Civil and Environmental Engineering

Contact Information

Kaven Hall, 209B
Phone: +1-508-831-5295
Fax: +1-508-831-5808

Roberto Pietroforte

My expertise encompasses buildings and the process that leads to their realization. When I started my architectural career in Italy, I thought that their making was only a matter of good design. Practical professional experience and further education in construction engineering and management taught me that buildings result from multidisciplinary inputs well beyond architectural design and also include the engineering of structures, facades and environmental comfort systems, economics, legal issues and codes, planning, and many organizational and management efforts.

At WPI, I have been teaching a variety of courses that aim at introducing to my students the richness of my multidisciplinary learning experience. This approach is reflected in most of the MQPs that I advise.

I have a reputation as demanding teacher because I expect students to give their best in their future profession. "Per aspera ad aspra" (from the mud to the stars) is my motto. My major gratification is when former students contact me and state that my notions and concepts have been very useful for navigating the challenges of their career.

Recently, I have been involved in the launching of a new Architectural Engineering program at WPI. The program presents, in a systematic way, most of the topics that I investigated in my career, namely the design and engineering of buildings and their constituent parts.

Research Interests

  • Organization of Construction Firms
  • Construction Economics
  • Building Technology


  • BArch, University of Rome (Italy), 1974
  • MS, Architecture Studies, MIT, 1987
  • MS, Civil Engineering, MIT, 1987
  • PhD, Construction Engineering and Management, MIT, 1992

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