Barbara Rossi

Barbara Rossi

Tutor in Engineering; Associate Professor in Engineering Science
Engineering Science
BEng, MSc, MAS, Phd ULiège, Associate Professor KU Leuven

I was born in Liège on February 23, 1980. I joined New College in March 2019 as a Tutor in Engineering Science (Structures & Mechanics). Prior to being appointed as a tenure-track associate professor at the University of Oxford, I was an associate professor at KU Leuven in Belgium, where I steered a research group exploring the structural behaviour of metallic structures, with a special interest in stainless steel and harsh environment, where corrosion plays an important role. Over the last ten years, I also branched into the research area of life-cycle analysis and sustainability appraisal of (metal) structures, a research topic that I really enjoy. Today, I lead the Sustainable Metal Structures Research Group at the University of Oxford. My research takes a focus on the role of metals in structures to improve the construction sector sustainability and resilience. We study materials such as ultra-high strength steel, stainless steel, aluminium, or a combination of these, used in structures such as bridges, windmills, radioactive waste disposal facility, wastewater treatment plant. Advanced analytical and computational analysis are combined with experimental methods to perform both fundamental and applied research. Our experiments are conducted on structures or part thereof in the new Sustainable Metal Structures Laboratory, at Begbroke. 


I will teach Structures & Mechanics and will contribute to the lecture courses and practical classes in Civil Engineering in the Department of Engineering Science. In particular, I teach Structural Failure and Design of bridges in Metropolitan area. 

Research Interests

The research topics that I pursued up to now concern the behaviour of metal (steel, stainless steel, aluminium) structures under different kinds of loads and environments. For example, during the past year, my team developed new design guidance for the lateral-torsional buckling of welded duplex beams. It was an exciting research project during which we designed a completely new test set-up and tested very large, welded beams up to failure. Based on these tests, we were able to validate Finite Element Models and draw new methodologies to design these components effectively, saving materials at source. Today, my team is studying the behaviour of hybrid carbon-to-stainless steel welded joints under fatigue. This kind of material combination is occasionally used in bridges where some parts of the structure are exposed to corrosive environments and, there, stainless steel appears to be a suitable alternative to carbon steel equivalents. One of the research topics I also really enjoy concerns the life-cycle assessment of steel structures. A new project, currently ongoing, deals with the evaluation of the corrosion rate of duplex welded connections submitted to highly corrosive environment, in nuclear waste geological storage units. Thus, maintaining an acceptable level of reliability over the whole life-cycle, considering the possible material deterioration, is here of paramount interest. Recently we received funding to study Wire-Arc additive manufacturing of steel components when submitted to cyclic loading combined with corrosion.   

Selected Publications

  • Column Curves for Stainless Steel Lipped Channel Sections
  • Lifecycle cost assessment of high strength carbon and stainless steel girder bridges
  • Post-fire mechanical properties of carbon steel and safety factors for the reinstatement of steel structures
  • Lateral Torsional Buckling of Welded Stainless-Steel I-Profile Beams: Design and Reliability
  • Design manual for structural stainless steel
  • Life-cycle assessment of residential buildings in three different European locations
  • Behaviour of structural stainless steel cross-sections under combined loading
  • Combined distortional and overall flexural-torsional buckling of cold-formed stainless steel sections


Barbara Rossi's Engineering profile

Barbara Rossi's KU Leuven profile

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