Dr. R. (Rita) Esposito


I am currently an assistant professor in the section of Applied Mechanics at the faculty of Civil Engineering and Geosciences of TU Delft.
I received my B.Sc. (2007) and M.Sc. (2010) degree in civil engineering at University of Parma (Italy), where in 2010 I also worked as researcher at the department of engineering and architecture with focus on modelling of reinforced concrete elements subject to cyclic loading. In 2016, I obtained my Ph.D. degree in structural mechanics from TU Delft with my study on multiscale modelling of fracture processes in concrete. My Ph.D. project was part of the NWO program Integral Solution for Sustainable Construction (IS2C). From 2015 to 2018, I continued my research work in the same group as postdoc with focus on seismic vulnerability assessment of unreinforced masonry buildings. The work provided input to the newly developed Dutch building code for structural assessment due to induced seismicity (NPR9998:2018) and supported the development and validation of numerical modelling approaches daily employed for structural assessment.

Research interests

  • Fracture processes in quasi-brittle materials
  • Continuum micromechanically based multiscale models
  • Structural assessment and rehabilitation
  • In-situ material characterisation
  • Experimental and computational mechanics
  • Unreinforced masonry structures


Through my research I hope to contribute to the preservation and reuse of existing structures by understanding and modelling fracture processes in quasi-brittle materials and structures. Fascinated by the effect that a tiny defect can have on the entire response of a structure, I carried out research in different fields including mechanics of materials, computational mechanics, and structural assessment with the scope of being able to describe the link between phenomena occurring at the level of material’s constituents (sub-mm/mm scale) and performance of structures (m scale).

  • M.Sc. course CIE5148 Computational Modelling of Structures:
  • M.Sc. course CIE4180 Plate Analyses:
  • B.Sc. course CT3280-19 Minor Bend and Brake – Masonry
  • Supervisor of TU Delft M.Sc. students
  • Supervisor of Erasmus and Erasmus+ visiting B.Sc. and M.Sc. students, and interns
  • Jafari, S., Rots, J. G., and Esposito, R. (2019). Core testing method to assess nonlinear behavior of brick masonry under compression: A comparative experimental study. Construction and Building Materials, 218, 193-205, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.conbuildmat.2019.04.188
  • Esposito, R., Messali, F., Ravenshorst, G.J.P., Schipper, H.R., Rots, J.G. (2019) Seismic assessment of a lab-tested two-storey unreinforced masonry Dutch terraced house. Bulletin of Earthquake Engineering, Special Issue Induced Seismicity and Its Effects on Built Environment, 17(8), https://doi.org/10.1007/s10518-019-00572-w
  • Esposito, R. and Hendriks, M.A.N. (2016). A multiscale micromechanical approach to model the deteriorating impact of alkali-silica reaction on concrete. Cement and Concrete Composites, 70, 139-152, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cemconcomp.2016.03.017
  • Esposito, R., Anaç, C., Hendriks, M.A.N and Çopuroğlu, O. (2016). Influence of the Alkali-Silica Reaction on the Mechanical Degradation of Concrete. Journal of Materials in Civil Engineering, 28 (6), 04016007, https://doi.org/10.1061/(ASCE)MT.1943-5533.0001486.
  • Belletti, B., Esposito, R. and Walraven, J., 2012. Shear capacity of normal, lightweight, and high-strength concrete beams according to Model Code 2010. II: Experimental results versus nonlinear finite element program results. Journal of Structural Engineering, 139(9), 1600-1607, https://doi.org/10.1061/(ASCE)ST.1943-541X.0000743.

Ongoing PhD projects 

  • Samira Jafari (2016-to date): Characterising the mechanical properties of Dutch unreinforced masonry with a view to the seismic assessment.
  • Langzi Chang (2017-to date): Assessment of two-way spanning unreinforced masonry walls subjected to out-of-plane load.

Research projects

  • 2018-2020: Lab tests and studies towards retrofitting measures in Groningen heritage (PI and coordinator)
  • 2018-2022: TU Delft multiscale experimental campaign 2018 for seismic retrofitting of masonry buildings in Groningen area (PI and coordinator of 2 out of 4 work packages)
  • 2016-2017: TU Delft multiscale experimental campaign 2016 for the assessment and upgrading of Dutch URM structure (Co-PI and coordinator of 3 out of 6 work packages)
  • 2015-2016: Multiscale experimental campaign 2015 for the assessment of Dutch URM structure in collaboration with EUCentre and ARUP.
  • 2011-2015: Performance Assessment Tool for Alkali-Silica Reaction (PAT-ASR) project part of the NWO-STW program Integral Solution for Sustainable Construction (IS2C).
  • Committee member of task group TG7 “Monumenten” - NEN NPR 9998 standard on assessment of existing structures due to induced seismicity.
  • Organiser of seminar series titled “Structural Response to Earthquakes”.
  • Member of Departmental Committee on Health, Safety and Environment.
  • Member of Macrolab/Stevinlaboratorium council as representative for the group of structural mechanics.

Rita Esposito

Assistant professor

Materials, Mechanics, Management & Design (3Md)

Applied Mechanics

Structural Mechanics

Iris Nederhof-van Woggelum

R. (Rita) Esposito

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