Department of Engineering / Profiles / Dr Giovanna Biscontin

Department of Engineering

Dr Giovanna Biscontin


Giovanna Biscontin

University Associate Professor

Academic Division: Civil Engineering

Research group: Geotechnical and Environmental

Telephone: +44 1223 7 68044



Research interests

Dr. Biscontin’s work focuses on characterizing and modeling the response of soils, especially when subjected to cyclic loading, such as earthquakes. Her interests are also related to offshore deposits and soft marine clays in particular.

Submarine landslides threaten offshore infrastructure and have the potential to generate destructive tsunamis. Dr. Biscontin’s experimental research using simple shear testing and examining the effects of anisotropy and multi-directional loading have led to better understanding of the seismic triggering of submarine landslides and especially the effect of gentle slopes on the response to shaking.

The offshore environment subjects structures to loading that differs in many important ways from that of land-based conditions. For this reason, Dr. Biscontin is developing new design tools and guidelines to ensure the safety of the infrastructure we increasingly install offshore, such as wind farms.

Her work also included numerical modeling of field experiments to evaluate shear modulus nonlinearity directly, constitutive modeling of Venice Lagoon compressive response, and seafloor-riser interaction.

More recently, Dr. Biscontin has extended her research into probabilistic methods applied to geotechnical engineering and DEM modeling as a way to gain insight on granular material response to multi-directional cyclic loading.

Strategic themes

Energy, transport and urban infrastructure

Design of offshore wind tower foundations, ultimate resistance of plate anchors to combined loading, interaction of steel catenary risers with the seefloor, design of mechanically stabilized earth walls.

Complex, resilient and intelligent systems

Seismic triggering of submarine landslides, probabilistic assessment of deformations due to excavations.