Skip to content

Wind engineering the unconventional: challenges and lessons learnt

Event organised by Wind Engineering Society

11 October 2023

This event has now ended


The event will include two talks:

  • Past and present unconventional structures: two wind tunnel studies - Claudio Mannini, University of Florence, Italy and representing ANIV.
  • Small structures, bespoke and novel designs – the structural designer perspective versus the wind engineer perspective - Anna Bagnara, NOVA Fluid Mechanics, UK and representing WES.

Claudio’s talk will highlight unconventional wind engineering features for two very different iconic structures, namely the gothic Cathedral of Notre Dame de Paris (France) and the large roof of the new terminal of Rabat-Salé Airport (Morocco). In the first case, the building geometry and the strong interaction with the surrounding urban environment make inaccurate the standard pressure coefficient envelopes that may be adapted from codes and standards. In the second case, the complicated wavy shape, the large overhangs, and the light supporting lattice structure prevent a simple quantification of the loads and ask for potentially burdensome dynamic analyses under the wind action. For both case studies, wind tunnel tests were crucial to understand the aerodynamic behaviour of the structures and to quantify the wind loads.

Anna’s talk will provide several examples of structures that failed in wind. A mixture of small and large structures, all of which characterized by relatively unconventional and novel designs, will be shown. The talk will aim to answer a few questions:

  • Do structural designers have the necessary tool to safely design these structures?
  • Are codes of practice a suitable starting point?
  • How can structural engineers recognize wind-sensitive structures?
  • How can they decide when to involve a wind expert?

A few case studies will be shown and discussed and a strategy for improvement will be proposed. 

Organised by

The UK Wind Engineering Society

The UK Wind Engineering Society

The WES exists to promote the advancement and application of knowledge in all aspects of wind engineering.

Italian  Association for Wind Engineering

Italian Association for Wind Engineering

The Italian Association for Wind Engineering aims at deepening and spreading the knowledge in the broad, multi-disciplinary field of Wind Engineering among researchers, consultants and practitioners based in Italy. ANIV is Member of the International Association for Wind Engineering (IAWE), and open to the International community.


Anna Bagnara

Anna Bagnara

NOVA Fluid Mechanics

Technical Director

Read more

Anna Bagnara

Anna has over 20 years’ experience in applied unsteady bluff-body aerodynamics, ranging from numerical applications to experimental work. Her extensive consulting experience in the field of wind engineering includes both the ordinary and the unique and it covers highly specialized technical subjects such as aeroelasticity, climatology as well as full-scale structural monitoring.

In her career she has been commercially and technically involved with the appraisal of a wide range of wind-sensitive structures such as tall buildings, stadia and arenas, airports, bridges, sculptures and offshore structures. Anna is Technical Director at NOVA Fluid Mechanics since 2019, where she is responsible for technically supervising the most challenging commercial projects and for research & development activities.

Prior to the incorporation of NOVA Fluid Mechanics in 2019, Anna spent 17 years at BMT where she worked as Manager of the Bridges and Special Structures Team and Technical Manager.

Claudio Mannini

Claudio Mannini

Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Florence

Assistant Professor of Structural Engineering

Read more

Claudio Mannini

Claudio is assistant professor of structural engineering at the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Florence, Italy. He got the Ph.D. degree from the University of Florence and TU Braunschweig (Germany) in 2006.

Since 2021, he is the director of the Interuniversity Research Centre for Building Aerodynamics and Wind Engineering (CRIACIV) and scientific manager of the CRIACIV Boundary Layer Wind Tunnel. He received the ANIV Award in 2008, the IAWE Junior Award in 2011, and the EASD Junior Research Prize in 2014. He was a member of the Committee for the revision of the Italian Recommendations CNR-DT 207 (“Guide for the Assessment of Wind Actions and Effects on Structures”).

His main research interests are bluff-body aerodynamics, wind-induced vibrations and wind loads on structures, addressed from theoretical, computational and experimental points of view.

For more information please contact:

Fiona Oteng


Sustainable Development Goals: