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8° LARAM Workshop - Memorial Giuseppe Sorbino

Research on geomechanics: from laboratory to large areas

9 September 2013
Salerno (Italy)

Obituary Prof. Giuseppe Sorbino

The Director of the LARAM School and the Geotechnical Engineering Research Group at the University of Salerno wish to share the beloved memory of the colleague and friend Prof. Giuseppe Sorbino who died, after a short fighting against cancer, on 17 January, 2013.

He was the Head of the Technical Committee of the LARAM School since its foundation in 2005 and one of the School's most valuable promoters, up to the very last few days of his life. He wrote the first draft of the Statute of the School, he made every effort to find public and private funds to support the School and to plan the courses, he was the most active in organizing all the commitments in charge of the Technical Committee, he was an appreciated lecturer during several editions of the School.

Giuseppe will be remembered as a valuable scientist, a talented engineer, a close friend.

As a scientist, he was the first researcher in Italy to write a PhD dissertation dealing with groundwater monitoring and modeling in unsaturated soils. Later on, these studies allowed the mechanical understanding of the catastrophic flowslides in pyroclastic soils which occurred in 1998 in Sarno and in other towns of the Campania region. In this field, he was an appreciated laboratory researcher and carried out excellent experimental activity leading to numerous publications in the international scientific literature.

As an engineer, he was one the main technicians in charge of the territorial survey which was established in Sarno in 1998 to safeguard the residents of the areas affected by the catastrophic flowslides still at residual risk. Later on, he applied his theoretical and field research expertise to solve real complex problems such as the individuation of the triggering and propagation areas of landslides of the flow-type within the pyroclastic soils covering several relieves in the Campania region. In all these activities he was always strongly appreciated by both authorities and people at risk.

As a friend, he was the ideal partner for all the activities developed at the University of Salerno. He had a critical mind and a deep sense of duty. He never said no if challenged by research proposals to solve technical problems never tackled by other scientists. He was brilliant, intelligent, warm, very friendly and gifted with a deep sense of humor. For all that, working with him has always been, above all, a pleasure.

Giuseppe, you will be deeply missed.