UMinho researcher receives a grant to protect earthquake heritage

The researcher at the University of Minho Paulo B. Lourenço was awarded a grant of 3 million euros from the European Research Council (ERC) to study how to protect the historical built heritage of seismic risk.

The announcement was made today, in a statement, by the University of Minho (UMinho), which underlines that under the scholarship, Paulo B. Lourenço will develop, over the next five years, an “innovative” approach to assessing heritage security built with cultural value, when subjected to earthquakes.

In question is an integrated experimental and numerical methodology to describe “in a precise way” the structural behaviour of historic buildings.

The project will generate integrated numerical and analytical tools for safety assessment and new regulations to safeguard historic buildings in terms of collapsing and limiting damage.

A new “big” equipment is also planned for installation at the Institute for Bio-Sustainability of UMinho.

This grant will contribute to solving a societal problem linked to the United Nations’ 2030 agenda for safe, resilient and sustainable cities and to preserve our identity through the preservation of historic heritage,” said Paulo Lourenço, quoted in the statement.

It adds that it is the recognition of the Institute for Sustainability and Innovation in Structural Engineering of UMinho as “international reference” in the areas of physics and engineering.

The researcher is a professor in the Department of Civil Engineering at the School of Engineering of the University of Minho, co-director of the Institute for Sustainability and Innovation in Structural Engineering and co-director of the Institute for Bio-Sustainability.

He is a specialist in structural conservation and forensic engineering, having worked in more than one hundred monuments, among them the Palace of Belém, Jerónimos Monastery or Oporto Cathedral.

Since 2007 he has been the coordinator of the European Masters in Structural Analysis of Monuments and Historical Constructions and co-editor of the International Journal of Architectural Heritage.

UMinho has already achieved eight ERC scholarships in the various competitions, three advanced scholarships for established scientists, three career consolidation and two career awards.

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