Simona Maria Porto

Associate Professor of Rural buildings and agro-forest land planning [AGR/10]
Office: Via S. Sofia, 98 - 2° piano, n.20
Email: simona.porto@unict.it
Phone: 095 7147582
Office Hours: Thursday from 09:00 to 10:00


General information

Ph.D. Eng. Simona Maria Carmela Porto was born in Catania (Italy) where she graduated in Building Engineering on 1999 with full marks. 

After a four-year activity as researcher by contract according to Law 240/2010, art. 24 letter a) (junior researcher) in the Scientific Disciplinary Sector SSD AGR / 10 - Rural buildings and agroforestry territory, she is now researcher by contract as Law 240/2010, art. 24 letter b) (senior researcher) in the same SSD AGR / 10.

She is a member of the Academic Board of the Ph.D. course in “Agricultural, Food and Environmental Science” within the XXXIII cycle Doctoral Programs (2017-2018) of the University of Catania.

The studies carried out by Simona Maria Carmela Porto, and the related achieved results, have been published in over 100 full papers.

Academic qualifications

In 2003 she achieved the Ph.D. in “Rural Building and Land Management”.

In 2014 she achieved the National Scientific Qualification for Associated Professor for the Scientific Sector: 07 / C1: Agricultural, forestry and biosystems engineering (ASN - DD n. 222 of 20 July 2012).

In 2017 she achieved the National Scientific Qualification as Full Professor for the Scientific Sector: 07 / C1: Agricultural, forestry and biosystems engineering (ASN - DD n. 1532 of 29 July 2016).

Academic Affiliations

She is ordinary member of the Italian Association of Agricultural Engineering (A.I.I.A.) and adheres to the Second Technical Section “Agricultural Construction, Installation Techniques with Related Technologies”.

She is member of the International Commission of Agricultural Engineering (C.I.G.R.) and adheres to the Second Technical Section “Farm buildings, equipment, structures and environment”.

She is a member of the International Working Group of the Second Technical Section of C.I.G.R. on “Animal housing in hot climates” established in June 2005.

Roles and responsibilities in research activities

a) Research responsibilities

  • she was the Principal Investigator of a two-year research project entitled (2015-207) “Development of an automatic monitoring system for the study of the individual dairy cow behaviour in free-housing system”, funded by the University of Catania (D. R. n. 2334, 03/06/2014) after a peer-review evaluation process carried out from experts in ERC-LS9_3 Animal sciences.
  • Member of the Management Commmittee of the COST Action CA16106, “Ammonia and Greenhouse Gases Emissions from Animal Production Buildings.
  • Principal Investigator of a three-year research project funded by the University of Catania entitled “Applicazioni informatiche per l’innovazione nel settore delle costruzioni rurali, della pianificazione del territorio agro-forestale e della meccanizzazione della difesa fitosanitaria (ICT applications for innovation in the field of rural buildings, agro-forestry planning and mechanization of phytosanitary defense).”
  •  Advisor of the Ph.D. thesis “Sustainable development of regional biogas production GIS-based techno economic assessment in Southern Italy” carried out within PhD course in Agricultural, Food And Environmental Science, XXX Cycle.

b) Collaboration 

She got four research grants post-doctorate, for a total duration of 8 years.

  • First, started on 3rd November 2003 and ended on 2nd November 2006, was funded in 2002 by MIUR (Italian Ministry of University and Research) within a 2-year Project of Relevant National Importance (PRIN) (see project n.3).
  • Second, started on 1st August 2007 and ended on 31st July 2008, was funded in 2007 by the PIC – INTERREG III B (see project n. 7).
  • Third, started grant started on 1st June 2009 and ended on 31st may 2011, was funded in 2009 and 2010 by MIUR among the Projects of Relevant National Importance (PRIN) (see projects n. 8 and 10 in the list below).
  • Fourth, started on 1st June 2012 and ended on 31st may 2013, was funded with a project POR FESR Sicilia 2007-2013 of the Sicilian Region (see projects n. 11).

She collaborated to the following research projects:

1.    POP Sicilia 94/99 Measure 10.4 - Title: “Ottimizzazione dei sistemi di produzione zootecnica nelle aree  collinari e montane della Sicilia – Edifici per l’allevamento di bovine da latte (Optimization of livestock production systems in hilly and mountainous areas of Sicily - Buildings for the breeding of dairy cattle)” (3 years).

2.    MIUR - Piani di potenziamento della rete scientifica e tecnologica (Development plans of scientific and technological net) - Cluster 29 – on the topic: “Il recupero e la valorizzazione del patrimonio architettonico della Sicilia Orientale: l’emergenza architettonica urbana e l’edilizia rurale. Conoscenza, interventi e formazione (The rehabilitation and the valorisation of Eastern Sicily architectural heritage: architectonical urban emergency and rural buildings. Information, assistance and training)” (3 years).

