Giuseppe Buscarnera, assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering at Northwestern University’s McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science, has received a Faculty Early Career DevelopmentAward from the National Science Foundation.

The program recognizes and supports early career development of teacher-scholars who are most likely to become the academic leaders of the 21st century. The minimum award size is $400,000 for a five-year period. It’s the NSF’s most prestigious awards for new faculty members. 

Buscarnera’s research and teaching focus on understanding the interactions between environmental processes, human activities and the materials that constitute the Earth’s surface.

Buscarnera is particularly interested in studying the mechanical behavior of soils and rocks and the formulation of predictive theories for assessing the spatial and temporal dynamics of natural hazards.

He also focuses on the environmental risks associated with the deployment of natural resources and the implementation of underground energy technologies.

Buscarnera received the award for his proposal “Mechanics of Geomaterials Exposed to Multi-Physical Perturbations.” In this work, Buscarnera will research the role of environmental processes and human activities in the deterioration of the mechanical properties of geological materials.

The main objective is to understand the activation of deformation and failure events in natural settings and devise quantitative methods to assess the risk of damage to civil and industrial infrastructure.

Buscarnera will work with European research groups active in the area of natural hazard science, providing unique research opportunities to graduate and undergraduate students.

Buscarnera joined Northwestern in 2011 from the Politecnico di Milano in Milan, Italy.

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