Architecture, Culture and Tectonics Research Group

Image of Paolo Beccarelli

Paolo Beccarelli

Associate Professor in Architectural Structures. PART 2 Programme Senior tutor, Faculty of Engineering



M.Sc. in Architectural Engineering, PhD on architectural fabrics and foils, I am Associate Professor in Architectural Structures, member of the Architecture, Culture and Tectonics Research Group and coordinator of the Tectonics research area at the University of Nottingham.

I am Chartered Engineer and Architect (Italy) and Vice-Chair of the European Network TensiNet.

Expertise Summary

My research is focused on the impact of new digital tools on the design, engineering and manufacturing of temporary lightweight structures.

In the Tectonics area of the ACT research group, we develop innovative design approaches and form-finding techniques to make possible complex projects based on architectural coated fabrics, ETFE foils and cable nets. Our applied research changed the use of tensioned membranes in architecture and provided the scientific background for a new generation of temporary structures in collaboration with the main industrial partners in the motorsport sector including Audi, Ducati, Yamaha, Suzuki & Lamborghini.

We are the scientific partner of award winning architectural design and engineering firms including Foster + Partners, DR+R, Marco Balich and MAD Architects, our mission is to deliver cutting edge projects in collaboration with our network of industrial partners.

In order to unlock the potential of this sector, in collaboration with the European Network TensiNet we support the development of new design guides and Eurocodes for the safe and cost-effective design and manufacturing of tensioned membrane structures.

Our research has been supported by TSB Innovate UK with 580.000£ which funded a series of KTP research projects designed to exploit the impact of our research on the British industry. The research outputs include International Patents, Registered EU Community Designs and scientific papers published on peer-reviewed journals and presented at the main international conferences in this field.

The research group is expanding its research interests in this field and we welcome enquiries from potential PhD candidates from Home, EU and international countries who are interested in digital architecture, tensioned membrane structures and ETFE foils.

Teaching Summary

Weekly Drop-in Session: Tuesday14:00 - 15:00

Paolo Beccarelli is Programme Senior Tutor for MArch Architecture Part 2, Department of Architecture and Built Environment. He is the module convenor of Tectonics 1 (ABEE1005), Environment and Technology 2 (ABEE4038) and Applied Architectural Technology (ABEE4051). He is module contributor of Tectonics 2A (ABEE2008), Tectonics 2B (ABEE2009-3011), and Diploma Design Thesis/Dissertation (ABEE4002).

Paolo Beccarelli is available for students to 'drop in' and discuss any issues related to their pastoral care or tutoring on Tuesday from 14:00 - 15:00. During this time, he will try to see students on a 'first come first serve' basis.

Research Summary

Recent Research Projects

FARMING INNOVATION PROGRAMME - RESEARCH STARTER ROUND 2 - FULL STAGE (2022-23) Exploring a new type of greenhouse Size: €55.366 Length: 6 months

FARMING INNOVATION PROGRAMME - FEASIBILITY ROUND 2 (2022-24) Protected Cultivation of Horticultural Crops: Setting a New Standard Size: € 499,947 Length: 23 months

Knowledge Transfer Partnership - KTP011330 (2018-2021) To develop digital parametric tools for manufacturing steel structures for lightweight roofs and building integrated photovoltaic structures. Size: £221.018 Length: 29 months

Knowledge Transfer Partnership - KTP010169 (2015-2016) To design, develop and implement a passive heat recovery and storage system for the ETFE foil encapsulated greenhouse façade/roof using phase change material. Size: £59.880 Length: 12 months

Knowledge Transfer Partnership - KTP009912 (2015-2018) To develop novel tensile membrane structures and also adaptable textile-covered building facades integrating tensile photovoltaic membranes for energy harvesting and environmental control to assist Europe's renewable energy generation targets. Size: £174.952 Length: 30 months

Knowledge Transfer Partnership- KTP9213 (2013-2015) To design, develop and implement a modular self-supporting structural-construction system comprised of linked ETFE foil encapsulated panels. Size: £124.235 Length: 24 months

EU COST Programme Project TU1303: oc-2012-2-13283 (2013-2017)) Novel structural skins: Improving sustainability and efficiency through new structural textile materials and design. Size: €674.130 Length: 48 months

EU Project MULTITEXCO FP7-SME, Project reference: 606411 (2013-2016) High Performance Smart Multifunctional Technical Textiles for the Construction . Size: € 2.477.532 Length: 36 months

Selected Publications

Architecture, Culture and Tectonics

The University of Nottingham
Faculty of Engineering
Nottingham, NG7 2RD

telephone: +44 (0)115 74 86257