João Ramôa Correia

João Ramôa Correia is co-founder and coordinator of the Core Group. He holds a 5-year BSc in Civil (Structural) Engineering (2001), a MSc in Construction (2004), and a PhD (2008) in Civil Engineering, from IST/ULisbon, where he is Full Professor since 2016. In 2012, he was the recipient of the IABSE Prize and in 2016 he received the IIFC Distinguished Young Researcher Award. He serves in the Editorial Boards of Journal of Composites for Construction (Associate Editor), Composite Structures and Fire Safety Journal. From 2018-2021 he was the leader of CEN TC250 Project Team WG4.T2 “FRP Structures”, which developed the European Technical Specification for the Design of Fibre-Poymer Composite Structures.

Fernando Branco

Fernando A. Branco, co-founder of the CORE Group, is a Distinguished Professor of Civil Engineering at IST – University of Lisbon and Past-President of the Civil Engineering Department. He was President of Portuguese Association of Structural Engineers (APEE), President of the European Council of Civil Engineers (ECCE) and President of the International Association for Bridge and Structural Engineering (IABSE). His research activity is illustrated by the supervision of 23 PhD theses, 100 MSc theses, co-authorship of 15 books, 500 scientific papers, 1000 technical reports and 8 patents. He has been consultant for major Public Works in Portugal like the S. João Bridge (world’s longest railway span in cantilever construction), Macau-Taipa Bridge (in China) and Vasco da Gama Bridge (the longest in Europe). He holds several international awards among which an award from the Polish Government, the title of “Honorary Senator” by the European Economic Forum, Advisory Professor by Tongji University and Honorary Member by IABSE.


António Duarte

António Duarte joined the Composites Research Group in 2019, to participate as a Research Fellow in the FCT-funded project ‘FireFloor – Fire Behaviour of GFRP Composite Panels for Rehabilitation of Building Floors’. He has a PhD and an MSc in Civil Engineering, from IST-UL, both in the areas of structural and computational mechanics. He is currently studying the influence of extreme temperatures on the properties of composites. Previously, he developed his investigation on the experimental characterization and numerical modelling of steel, concrete and steel-concrete composite structures and on the numerical modelling of FRP composite structures.

João Pedro Firmo

João Pedro Firmo joined the CORE Group in 2009 to develop his master dissertation about the fire behaviour of reinforced concrete structures strengthened with fibre reinforced polymers (FRP) systems, topic which he pursued to get his PhD degree in Civil Engineering (2015) at Instituto Superior Técnico – University of Lisbon. He currently focuses his research activities on topics related to FRP strengthening systems, concrete structures reinforced with FRP bars and FRP composite sandwich panels, including their behaviour at elevated temperatures and under exposure to fire.

José Gonilha

José Gonilha joined the CORE Group in 2010 as a research assistant on the PONTALUMIS project which envisage to develop a hybrid GFRP-concrete structural system for footbridges. In 2011 he enrolled on the Instituto Superior Técnico – University of Lisbon – Civil Engineering PhD programme, investigating hybrid GFRP-concrete structural systems, obtaining his degree in 2014. Since then, his research has been focused on the structural behaviour of FRP structures, in particular developing structural systems with enhanced seismic behaviour and damage progression models for finite element models structural analysis.

Mário Arruda

PhD at IST from University of Lisbon in Computational Mechanics applied to Civil Engineering, using damage mechanics to simulate the behaviour of concrete structures. During the first years of Post-Doc in ICIST performing research in: composite structures, more precisely orthotropic damage mechanics; thermal-mechanical numerical analysis, for the simulation of fire behavior; applying higher-order beam theories (Carrera Unified Formulation), to study the behaviour of GFRP sandwich panels. At the moment starting research in the field of protection of houses against the actions of Wildland Fire.
Works in CERIS at IST as a Research Associate.

Mário Garrido

Mário Garrido is a member of the CORE Group since 2011. He received his PhD degree in Civil Engineering in 2016 from IST, University of Lisbon, for his work on the development of FRP composite sandwich panel systems for building rehabilitation. He continued to develop this topic during his Post-doc, collaborating with the pultrusion industry, and is currently still engaged in research on the fire behaviour and resistance of FRP sandwich panels. His recent research activities also focus on the sustainability of FRP in construction, where he leads projects aiming at the development of bio-based resin systems and bio-composites.

Mário Sá

Mário Sá joined the CORE Group in 2009 to obtain his PhD degree in Civil Engineering, at IST/UL (2015), concerning the analysis of pultruded GFRP multicellular decks panels, with application to pedestrian bridges. That doctoral research led to the design of the 1st GFRP-steel hybrid footbridge built in Portugal. Previously, at IST/UL, he developed his MSc dissertation about the mechanical and structural behavior of FRP – pultruded GFRP elements. He currently focuses his research on different aspects of FRP materials for civil engineering applications, namely the structural safety of pultruded FRP profiles, the behaviour of composite FRP sandwich panels at elevated temperatures and under sustained loads.

PhD Students

Adriana Azevedo

Adriana Azevedo joined the Composites Research Group in 2017 after obtaining her Master degree in Civil Engineering (area of expertise – Structures) from Instituto Superior Técnico, University of Lisbon. Currently her goal is to study the fire resistance behavior of reinforced concrete structures strengthened with advanced FRP systems, such as prestressed CFRP systems.

André Castelo

André Castelo joined the CORE Group in 2014 to develop his masters dissertation regarding the development of a pre-fabricated a modular house for emergency housing in disaster zones using glass fibre reinforced polymers (GFRP) in structural profiles and sandwich panels.

In 2015, he began is PhD course in Civil engineering (on-going) researching the durability of GFRP profiles, stairs and gratings when exposed to different aggressive environments. During the investigation, a wide inspection of several water and treatment plant was undertook and the results analysed in order to create an Inspection, diagnosis and rehabilitation system for GFRP materials from production to in-service stage. In parallel, an experimental campaign was developed to predict the durability of GFRP materials in different environments, focusing on Natural weathering, UV radiation and chemical exposure.

Bruno Aguirre Tessaro

Bruno Aguirre’s background has its roots in the Computational Mechanics field. He completed his Mechanical Engineering  bachelor’s degree in Brazil at the Catholic University of Rio Grande do Sul (PUCRS) where he started his scientific career working with the simulation of particle laden gravity currents. Right after, he initiated his Master’s in Computational Mechanics with a joint degree between Barcelona Tech (UPC) and the École Centrale de Nantes (ECN), where he graduated as one of the top students. After working some time in the industry, he decided to return to academia by joining the Marie Curie PhD program hosted at  Instituto Superior Técnico (IST) and the École Centrale de Nantes, working with thermo-mechanical modelling of GFRP profiles subjected to fire. In 2021, after consistent collaborations, he was invited to join the CORE Group.

David Martins

David Martins joined the CORE Group in 2013 as a research assistant on the ClickHouse project which aimed at the development of an all-composite temporary housing system. In 2017, he started developing his PhD thesis at Instituto Superior Técnico – University of Lisbon – in Civil Engineering. His current research activities are focused on the structural behaviour of GFRP beam-to-column connections and frames, namely regarding the static and seismic response of such systems.

Eloísa Castilho

Eloísa Castilho joined CORE Group in 2019, within the scope of the FireFloor research project. This project addresses the fire behaviour of GFRP sandwich panels, and Eloísa’s goal is to pursue her PhD studies in this area of expertise. Eloísa graduated in 2004, at the University of Coimbra, and worked as a structural engineer for 5 years. In 2013 she obtained her Master’s degree in Structural Engineering from Instituto Superior Técnico, University of Lisbon, having developed her dissertation at the Portuguese National Laboratory for Civil Engineering (LNEC). Afterwards, she worked and carried out her research at LNEC, as a Junior Research Fellow, on the numerical modelling of the thermal-chemo-mechanical behaviour of concrete dams. With the aim of finding new applications for her knowledge, she applied to the FireFloor project and hopes to contribute to its experimental, numerical, and analytical studies.

Inês Rosa

Inês Rosa started her research in the field of FRP materials in 2015 during her master dissertation, in which she developed experimental and analytical studies about the mechanical behaviour of GFRP pultruded profiles at elevated temperature. In 2016, after obtaining her Master Degree in Civil Engineering at Instituto Superior Técnico, she joined the Composites Research Group where she is currently developing her PhD thesis. Her research activities are currently focused on the bond performance at elevated temperature and fire resistance behaviour of concrete structures reinforced with GFRP rebars.

João Alfredo de Lazzari

João Alfredo de Lazzari became a Building Construction Technician from IFES in 2010 and later, in 2017, got a Civil Engineer bachelor degree from UFES, with an exchange program period at the University of Minnesota. After his graduation, João got his master degree in Civil Engineering, with emphasis in Structures and Materials from COPPE/UFRJ in 2020, where he studied the structural behavior of CFS columns under a couple phenomenon. In 2021, João joined the CORE Group as a PhD Student, and currently aims to develop an accurate design method for GFRP pultruded profiles.

Marina Santos

Marina got her master’s degree in civil engineering from UFPE with a dissertation on the fire structural behaviour of steel columns protected with plaster boards. She received her civil engineering bachelor’s degree from the same university, having a sandwich year in Nantes University. She joined the CORE Group in 2020, as a PhD student in Instituto Superior Técnico, to develop her thesis on the structural behaviour of bio-composites. The main topic of her study is the development of bio-based polymers from wood biomass envisaging their application in the strengthening of concrete structures.

Mateus Hofmann

Master in Civil Engineering with an emphasis on Structures by the Programa de Pós-Graduação em Engenharia Civil (PPGEC) at the Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina (UFSC). He has experience as Professor of Structures in Civil Engineering and Architecture courses in Brazil. He joined the CORE Group in 2017 to develop his PhD thesis at Instituto Superior Técnico of the University of Lisbon with research activities focusing on the development of sustainable fibre reinforced polymer (FRP) composites for structural applications.

Md Abu Toyob Shahid

Md Abu Toyob Shahid joined CORE Group in 2019. He is from Bangladesh and completed KIC double degree masters from IST, Portugal in Energy Engineering and Management specialized in Renewable Energy and from AGH-UST, Poland in Clean Fossil and Alternative Fuel Energy. He did his MSc thesis on regeneration of catalyst used for carbon capture. Currently he is focusing his research as well as pursuing PhD on the durability and sustainability analysis of fibre reinforced biocomposites for civil engineering applications.

Pietro Mazzuca

Pietro Mazzuca joined the Composites Research Group in 2018, as an exchange student, to develop his MSc thesis about the bond behaviour between GFRP rebars and concrete at elevated temperature. After obtaining his master degree in architecture and construction engineering at University of Calabria, he is currently developing his PhD studies focusing on the fire behaviour of GFRP composite panels.

Wallace Maia

Wallace Maia joined the Composites Research Group in 2017. In Brazil, he is Assistant Professor in the Federal University of Maranhão. He received his master’s degree from Federal University of Pará with an MSc Dissertation focused on the study of shear strength of reinforced concrete one-way ribbed slabs. Currently, he studies the structural behaviour of concrete columns reinforced with GFRP bars.