Please, consider submitting your proposal if you are interested in organising a Mini-Symposium (MS) on a subject of your interest within the SMAR 2024 topics.
If this is the case, you might fill out the form available for download below and send it back to us.
Do not hesitate to contact us if you wish to ask more details about the regulations about MS in SMAR conferences and the benefits possibly deriving from organising one of them.


Accepted Mini-Symposia and Special Session


In the era where sustainability and efficiency are paramount, the request for advanced materials in construction has become a pressing concern. This special session aims to inspire researchers to contribute their innovative findings in the field of multifunctional materials, capable of enhancing and expanding the possibilities of modern constructions.
The focus of this research initiative revolves around the integration of thermal-energy, structural, and sensing systems within construction materials. The envisioned materials must harmoniously combine robust mechanical properties with additional functionalities, such as enhanced energy efficiency, and self-monitoring capabilities for deformation detection, among other environmentally conscious features. Incorporating these multifaceted traits in construction materials promises to revolutionize the industry, leading to structures that are not only durable and resilient but also environmentally friendly and intelligently adaptive. Energy-efficient buildings will minimize their carbon footprint, positively impacting the planet and future generations.
We encourage researchers to submit articles detailing their breakthroughs and discoveries in this realm of materials science, towards sustainable constructions that foster a greener, more resilient, and technology-integrated future.


Dionysios Bournas (European Commission, Joint Research Centre (JRC), Ispra, Italy)
Antonio Caggiano (University of Genoa, Italy)
Antonella D’Alessandro (University of Perugia, Italy)
Enrique García-Macías (University of Granada, Spain)
Filippo Ubertini (University of Perugia, Italy)


Iron-based shape memory alloys (Fe-SMA) were first developed and studied at EMPA, Switzerland.
In recent years, researchers from Southeast University, Tongji University, Southwest Jiaotong University, Sichuan University, Dalian Maritime University, Tianjin Polytechnic University and other institutions in China have also invested in research and development of Fe-SMA materials and their engineering application.
With the joint efforts, some achievements have been made, including, the preliminary realization of industrial production capacity, the development of a number of new technology systems in both strengthening of existing structures and intelligent operation and maintenance of new structures in combination with the actual needs of China.
Therefore, this mini symposium is organized to invite Chinese scholars engaged in Fe-SMA to attend and discuss with international counterparts.


Hong Zhu (Southeast University, Nanjing, China)
Zhiqiang Dong (Southeast University, Nanjing, China)


This mini-symposium focuses on structural health monitoring algorithms and applications for damage detection and reliability prognosis of wind energy infrastructures. Structural Health Monitoring (SHM) serves as a valuable tool for monitoring and assessment of structural systems, allowing to quantify uncertainties in the design, effectuate early warning of degradation and detection of damage and abnormal operation, as well as provide inputs for improving design, guiding predictive maintenance, and optimization of operational/control conditions. Applications of SHM encompass various aspects, such as evaluating the operational states under ambient conditions, assessing the effects of structural loads (both extreme and fatigue-related), identifying the system dynamics (mode shapes, natural frequencies and damping characteristics), amongst others. Papers dealing with the following subjects are especially welcomed:

  • Application of artificial intelligence, machine learning or data-driven techniques for condition assessment;
  • Model-driven and data-driven digital twins of structural systems;
  • Experimental investigation and verification of theories;
  • Field applications to real-world structures are especially welcomed.


Yunus Harmanci (Empa, Switzerland)
Vasileios Dertimanis (ETH Zurich, Switzerland)
Eleni Chatzi (ETH Zurich, Switzerland)

This mini-symposium is a forum for scientists and practitioners dealing with intelligent digitalisation in structural health monitoring, predictive maintenance and service life extension of complex engineering structures including Building Information Modelling, Digital Twins and methods of Artificial Intelligence. At that, the digitalization concerns various aspects like geometry, material, loading, simulation, measurements, monitoring, data management, state and damage indicators, lifetime assessment and maintenance, etc. Such topics are in focus of the special research program SPP 100+ funded by the German Federal Research Council (DFG) since 2022. The mini-symposium aims at scientific exchange regarding all relevant topics.


