dr. Dipl.-Ing. I. Manzella (Irene)

Associate Professor in Geotechnical Engineering for natural hazard risk management and Coordinator of the Centre for Disaster Resilience

About Me

My personal drive in my work is rooted in a deep and enduring concern with how geo-environmental science and engineering can tackle pressing issues of sustainable development and societal well-being and I defined myself as a broad-based, multi-disciplinary researcher. I have a background in environmental/geotechnical engineering with several years of experience working in geoscience and engineering geology. My approach in both teaching and research integrates experimental and numerical modelling with field studies, remote sensing, and, more recently, Internet of Things, sensor networks, machine learning and data analysis to address complex and cascading geo-hazards with creativity and innovation.

I am Coordinator of the Centre for Disaster Resilience (itc.nl/cdr) where I am working with my colleagues at ITC and with our partners, we will focus our fundamental, interdisciplinary and applied research, dissemination, education and training, (international) cooperation, and advisory services on a synergetic and common effort to increase the well-being and the global sustainable growth by significantly decreasing disaster risk


Earth & Environmental Sciences
Debris Avalanche
Rock Avalanche
Volcanic Cloud
Volcanic Eruption
Engineering & Materials Science


Study of geophysical fluid and granular flow dynamics processes with a multi-disciplinary approach, through experimental and numerical modelling. Hazard and risk assessment of multiple and complex volcanic and landslide phenomena, e.g. debris flows and rock avalanches, lahars and tephra fallout, mass flow induced tsunamis. More recently I am developing and becoming more and more interested in the use of data mining, crowd sourcing, smart sensors and machine learning applied to geo-environmental risks and citizen science.


Casalbore, D., Di Traglia, F., Romagnoli, C., Favalli, M., Gracchi, T., Tacconi Stefanelli, C., Nolesini, T., Rossi, G., Del Soldato, M. , Manzella, I., Cole, P., Casagli, N., & Chiocci, F. L. (2022). Integration of remote sensing and offshore geophysical data for monitoring the short-term morphological evolution of an active volcanic flank: A case study from Stromboli Island. Remote sensing, 14(18), [4605]. https://doi.org/10.3390/rs14184605
Di Traglia, F., Fornaciai, A., Casalbore, D., Favalli, M. , Manzella, I., Romagnoli, C., Chiocci, F. L., Cole, P., Nolesini, T., & Casagli, N. (2022). Subaerial-submarine morphological changes at Stromboli volcano (Italy) induced by the 2019–2020 eruptive activity. Geomorphology, 400, [108093]. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.geomorph.2021.108093
Fries, A., Lemus, J., Jarvis, P. A., Clarke, A. B., Philips, J. C. , Manzella, I., & Bonadonna, C. (2021). The influence of particle concentration on the formation of settling-driven gravitational instabilities at the base of volcanic clouds. Frontiers in Earth Science, 9, [640090]. https://doi.org/10.3389/feart.2021.640090
Vagnon, F., Pirulli, M. , Manzella, I., Kelfoun, K., & Ferrero, A. M. (2018). Numerical analysis of the rheological behaviour of the socompa debris avalanche, Chile. In V. Litvinenko (Ed.), Geomechanics and Geodynamics of Rock Masses - Selected Papers from the 2018 European Rock Mechanics Symposium, EUROCK 2018 (pp. 409-414). (Geomechanics and Geodynamics of Rock Masses - Selected Papers from the 2018 European Rock Mechanics Symposium, EUROCK 2018). CRC Press/Balkema.
Baumann, V., Bonadonna, C., Cuomo, S., Moscariello, M. , & Manzella, I. (2018). Slope stability models for rainfall-induced lahars during long-lasting eruptions. Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research, 359, 78-94. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jvolgeores.2018.06.018

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Live funded projects:


- NERC - SENSUM: Smart SENSing of landscapes Undergoing hazardous hydrogeological Movement, Co-I, Leader of Plymouth team and of 2 WPs


- RAEng, Frontiers of Development - NET: New technologies and participatory approaches for disaster resilience, PI

- NERC – Tsunamigenic mass flows at Stromboli Volcano- analysis and modelling after the 3rd of July events, PI

- European Regional Development Fund, Environmental Futures and Big Data Impact Lab, Geo-Environmental Research Leader

- Swiss National Science Foundation SNSF – Modelling settling-driven gravitational instabilities from volcanic clouds, Co-I (in the supervisory team of Allan Fries and Jonathan Lemus)

- Director of Studies of Symeon Makris PhD project: Propagation of volcanic and non-volcanic landslide: a combined field, experimental and numerical approach

Previous grant and fellowship awarded:

- 2020 Royal Academy of Engineering as 1 participant to the Frontiers of Development symposium on Disaster Resilience. Istanbul 1-4/03/2020 

- 2018 SEED Funding from the School of Geography Earth and Environmental Sciences of the University of Plymouth to develop the granular flow set-up 

- 2016 International short visit SNSF grant at the NGU, Torndheim, Norway

- 2016 Fondation Ernst et Lucie Schmidheiny grant for attending ISL conference 

- 2015 European Science Foundation ESF Exchange Grant to spend one month at the Laboratoire Magmas et Volcans (Clermont-Ferrand, France)

- 2015 Société Académique to participate to the IUGG meeting in Prague

- 2013 Birkigt Foundation to participate to the IAVCEI meeting, Japan

- 2011 Faculty of the Sciences de la Terre et de l’Environnement for acquiring new equipment for the geophysical fluid dynamic laboratory

- 2010 ERC grant to partcipate to Cities on Volcanoes

- 2010 Fondation Ernst et Lucie Schmidheiny grant for attending four international conferences in May-June 2010

- 2009 Fondation Ernst et Lucie Schmidheiny research project grant “Risks related to geophysical gravitational flows”

- 2008 Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) Early Post-doc mobility for a year fellowship at the MIT, MA, US

Research degrees awarded to supervised students

Dr Valérie Baumann (2nd Supervisor) PhD project, University of Geneva: Rain-triggered lahar initiation in volcanic areas (completed in 2018)

Dr Gholamhossein Bagheri (Supervisory team) PhD project, University of Geneva: Experimental study of deposition and aggregation of volcanic particles (completed in 2015)

Sewedo Todowede (Supervisor) MSc Data Science and Business analytics, University of Plymouth: Extraction and analysis of social media data for volcanic/landslide events monitoring (completed in 2020 as best in his cohort with a high first)

Fabian Boujoun (Supervisor) MSc Geology, University of Geneva: Approche numérique et expérimentale pour comprendre le dynamisme des granular flows (completed in 2014)

Aline Cuomo (2nd Supervisor) MSc Geology, University of Geneva: Landslide hazard and risk assessment on the Vulcano Island, Italy (completed in 2014)

Helene Monnard (2nd Supervisor) MSc Geology, University of Geneva: Convective instabilities in volcanic plumes (completed in 2010)

Contact Details

Visiting Address

University of Twente
Faculty of Geo-Information Science and Earth Observation
ITC (building no. 75), room 5-031
Hengelosestraat 99
7514AE  Enschede
The Netherlands

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Mailing Address

University of Twente
Faculty of Geo-Information Science and Earth Observation
ITC  5-031
P.O. Box 217
7500 AE Enschede
The Netherlands

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