Research Projects

The following international and national research projects have led to a number of fruitful collaborations with colleagues (who often became good friends) as well as students, lab and field technicians and others, all of whom are listed as co-authors or in the aknowledgments of the relevant publications, which can be found in the main menu under  Journal Articles, Books and Chapters. 

2018-2022. Dielectric Characterization of the Polar Cap, by perforations at Dome-C (Concordia Station, Antarctica). Funding agency: Italian National Research Project in Antarctica-PRNA. Italian Ministry for Education and Research. Project Leader:  Alberto Toccafondi (Department of Mathematics and Information Technology, University of Siena), Partners :

Roberto Olmi (Institute of Applied Physics, National Research Council, Sesto Fiorentino), Rita Traversi (Department of Chemistry, University of Florence), Marco Bittelli. Collaborators: Saverio Priori (Institute of Applied Physics, National Research Council, Sesto Fiorentino). Photo: courtesy of Saverio Priori. Website: PNRA


Concordia Station (Antarctica)
Stefano Banfi and Romain Dufhil coring at Dome-C

2019-2021 Prediction of soil hydro-agricultural properties using Ground Penetrating Radar for Improving Agricultural Practices. Funding agency: SPARC, Scheme for Promotion of Academic and Research Collaboration, Ministry of Human Resource Development, India. Collaboration between Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, India and University of Bologna.
Project Leader: P. Anbazhagan (Department of Civil Engineering, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, India) Partners: Marco Bittelli. Collaborators: Rao Raghuveer Pallapati, Silas Abraham Gangapatnam, Pushkar Mahajan. Website: SPARC

Indian Institute of Science, with Anbu, Rao and students
GPR radargram
GPR prospections

2016-2019 Monitoraggio intelligente per infrastrutture sicure (INFRASAFE). Funding agency: European Funds for Regional Development (POR-FES). Ricerca e Innovazione della Regione Emilia-Romagna. Project Leader: Guido Gottardi (Department of Civil, Chemical, Environmental and Materials Engineering – University of Bologna). Partners:  Marco Bittelli. Collaborators: Laura Govoni, Irene Rocchi, Carmine Gerardo Gragnano (Department of Civil, Chemical, Environmental and Materials Engineering – University of Bologna). Website: INFRASAFE

Failure of Secchia river leeve
Section of Secchia River
Scheme of experimental design

2010-2016. Dielectric spectroscopy of soils (SOILSPECTRA). Funding agency:  Institute of Applied Physics (IFAC), National Research Council, Italy.
(Project Role and responsability: partner). Project Leader: Marco Bittelli. Partner: Roberto Olmi, (Institute of Applied Physics, National Research Council, Sesto Fiorentino).

Water Adsorption
Network Analyser
Relaxation processes in a clay soil sample

2016-2019. New Methods for Particle Size Analysis. Funding Agency: University of Padua and University of Bologna. Project Leader: F. Morari (Department of Agronomy, Food, Natural resources, Animals and Environment, University of Padua); Partners: Marco Bittelli; S. Pellegrini and M.C. Andrenelli (Council for Agricultural Research and Economics, Research Centre for Agriculture and Environment, Firenze). Collaborators: Iliaria Piccoli (University of Padua).

Laser diffraction
Particle morphology

2012-2016. Nonlinear Dynamics Approaches for Incorporating Wind-Speed Patterns into Wind-Power Project Evaluation. Funding agency: University of Florida (USA). Project Leader: R. Huffaker, (University of Florida). Partner: Marco Bittelli.

Wind Farm
Flow chart for wind data analysis
Wind energy supply dynamics

2014-2020. Shallow Landslides Measurement and Modelling in the Northern Italian Apennines.
Funding Agency: Lombardy region. Project Leader:  Claudia Meisina (Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Pavia). Partners: Marco Bittelli; Roberto Valentino (University of Parma); Collaborators: Massimiliano Bordoni (University of Pavia).

Landslide in vineyard
With Roberto, Claudia and Davide installing sensors

2004-2010. Development and testing of a physically based, three-dimensional model of surface and subsurface hydrology. Funding Agency: Regional Agency for Environmental Protection (ARPAE), Emilia Romagna Region. Project Leader: Marco Bittelli. Partners: Fausto Tomei, Alberto Pistocchi and Gabriele Antolini (ARPAE). Collaborators: Markus Flury (Department of Crop and Soil Sciences, Washington State University, USA), Jan Boll and Erin S. Brooks (University of Idaho, USA).

Experimental Catchment (Troy, Idaho)
A beautiful day at the experimental site in Troy, Idaho.

2014-2016. Optimization of energy transport in underground power cables by soil thermal analysis. Funding agency: University of Bologna. Project Leader: Marco Bittelli. Partner: Oclon P., Dr. P. Cisek, M. Pilarczyk, D. Taler, R. Rao(Institute of Thermal Power Engineering, Cracow University of Technology), E. Kroener (University of Julich, Germany) and A. Vallati (Dept. of Astronautical, Electrical and Energetic Engineering, Sapienza University of Rome).

