Newcastle Chapter

Experimental and numerical study on the performance of rockfall protection barriers for hazard mitigation

Dr Michele Spadari


Managing the rockfall hazard is a complex task involving several phases, from site characterisation to the design of protective structures. Despite the increasing interest in rockfall-related research over the last few decades, some issues remain only partially addressed to date. In particular, the criteria for the design of flexible metallic barriers are potentially flawed by block size effects, and the predictive tools for the simulation of block trajectories can be improved with a better interpretation of in situ rockfall tests. Also, some of the barrier designs currently in use can be optimised, allowing for better cost-effectiveness.

About Dr Michele Spadari Michele Spadari

Michele graduated in Civil Engineering at Università degli Studi di Parma, Italy, where he completed a theoretical and numerical study on the hydromechanical behaviour of natural rock discontinuities. He obtained a PhD at The University of Newcastle, carrying out experimental and numerical research on barriers for rockfall hazard mitigation. His PhD research included in situ rockfall tests, rockfall hazard analysis, numerical modelling of rockfall barriers, and laboratory testing of full-scale barriers and components. Michele is currently employed as a Professional Officer in the Civil Engineering Laboratory at the University of Newcastle.

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