3.    MIUR (PRIN 2002) “Analisi, classificazione e pianificazione delle strutture agricole tradizionali nell'ambito del Parco Regionale dell'Etna per un riuso compatibile. Costruzione di un G.I.S. per la messa in rete del patrimonio storico rilevato (Analysis, classification and planning of the traditional agricultural buildings sited in the Etna Regional Park in view of a compatible reuse. Construction of a GIS-based network for the management of the built historic heritage.)” (2 years).

4.    MIUR (PRIN 2003) “Costruzioni per l’allevamento di bovine da latte e ricoveri per ovini: soluzioni edilizie appropriate per migliorare il benessere degli animali (Buildings for the breeding of dairy cows and sheep farms)” (2 year).

5.    PON (European fund) – Agroindustria - “Innovazione tecnologica per il miglioramento delle produzioni e dei processi agro-alimentari nelle piccole e medie imprese (Technological innovation to improve production and agro-industrial processes in small and medium enterprises)”, research activity 2.1.1 “Materiali plastici innovativi per la disinfestazione del terreno (Innovative plastics for soil disinfestations)” (3 years).

6.    PON (European fund) - Ricerca, Sviluppo Tecnologico e Alta formazioni – on the topic “Utilizzazione di materiali di scarto per lo sviluppo di polimeri biodegradabili (PHA) per l’agricoltura e l’agroindustria (Use of waste materials for the development of biodegradable polymers for agriculture and agro-industry)”, Operative Unit “Valutazione di film plastici per usi agricoli (Evaluation of plastic films for agricultural uses)” (3 years).

7.    European program INTERREG III B – Archimed, priority axis. 3. “Integrated and sustainable management of cultural and natural resources and of landscapes and risk management”, measure 3.2 “Protection, reformation, planning and management of the cultural heritage”, on the theme “Tourism Uses of the Historic Environment. Know-How Transfer and Quality Management Practices at Community Level”, acronym HERODOT (15 months).

8.    MIUR (PRIN 2007) – “Stalle per bovine da latte: soluzioni edilizie ed impiantistiche per il miglioramento del benessere e della produttività dei capi in condizione di clima caldo (Dairy houses: building solutions and plant engineering improvements for animal welfare and production in hot climate)” (2 years).

9.    MIUR (PRIN 2007) – “Produzione di biomasse erbacee irrigate con l’uso di acque reflue urbane depurate” (Production and energy transformation of herbaceous biomasses irrigated with wastewater) (2 years).

10.  MIUR (PRIN 2008) – “Tecniche innovative di monitoraggio a distanza per l’analisi del comportamento di bovine da latte in edifici con sistema automatico di mungitura (Innovative techniques for behaviour analysis of dairy cows in barns equipped with automatic milking systems)” (2 years).

11. POR FESR Sicilia 2007-2013 – “Soluzioni innovative per la sicurezza alimentare nella filiera cerealicola (S.I.S.A.CER.) (Innovative solutions for food safety in the cereal supply chain)” (2 years).

Teaching activity

Her teaching activity started in 2004, and currently she teaches disciplines within the Scientific Disciplinary Sectors SSD AGR / 10 “ Rural buildings and agroforestry territory” and INF / 01 “Informatic”. Main teaching activity was carried out at the University of Catania (Italy).

  • “Recupero e valorizzazione dei fabbricati rurali (Rehabilitation and valorisation of rural buildings)”, Degree Course Gestione delle imprese agroalimentari (Management of agro-industrial enterprises) – Length: 58 h
  •  “Informatica (Computer Science)”, Degree Course Progettazione e gestione di aree a verde parchi e giardini (Design and Management of green areas, parks and gardens) – Length: 38 h.
  • “Informatica con applicazioni di grafica computerizzata (Computer science and applications of computer graphics)”, Degree Course Tecnologie e pianificazione per il territorio e l’ambiente (Technology and planning for the territory and the environment) – Length: 58 h;
  • “Tecniche di rilievo e rappresentazione grafica (Techniques of surveying and graphical representation)”, Degree Course on Scienze agrarie tropicali e sub-tropicali (Tropical and sub-tropical agricultural science) - Length: 45 h.
  • “Elementi di disegno e tecnologie CAD (Drawing and computer aided design technologies)”, International Master on Progettazione Paesaggistica e Pianificazione Ambientale in Area Mediterranea (Landascape and environmental Planning in Mediterranean area) - Length: 15 h;
  • “Laboratorio di informatica” (Lab of computer science), Degree Course Scienze agrarie (Agricultural science) – Length: 42 h.
  • “Recupero e riuso dell’architettura rurale” (Rehabilitation and reuse of rural architecture), Degree Course Pianificazione e tutela del territorio e del paesaggio (Land and paysage planning and preservation) – Length: 60 h.

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ACADEMIC YEAR 2019/2020


ACADEMIC YEAR 2018/2019


ACADEMIC YEAR 2017/2018


ACADEMIC YEAR 2016/2017


ACADEMIC YEAR 2015/2016

  • Buildings, equipment and infrastructure for livestock;
  • Buildings, equipment and infrastructure for vegetable farms;
  • Classification, rehabilitation and enhancement of rural buildings;
  • Survey, representation, analysis, modeling and planning of the territory.