- A522 Portland Square, Drake Circus, Plymouth, PL4 8AA
- +44 1752 5567310
Dr Irene Manzella
Associate Professor of Engineering Geology and Geohazards
School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences (Faculty of Science and Engineering)
Associate Professor in Engineering Geology and Geohazards
Programme Leader of the MSc in Environmental and Engineering Geology
Deputy Scientific Leader of the Geohazards, Geoengineering and Georesilience theme of the Geological Society of London
Geo-Environmental Science Research Leader for the Environmental Futures and Big Data Impact Lab project
Member of the University Research and Innovation Committee
Member of the School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences Research Committee
Postgraduate Certificate in Academic Practice (with Distinction). University of Plymouth.
Ph.D. (2008), Rock Mechanics Laboratory, Civil Engineering Institute, Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (Swiss Institute of Technology), Switzerland.
Master of advanced study (2002) in Settlements upgrading for cooperation and development, Politecnico di Milano (Italian Institute of Technology), Faculty of Architecture.
M.Sc. and B.Sc. (2001, old Italian 5 years degree), Environmental and Territorial Engineering, Politecnico di Milano (Italian Institute of Technology) . Major: ‘Difesa del suolo’, i.e. hydro-geological engineering, rock, soil and fluid mechanics with application to geohazards.
Université de Genève: Geneva, Switzerland, Department of Earth Sciences. Maître-Assistante/ Senior Research and Teaching Associate(2012-2017)
Geological Survey of Norway, NGU, Trondheim. Visiting Researcher (October 2016).
Laboratoire Magmas et Volcans (Clermont-Ferrand, France). Visiting Researcher (August-September 2015)
Université de Genève: Geneva, Switzerland, Department of Earth Sciences. Post-doc (2009-2011)
Massachusetts Institute of Technology: Cambridge, MA, United States, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. Visiting researcher (august 2010) and Postdoctoral fellow (July-December 2008)
Fellow of the Geological Society of London
Fellow of the Higher Education Academy
Member of the International Association for Engineering Geology and the Environment (IAEG)
Member of the IAVCEI International Association of Volcanology and Chemistry of the Earth's Interior
Member of the Women exchange for disaster risk reduction
Roles on external bodies
Chair of the South West Group of the Geological Society of London
Member of the NERC Peer Review College (PRC)
University Representative of the UK Alliance for Disaster Research (UKADR)
Participants to the AURORA programme 2019
My experience and background has given me solid basis for teaching theoretical subjects such as rock and soil mechanics, fluid and granular dynamics and more practical ones such as engineering geology, geological risk and hazards, with a particular interest in landslides and volcanoes.
- GEOL3002 Earth Science Independent Research Project and Professional Skills
- GEOL3001 Geological Mapping Research Project and Professional Skills
Study of geophysical fluid and granular flow dynamics processes with a multi-disciplinary approach, through experimental and numerical modelling. Hazard and risk assessment of multiple and complex volcanic and landslide phenomena, e.g. debris flows and rock avalanches, lahars and tephra fallout, mass flow induced tsunamis. More recently I am developing and becoming more and more interested in the use of data mining, crowd sourcing, smart sensors and machine learning applied to geo-environmental risks and citizen science.
Research degrees awarded to supervised students
Dr Valérie Baumann (2nd Supervisor) PhD project, University of Geneva: Rain-triggered lahar initiation in volcanic areas (completed in 2018)
Dr Gholamhossein Bagheri (Supervisory team) PhD project, University of Geneva: Experimental study of deposition and aggregation of volcanic particles (completed in 2015)
Sewedo Todowede (Supervisor) MSc Data Science and Business analytics, University of Plymouth: Extraction and analysis of social media data for volcanic/landslide events monitoring (completed in 2020 as best in his cohort with a high first)
Fabian Boujoun (Supervisor) MSc Geology, University of Geneva: Approche numérique et expérimentale pour comprendre le dynamisme des granular flows (completed in 2014)
Aline Cuomo (2nd Supervisor) MSc Geology, University of Geneva: Landslide hazard and risk assessment on the Vulcano Island, Italy (completed in 2014)
Helene Monnard (2nd Supervisor) MSc Geology, University of Geneva: Convective instabilities in volcanic plumes (completed in 2010)
Grants & contracts
Live funded projects:
- NERC - SENSUM: Smart SENSing of landscapes Undergoing hazardous hydrogeological Movement, Co-I, Leader of Plymouth team and of 2 WPs
- RAEng, Frontiers of Development - NET: New technologies and participatory approaches for disaster resilience, PI
- NERC – Tsunamigenic mass flows at Stromboli Volcano- analysis and modelling after the 3rd of July events, PI
- European Regional Development Fund, Environmental Futures and Big Data Impact Lab, Geo-Environmental Research Leader
- Swiss National Science Foundation SNSF – Modelling settling-driven gravitational instabilities from volcanic clouds, Co-I (in the supervisory team of Allan Fries and Jonathan Lemus)
- Director of Studies of Symeon Makris PhD project: Propagation of volcanic and non-volcanic landslide: a combined field, experimental and numerical approach
Previous grant and fellowship awarded:- 2020 Royal Academy of Engineering as 1 participant to the Frontiers of Development symposium on Disaster Resilience. Istanbul 1-4/03/2020