Steffen Marx (Technische Universität Dresden, Dresden, Germany)
Chongjie Kang (Technische Universität Dresden, Dresden, Germany)
Yuri Petryna (Technische Universität Berlin, Germany)

The Mini Symposium welcome original research papers and review papers on smart FRP and steel structures sharing the most recent ideas. It includes new hybrid FRP-steel structures, full FRP structures, innovative strengthening methods for existing metallic structures, and new mechanisms of them. In addition, smart structures including (but not limited to) prestressed structures, structures with intelligent detection/health monitoring, adoptive structures, etc are welcome.


Lili Hu (Shanghai Jiao Tong University, China)
Elyas Ghafoori (Leibniz University Hannover, Germany)
Qianqian Yu (Tongji University, China)
Tianqiao Liu (Beijing University of Technology, China)
Botong Zheng (University of Southern California, USA)

Concrete Bridges are being subjected to increasing demands such as: population growth, higher volumes of commuter and freight traffic and heavier vehicles. Further, environmental deterioration, damage and design defects all contribute to the rise of existing structures which require strengthening. Traditional bridge strengthening methods such as externally bonded steel plates, concrete and steel jacketing have largely been superseded by fiber reinforced polymers (FRP’s) due to their light weight, high tensile strength, resistance to corrosion and durability.
FRP’s are typically applied to concrete members as externally bonded or near surface mounted reinforcement and have been used to strengthened bridges in flexure, shear and torsion. Due to the complexity involved in many bridge strengthening projects and the high strengthening demand, further research is needed into optimal FRP strengthening methods for bridges.
The aim of this session is to focus on the latest research, development and field applications in the area of strengthening of concrete bridges using FRP and other innovative technologies. This may include, externally bonded and near surface mounted FRP systems, pre-stressed FRP, FRP anchorage systems, bond optimization, durability, fire resistant adhesives, numerical simulations, experimental testing, novel strengthening methods and field applications.


Riadh Al-Mahaidi (Swinburne University of Technology, Australia)
Robin Kalfat (Swinburne University of Technology, Australia)

The scientific community is getting more and more interested in exploring the potential of bio-based composites obtained by including some non-conventional constituents in mortars or concretes, deriving from either processing parts of plants (either leaves or stems) or recycling waste produced in agriculture. Noteworthy examples of both those constituents and composites are composite systems incorporating plant fibres (e.g. sisal, curauá or jute) as spread reinforcement, composites systems, with either organic or mineral matrices, incorporating vegetal fibres/textiles, mortars and concretes with bio-aggregates in partial replacement of the coarse ordinary aggregates, and precast elements for structural and/or non-structural purposes (e.g. thermal insulation), bio-based self-healing cementitious composites with bacteria as a healing agent.
This mini-symposium aims at reporting the preliminary results of the international research project entitled “Bio-based Energy-efficient materials and Structures for Tomorrow” (BEST) granted by the EU as part of the Horizon Europe Programme (HE-MSCA-SE-2021, n. 101086440),


Eddie Koenders (TU Darmstadt, Germany)
Marco Pepe (University of Salerno, Italy)

When fiber-reinforced composite are employed as internal or externally bonded reinforcement of existing or new structural members, the bond mechanism, which describes the stress-transfer between the composite and the substrate, represents a key aspect to assure the effectiveness of the system. In fact, a solid and in depth knowledge of the stress-transfer mechanism allows for understating the behavior of the structural element, which in turn makes the formulation of reliable design models possible. This Symposium is focused on the study of the bond mechanism of organic- and inorganic-matrix composites used as external or internal reinforcement for masonry and concrete structures. Experimental, analytical, and numerical contributions aimed at improving the understanding of the stress-transfer mechanism and its modelling for various composite materials are within the scope of the Symposium. Composite materials that are of particular interest in this Symposium are FRP, including bars for internal reinforcement, FRCM, TRM, and SRG composites.


