PRE-ECO is for an exploratory study into a new approach to the problem of design, manufacturing and analysis of printed composite materials.

Additive manufacturing brought to the emergence of a new class of fibre-reinforced materials; namely, the Variable Angle Tow (VAT) composites. AFP and FDM machines allow the fibres to be relaxed along curvilinear paths within the lamina. In theory, the designer can conceive VAT structures with unexplored capabilities and tailor materials with optimized stiffness-to-weight ratios. In practise, steering brittle fibres, generally made of glass or carbon, is not trivial. Printing must be performed at the right combination of temperature, velocity, curvature radii and pressure to preserve the integrity of fibres. The lack of information on how the effect of these parameters propagates through the scales, from fibres to the final structure, represents the missing piece in the puzzle of VAT composites, which today are either costly or difficult to design because affected by unpredictable failure mechanisms and unwanted defects (gaps, overlaps, and fibre kinking).


Multi-scale mechanics

Implement global/local models for the simulation and analysis of printed composites with unprecedented accuracy from fibre-matrix to component scales.

Defect quantification and propagation

Develop a (hybrid) metamodeling platform based on machine learning for defect sensitivity and optimization.

Design for manufacturing

Bridge the manufacturing signature with the final structure in a multi-scale sense for setting new rules and best-practices to design for manufacturing.


  • Alfonso Pagani is the coordinator of PRE-ECO project and serves as associate professor at the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Politecnico di Torino. He earned a Ph.D. in Aerospace Engineering at City University of London in 2016 and, earlier, a Ph.D. in Fluid-dynamics at Politecnico di Torino under the supervision of Prof. E. Carrera.

    In 2018, Alfonso joined California Institute of Technology as visiting associate to work on acoustics of meta-materials. Also, he spent research periods at Purdue University in 2016, where he worked on micro-mechanics of fibre-reinforced composites with Prof. W. Yu; RMIT Melbourne in 2014, where he developed models for flutter analysis and gust response of composite lifting surfaces with Prof. E. Carrera and M. Petrolo; at Universidade do Porto in 2013, where he carried out investigations on the use of RBFs for the solution of equations of motion of higher-order beam models with Prof. A.J.M. Ferreira; at London City University in 2012, where he formulated exact, DSM-based models for metallic and composite structures with Prof. R. Banerjee.

    Alfonso is the co-author of some 150 publications, including 90+ articles in International Journals, which have collected more than 1200 citations (h-index 21, source: Scopus). He acts as a reviewer for more than 20 International journals and is associate editor for Advances in Aircraft and Spacecraft Structures, an Int’l Journal (Techno-Press) and the International Journal of Dynamics and Control (Springer).

  • Alberto Racionero is a PhD student at Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Politecnico di Torino. He graduated in September 2019 as an Aeronautic Engineer at ETSIAE (School of Aeronautics of Polytechnic University of Madrid). He developed his Master’s thesis at MUL2 group, as a part of the Erasmus student exchange, working on the surrogate modelling of CUF via Artificial Intelligence. Priorly, he obtained his Aerospace Engineer bachelor degree at ETSIAE by discussing his bachelor project developed at ITP Aero, where he worked with in-house CFD solvers. His current research topics are related with defect modelling, sensitivity analysis, surrogate modelling and optimisation of composite structures.








Alfonso Pagani
Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
Politecnico di Torino
Corso Duca Degli Abruzzi 24, 10129 Turin
t: (+39) 011-0905875