The 1st School “PIERO GAZZOLA” intends to promote the scientific competencies of Egyptian students, professors, scientists, and practitioners in the field of Rock Mechanics applied to the Preservation of Cultural Heritage. Egypt is one of several countries worldwide which has many famous monuments and cultural sites excavated in rock-masses or build in or on or with rock materials whose characteristics, mechanical behaviour and long-term properties should be thoroughly investigated to analyse their current stability conditions and the state of conservation and to design the suitable mitigation measures to be adopted in the respect of site unicity and integrity.

The 1st School “PIERO GAZZOLA” is organized jointly by Cairo University, Academy of Science and Technology, Egypt, Sapienza University of Rome, and Italian Institute for Culture in Cairo. It will be held at Faculty of Engineering – Cairo University. The school is directed by Prof. Daniela Boldini and Prof. Heny Halal. Invited speakers are Daniela Boldini (Sapienza University in Rome), Mohamed Elkarmoty (Cairo University), Abdelrazek Elnaggar (Ain Shams University and Fayoum University), Yasser El Shayeb ( Cairo University and American University in Cairo), Josè Antonio Fernandez Merodo (Geological Survey of Spain), William Frodella (University of Florence), Mohamed Ismael (Cairo University), Edoardo Lusini (University of Bologna), Claudio Margottini (UNESCO Chair in Florence University) and Daniele Spizzichino (ISPRA Dept. of Geological Survey of Italy).

The sessions are scheduled from 14th to 20th May, 2022 and will cover the following topics:

  • geology and engineering geology for cultural heritage preservation of rock construction sites,
  • characteristics of rocks, laboratory tests,
  • mechanical behaviour of rocks and rock-masses,
  • in situ investigation and survey, characteristics of discontinuities,
  • in situ tests (mechanical and geophysical),
  • monitoring techniques,
  • stability of rock slopes (sliding, toppling, rock falls, kinematic analysis),
  • stability of rock constructions including pyramids, underground cavities and tombs,
  • mitigation measures,
  • preservation of rock materials,
  • numerical modelling,

The theoretical sessions will be integrated with hand and computer exercises. A field trip to Saqqara is also planned in May the 20th 2022 to provide a practical application of the theoretical aspects covered during the school.

The total number of participants is 30. Twelve scholarships, covering living and transportation costs, are available for scholars living outside Cairo and Giza. Candidature for participation should be sent by email (rocklab@eng.cu.edu.eg) with subject: ROCK MECHANICS 1ST SCHOOL “PIERO GAZZOLA”.

The selection will be based on the following criteria: 1) enrollment in a Egyptian University not located in Cairo and Giza (maximum 30 points), 2) enrollment in a Master or PhD course in Engineering, Geology, Archeology and Architecture (maximum 10 points), 3) support letter from the institution of belonging (maximum 10 points), 4) English knowledge (maximum 10 points), 5) motivation letter (maximum 10 points) and 6) curriculum vitae (maximum 30 points).

Three scholarships will be assigned to female candidates if present. All applications will be fairely treated and the top 12 candidates living outside Cairo and Giza will be granted the scholarships.

The deadline of application submission is 10th April 2022.

The 1st School “PIERO GAZZOLA” is complemented by a photo exhibition from Piero Gazzola rock mechanics engineering work for the safeguard of Abu Simbel temple in 1960s. Most likely, his work can be considered as the first modern rock mechanic application for the conservation of cultural heritage. Piero Gazzola was the first scientist to envision in 1960, under a UNESCO mandate, the possibility to raise the Abu Simbel temple from the original position being flooded to a safer location. The photo exhibition will introduce the visitor in this incredible adventure for the conservation of Egyptian Cultural Heritage.