Tommaso D’Antino (Politecnico di Milano, Italy)
Francesco Focacci (eCampus University, Italy)
Christian Carloni (Case Western Reserve University, USA)

Fiber Optic Sensing reliably addresses countless applications in smart structure monitoring, geotechnical survey, hydrogeological assessment, and geophysical exploration. The symposium explores real-world case studies, testing methodologies, and the integration of fiber optics sensing with traditional monitoring techniques, IoT and modern data analytics.

Key Topics:

– Cutting-edge advancements in fiber optic sensing technology

– Applications in smart civil structure monitoring and assessment

– Geotechnical monitoring for safer construction and infrastructure

– Hydrogeological insights through fiber optic sensors

– Geophysical applications for subsurface exploration

This event is a must-attend for civil engineers, geotechnical specialists, hydrogeologists, geophysicists, technology innovators, industry decision-makers, and anyone intrigued by the transformative potential of fiber optic sensing.


Rabaiotti Carlo (OST – University of Applied Science of Eastern Switzerland, Switzerland)
Schenato Luca (Università di Padova, Italy)
Facchini Massimo (fibrisTerre Systems GmbH, Germany – Iridis Solutions GmbH, Switzerland)

The construction sector, which today accounts for about 10 per cent of global Gross Domestic Product, causes 33 per cent of total energy consumption, 40 per cent of raw material use and 40 per cent of solid waste production. It is therefore one of the main sectors responsible for the climate crisis. It follows that in the civil engineering field there are increasing efforts to search for innovative and sustainable materials, technologies, structural solutions, and production processes. These, in addition to being environmentally friendly and technically performing, must represent economically viable solutions over the entire life cycle.

This mini-symposium invites discussion on the need to adopt Life-Cycle Thinking (LCT) approaches in decision-making processes concerning structural design and its effects on the realisation and recovery of civil works. The aim is to consider sustainability in the entire project life cycle, from design to decommissioning. We encourage applications that focus on the life cycle performance of innovative materials, structural components, buildings and civil works, and renovation interventions, from an economic, environmental, social, and integrated perspective.


Antonio Nesticò (University of Salerno, Italy)
Renato Passaro (University of Naples “Parthenope”, Italy)

The aim of this proposal is to highlight the importance of the safety assessment in a multi-risk analysis, cumulating the action coming from two different hazards: earthquake and fire. The strategic aim of the proposal is the development of an integrated approach to evaluate the seismic and fire resistance for both new and existing buildings and infrastructures, designing optimized interventions that include consideration of both seismic and fire resistance. Any contribution inside this framework is well accepted, also with reference to one of the two single hazard, by discussing the possible interaction with the other one.


Emidio Nigro (Department of Structures for Engineering and Architecture, University of Naples “Federico II”, Italy)
Donatella de Silva (Department of Structures for Engineering and Architecture, University of Naples “Federico II”, Italy)
Andrea Miano (Department of Structures for Engineering and Architecture, University of Naples “Federico II”, Italy)

The Mini Symposium welcomes original research articles, case studies, and literature reviews on the use of innovative solutions for the fatigue strengthening of existing structures concrete and steel structures. Innovative solutions include, but are not limited to, the use of externally-bonded composites, shape-memory alloys, additive manufacturing, and post-tensioned cables or plates. The application of these strengthening solutions has become nowadays an increasingly popular practice in construction engineering. However, some aspects regarding the design of their applications are still under investigation by the scientific community.

Potential contributions to this Mini Symposium should include the analytical, numerical, and experimental investigation of these innovative applications.


Pierluigi Colombi (Politecnico Milano 1863, Italy)
Angelo Savio Calabrese (Politecnico Milano 1863, Italy)
Massimiliano Bocciarelli (Politecnico Milano 1863, Italy)
Tommaso D’Antino (Politecnico Milano 1863, Italy)
Qian-Qian Yu (Tongji University, China)
Elyas Ghafoori (Leibniz University of Hannover, Germany)

Environmental sustainability is a fundamental issue in the construction field accounting for large energy consumption and CO2 emissions. The sustainability of building materials can be improved by replacing the raw materials with eco-friendly components. A topic of great interest is to investigate the mechanical performances of natural fibres in composite materials as an alternative to artificial fibres, having minor environmental impact and lower costs. Natural fibres are suitable for structural applications due to their high strength and stiffness and, in many cases, they also provide an enhancement of the thermal properties of the building components. The Mini Symposium is aimed at gathering ideas and trends of the research regarding the use of natural fibres for eco-compatible building products and seismic-energy retrofitting solutions. The main topics of interest are the results of experimental tests, numerical analyses and case studies on the application of natural fibres in new and existing buildings.