Numerical solution of heat flow

2010-2013. Assessment of the SMOS Soil Moisture Product With In Situ and Modeled Data in Italy and Luxembourg. Funding Agency: National
Research Council of Italy and by the project “EUMETSAT Satellite Application Facility on Support to Operational Hydrology and Water Management (H-SAF). Project Leader: L. Brocca (Research Institute for Geo-Hydrological Protection, CNR, Perugia, Italy); Partners: W. Wagner (Institute of Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing, Vienna University of Technology); J. Martínez-Fernández (Centro Hispano Luso de Investigaciones Agrarias, Universidad de Salamanca),  P. Llorens (Institute of Environmental Assessment and Water Research, Barcelona);  C. Martin( UMR-6012 ESPACE, Département de Géographie, Université de Nice-Sophia-Antipolis). Collaborator: Marco Bittelli

Location of the study sites

2014-2020. Snow cover analysis in Emilia-Romagna Funding Agency: ARPAE. Project Leader: Marco Bittelli. Collaborators: E. Muzzi (University of Bologna), Spisni A., F. Tomei, S. Pignone, Dr. A. Panzacchi, G. Antolini, G. Villani, M. di Lorenzo, R. Foraci (ARPAE); Erin S. Brooks (University of Idaho, USA).

Corno alle Scale
MODIS snow detection using satellite and model data
Comparison of heated and not heated pluviometers in Cimone mountain region.

2006-2016. Chaos and Fractals. Marco Bittelli.

From bifurcations into chaos for the logistic equation
Time series of wind velocity before analysis of chaos parameters
Strange attractor

2004-2007Using the Water Erosion Prediction Project (WEPP) Model to Simulate Field-Observed Runoff and Erosion in the Apennines Mountain Range. Funding Agency: Departmnent of Agro-Environmental Science and Technology, University of Bologna, Emilia Romagna Region. Project Leader: Marco Bittelli. Partners: P. Rossi Pisa, F. Ventura,  J. Q. Wu (Washington State University). Collaborators: L. Pieri and F. Salvatorelli (University of Bologna).

Experimental Catchment (Centonara, Ozzano Emilia, Bologna)
Sediment collection system

2008-2014. Agroscenari: Scenari di Adattamento dell’agricoltura Italiana ai cambiamenti climatici. Funding agency: Italian Ministry of Agriculture and Forests. Subsection: irrigation and water budget (Decreto Ministeriale n. 325/7303/2007 del 28 dicembre 2007). Project Leader: V. Marletto (Regional Agency for Environmental Protection, Emilia Romagna Region). Partner: Marco Bittelli. Collaborators: Gabriele Antolini, Fausto Tomei and Giulia Villani (Regional Agency for Environmental Protection, Emilia Romagna Region)

Analisi simulazioni scenari climatici

2003-2006. Shallow Landslides Investigation Device (SLID):
a tool to assess land susceptibility to shallow landslides.
European Commission. LIFE environment. Project Leader: Farabegoli (Department of Geology, University of Bologna). Partners: Paola Rossi Pisa and Marco Bittelli. Collaborators:  Fiorenzo Salvatorelli, Marco Vignudelli (University of Bologna).

Geologic formation (Calanchi) in the Apennines
Digital Elevation Model of the experimental site
Experimental Station for landslide monitoring

2005-2008. Nuove Metodologie relative a progetti integrati di parchi archeologici dell’area Mediterranea.
Elaborazione, sperimentazione, verifica di tecnolgie avanzate e
trasferibilita’ dei risultati nella valorizzazione di aree a rilevante interesse culturale, ambientale e artistico. Selezione di casi studio in Siria settentrionale e Turchia Orientale. Ministry of Education, Universities and Research, (Rome,Italy). FIRB. Project Leader: Nicolò Marchetti (Department of Archaeology, University of Bologna). Partners: Paola Rossi Pisa, Marco Bittelli, Maria Speranza (Department of Agriculture and Food Sciences, University of Bologna), Gabriele Bitelli, L. Vittuari (Department of Civil, Chemical, Environmental and Materials Engineering – University of Bologna).

Tilmen Hoyuk (Turkey)
Tilmen Hoyuk Archaelogical Site
GPR Time Slices

2003-2006. Soil Energy and Water Budget: Measurements and Modelling“. Ministry of Education, Universities and Research, (Rome, Italy). Grant “Rientro dei Cervelli” (Brain Drain Project). Project Leader: Marco Bittelli.

Earth energy budget terms
Earth Energy Budget Terms

2001-2002. Dielectric Spectroscopy of Frozen Soils. Funding Agency:  University of Heidelberg (Germany). Project Leader: K. Roth. Project Role: Post-doctoral researche

Plate capacitor for Impedance Analysis
Experimental setup with liquid nitrogen

1999-2001. A low cost scanning thermodieletric analyzer to obtain freezing characteristics of foods,
soils, and other materials. Funding agency: Washington Technology Center, Seattle, WA, USA and Decagon Devices Inc. (Pullman, WA). Project Leader: G.S. Campbell and M. Flury. Project Role: PhD student.

Prototype of the ThermoDielectric Analyzer (TDA)
TDA, sensor and electronics

1997-2000. Effect of foliar application of Chitosan on water use in crops.
Financing agency: Washington Technology Center, Seattle, WA, USA. Project Leader: M. Flury (Washington State University). Project Role: PhD student.

SEM images of abaxial side of pepper leaves: (A) control leaf, stomata open; (B) chitosan-treated leaf, stomata mostly closed.