Silvano Marchetti has been Professor of Soil Mechanics at the University of L'Aquila, Italy, from 1980 to 2008 and faculty member since 1970.
He received his MSc degree in Civil Engineering in 1966 from the Politecnico di Torino, where he was Michele Jamiolkowski's first graduate student. In 1967 he obtained the MSc in Soil Mechanics at the Imperial College, London. In 1968 he was a consultant engineer at the Studio Geotecnico Italiano (SGI) in Milano.
In 1980 he was invited as Visiting Professor at the University of Florida in Gainesville, where he spent one year of teaching and research in cooperation with John H. Schmertmann.
Silvano Marchetti has been a prominent engineer and researcher in the field of Geotechnical Engineering, with special expertise in ground characterization from in-situ testing. His research and professional practice are strongly related to the development of the flat dilatometer (DMT), an in-situ testing tool which is also widely known as the "Marchetti dilatometer" by the name of its inventor.
In the first years of activity he published on several geotechnical design topics (shallow foundations, deep sea offshore platforms, caissons and quay walls, piles subjected to axial and lateral loads, wave equation analysis of driven piles, slope stability, diaphragm walls and retaining structures, geotechnical instrumentation, monitoring densification). Afterwards he concentrated mainly on in-situ testing. He started to develop the flat dilatometer in the mid 1970s and in 1980 he published the fundamental paper on the DMT In Situ Tests by Flat Dilatometer in the ASCE Journal of the Geotechnical Engineering Division. This paper was selected as one of the 78 historical papers included in the ASCE Geotechnical Special Publication No. 118 (2003) History of Progress: Selected U.S. Papers in Geotechnical Engineering, which contains a collection of papers by founders of Soil Mechanics (Terzaghi, Proctor, Casagrande, Peck) and over 60 other "geotechnical engineering pioneers".
The DMT has expanded the range of direct-push in situ tests and has been gaining increasing popularity in the recent years, potentiated by the release of its seismic version (SDMT). The flat dilatometer test is currently used in over 70 countries and coded in international standards (ASTM, ISO), building codes (Eurocode 7) and guideline documents (ISSMGE TC16 2001). Over 1000 papers, involving the use of the DMT/SDMT and covering a wide range of applications, have been published by researchers from numerous countries around the world.
As an active writer and professor, Silvano Marchetti has been a consultant in a variety of geotechnical projects. He has been General Reporter/Panelist in several international and national conferences and invited as lecturer in numerous Universities and Research Institutes worldwide. He has lectured at several courses organized by engineering professional associations. Three international conferences have been held on the DMT: Edmonton 1983, Washington DC 2006 and, in particular, Rome 2015 (DMT'15), where he had a leading role as chairman and editor. He has been a member of international and national technical committees, including the ISSMGE Technical Committee TC16 (now TC102) – Ground Property Characterization by In-Situ Tests.
Prof. Mike Jamiolkowski with Prof. Silvano Marchetti at DMT’15 (Rome 2015)
Prof. John Schmertmann with Prof. Silvano Marchetti at DMT’15 (Rome 2015)