”

The aim of this thesis is the collection and the definition of datasets coming from the results of different diagnosis and analysis (such as FTIR microscopy) that can be applied on samples collected from cultural heritage. Such datasets will be used to train a machine learning algorithm, so as to classify results of analysis and then to provide better support to Cultural Heritage Diagnostician in identifying uncertain cases. The student will investigate the cases needed to train the system, defining certain and uncertain cases and will be involved in evaluation phases. The student will collaborate with a computer science master degree student, who will be in charge of the machine learning algorithm implementation and of the software development.

Unibo Supervisor: Prof. Daniela Pinna


- Natural biocides for stone protection

The thesis will develop tests to assess the efficacy of new natural biocides for stone protection against biodeterioration processes. The research will deal with procedures for the selection of new biocides and tests of the interaction with materials. Activity in lab and in the field (in Roman area) will be planned.

- Biodeterioration aspects of hypogea

The thesis will focus on some recurrent biodeterioration aspects of Roman or Etruscan hypogea (e.g. cyanobacteria or actinobacteria colonization).

- Prof. Sergio Favero Longo of Universita’ di Torino: Evaluation of the suitability of bioluminescent ATP-metry with a portable luminometer to assess the efficacy of biocide treatments against stone biodeteriogens

The thesis will develop tests to evaluate the suitability of a portable luminometer for ATP detection by bioluminescence, usually adopted to monitor surface hygiene in food industry, to quantify the viability of photoautotrophic and heterotrophic lithobionts, recognized as biodeteriogens of stone cultural heritage, and the efficacy of treatments for their control. Investigations will be carried out in the Laboratory of Lichenology (ISO 9001:2015) of the Department of Life Sciences and Systems Biology of the University of Torino.