Antonio Formisano (Department of Structures for Engineering and Architecture, University of Naples “Federico II”, Italy)

Massimiliano Gioffrè (Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Perugia, Italy)

Research in risk and reliability evaluation of existing structures is gaining momentum in recent years due to the pressing need to evaluate the safety of existing structures and develop plans for asset management. The goal of this mini session is to further bridge the gap between research advancements and practice in the field of risk and reliability assessment of existing structures. This mini symposium focuses on risk-based decision-making process for repair versus replacement, practical applications of novel reliability evaluation techniques based on real-life case studies, use of finite element simulation for reliability assessment, and novel structural safety evaluation measures including robustness.

Papers related to the following areas are welcomed:

  • Case studies on reliability evaluation of existing structures
  • Computational based reliability assessment including nonlinear stochastic/random finite element simulation.
  • Reliability of deteriorating structures
  • Adaptive reliability methods for structural evaluation
  • Risk based methods for asset management of civil infrastructure.


Fadi Oudah (Associate Professor in Structural Engineering, Lead of the Structural Assessment and Retrofit Research Group (SAR), Canada)

The Mini-Symposia of “Shape Memory Alloys (SMAs) for Engineering Applications” is dedicated to papers dealing with cutting-edge issues on research and application of SMAs in structural engineering. The topics include but are not limited to:

  • Advances in the material development and characterization of SMAs
  • SMA-based low damage (self-centering) structural systems
  • Novel prestressing applications of SMAs
  • Numerical and analytical modeling of the SMAs for structural engineering applications
  • SMAs as sensors for structural health monitoring
  • Active vibration control in structural engineering using SMAs

Hybrid composites of SMAs and polymers for structural engineering applications.


Saim Raza (Empa-Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology, Swiss)
Moslem Shahverdi (Empa-Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology, Swiss)

Numerous bridges and viaducts constructed in the previous century have now reached or are approaching the end of their operational lifespan. Many of these structures exhibit visible signs of structural deterioration, influenced by factors such as structural typology, design specifications, environmental conditions, and maintenance practices. Furthermore, the unexpected increase in traffic loads, including the transit of so-called exceptional loads, has underscored the need to comprehensively assess the safety of these structures in light of real operational conditions.

As a result, in recent years, the global scientific community has been increasingly driven to explore both model-based and data-driven monitoring systems. These systems are crucial to meet the growing demand of network managers in efficiently and insightfully addressing the surveillance and maintenance of bridges and viaducts.

The mini symposium is dedicated to gathering research findings primarily focused on (i) innovative and automated techniques for analysing inspection images, (ii) non-invasive diagnostic methods that can be easily replicated over time for monitoring purposes and (iii) methods for processing data collected through instrumental monitoring systems installed on bridges.


Antonio Bilotta (University of Naples Federico II, Italy)
Francesca Da Porto (University of Padua, Italy)
Marco Di Prisco (Polytechnic University of Milan, Italy)

The special session of “Digital Manufacturing in Construction” is dedicated to papers dealing with cutting-edge issues related to research and application of additive manufacturing in construction. The topics include but are not limited to:

  •  3D Concrete Printing and Its Emerging Structural Applications
  • Development of Sustainable and Low-Carbon Mix Designs for 3D Concrete Printing
  • CO2 Sequestration of 3D Printed Concrete
  • Wire Arc Additive Manufacturing (WAAM) for Next Generation Infrastructure
  • Strengthening of Metallic Structures using Wire Arc Additive Manufacturing


Saim Raza (Empa-Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology, Swiss)
Elyas Ghafoori (Institute for Steel Construction, Leibniz University Hannover, Germany)
Moslem Shahverdi (Empa-Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology, Swiss)