- 2018 SEED Funding from the School of Geography Earth and Environmental Sciences of the University of Plymouth to develop the granular flow set-up
- 2016 International short visit SNSF grant at the NGU, Torndheim, Norway
- 2016 Fondation Ernst et Lucie Schmidheiny grant for attending ISL conference
- 2015 European Science Foundation ESF Exchange Grant to spend one month at the Laboratoire Magmas et Volcans (Clermont-Ferrand, France)
- 2015 Société Académique to participate to the IUGG meeting in Prague
- 2013 Birkigt Foundation to participate to the IAVCEI meeting, Japan
- 2011 Faculty of the Sciences de la Terre et de l’Environnement for acquiring new equipment for the geophysical fluid dynamic laboratory
- 2010 ERC grant to partcipate to Cities on Volcanoes
- 2010 Fondation Ernst et Lucie Schmidheiny grant for attending four international conferences in May-June 2010
- 2009 Fondation Ernst et Lucie Schmidheiny research project grant “Risks related to geophysical gravitational flows”
- 2008 Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) Early Post-doc mobility for a year fellowship at the MIT, MA, US
Key publications are highlightedJournals
Reports & invited lectures
- Invited Online Lecture, 02/12/2020, University of Cagliari, Esplosioni, collassi di versante e tsunami a Stromboli: come capirli, prevederli e prepararci
- ProGeo 2020, 27/11/2020 Introductory webinar, The growing importance of digital and innovative technologies in geo-environmental practice
- Kyoto, Japan, World Landslide Forum, WLF 2020, invited talk, Manzella I. Granular flow experiments and mobility of large mass flows
- Looe, UK, SWOUGS 2019, invited talk, Manzella I. Using small scale laboratory experiments to understand volcanic and landslide hazards
- Exeter, UK, PROGEO 2017, invited talk, From landslide propagation to volcanic ash dispersal. How experiments can help in understanding processes and in assessing hazard
- Clermont-Ferrand, France: invited seminar at the Laboratoire Magmas et Volcans, 01.09.2015. An experimental multidisciplinary approach to understand hazardous flows in volcanic environment
- IUGG Prague, invited talk, 28.06.2015 Gravitational instabilities and their role in enhancing fine-ash deposition
- University of New Brunswick, Canada, invited seminar, 16.06.2015 Understanding hazardous geophysical flows: a combined experimental- numerical multidisciplinary approach
- Manchester, UK: invited seminar. 31.07.2013. Experimental, DEM and FEM/DEM modeling of granular and block flows to investigate large debris avalanche mobility.
- Rome, Italy: invited talk to the Second World Landslide Forum, 3-9.10.2011. DEM and FEM/DEM modelling of granular flows to investigate large debris avalanche propagation.
- Clermont-Ferrand, France: invited seminar at the Université de Blaise Pascal, 15.06.2011. Physical and numerical modelling of large debris avalanche propagation.
- Vienna, Austria: invited talk to the European Geosciences Union (EGU) General Assembly, 03-08.04.2011. Propagation of large debris avalanches: analytical, DEM and FEMDEM modelling of granular and block flows.
- Cambridge, US: MIT Geotechnical and Geomechanical invited Seminars, 28.10.2008. Dry Rock Avalanche Propagation
- Geneva, Switzerland: invited seminar University of Geneva, 08.02.2008. Dry rock avalanche propagation: Unconstrained flow experiments with granular materials and blocks at small scale.
- Courmayeur, Italy: Joint international technical committee on landslides and engineered slopes (JTC1) Workshop, 25-28.09.2006. Parametrical study of rock avalanche propagation by means of small scale physical modelling.
ProGeo 2020 Online Digitalisation and Innovation in Geo-environmental Practice (Chair and organiser)
Organiser of the Webinar of the South West Group of the Geological Society of London by Dr Heike Wanke 9 July 2020
VMSG The Volcanic and Magmatic Studies Group Annual Meeting 7-9 January 2020 Organising committee
Chair of the session on Hazard Risk and Communication,
Co-convener of COV session 2021 on volcanic instabilities
Co-convener of IAVCEI 2021 on volcanic instabilities
Chair of ARMA session 2019 on Rock engineering and risk
Co-convener of EGU sessions since 2015 on large slope instabilities
Other academic activities
- ProGeo 2020 Online Digitalisation and Innovation in Geo-environmental Practice (Chair and organiser)
- Organiser of the Webinar of the South West Group of the Geological Society of London by Dr Heike Wanke 9 July 2020
- VMSG The Volcanic and Magmatic Studies Group Annual Meeting 7-9 January 2020 Organising committee
- Chair of the session on Hazard Risk and Communication VMSG 2020
- Co-convener of COV session 2021 on volcanic instabilities
- Co-convener of IAVCEI 2021 on volcanic instabilities
- Co-convener of 2 sessions at vEGU 2021 and co-convener of EGU sessions since 2015 on large slope instabilities
- Chair of ARMA session 2019 on Rock engineering and risk
- Workshop for the award winning event Girls into Geoscience Volcanoes, landslides, tsunamis – why look at one? Let’s do them all!
- Workshop on Amazing dangerous volcanoes, Girls into Geosciences, 2018
- TecDay, Gymnase de Beaulieu, Lausanne, 10.10.2014 and collège Emilie-Gourd, Gèneve, 15.10.2013
- Inauguration day of the Geophysical Fluid Dynamic Laboratory of the Université de Genève, 13.05.2011
- Visit “La face cachée des volcans” for the Journée de l’egalité, Université de Genève, 12.11.2009
- Stand of the Volcanology group for the « Nuit de la Science », Genève, 13.06.2009
Languages: Italian (C2), English (C2), French (C2), Spanish (B1), German (B1 understanding, A2 written and spoken)