8.11.1886 Torino/I - 20.3.1968 Torino/I
Gustavo Colonnetti graduated as a civil engineer from the Politecnico di Torino in 1908. He was there a Lecturer from 1910 and appointed associate professor of applied mechanics in 1911 at the Marine School of Genova. In 1914 he moved to Pisa University as a professor of applied mechanics, and there took over as institute director from 1918 to 1920. Then he returned to Torino University as a professor of higher mechanics and there served as University director from 1922 to 1925. From 1928 to 1957 when retiring, Colonnetti was a professor of construction sciences in Torino. During the war years, Colonnetti lectured at Ecole Polytechnique de Lausanne EPUL because he refused to join the Mussolini party. After World War II he created a number of university institutes including those of agricultural mechanics and meteorology, besides political activity. Colonnetti was a Member of the Accademia Pontificia delle Scienze in Roma, the Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei, Académie des Sciences in Paris among others and was awarded the Honorary Doctorate from the Universities of Toulouse, Poitiers, Lausanne and Liège.
Colonnetti's early works were mainly directed to elasticity and questions of theoretical mechanics. He formulated a general "principle of the minimum" relating to internal stress that is characterized by a state of equilibrium. Towards the end of his career, Colonnetti took interest in the salvation of Abu Simbel in Egypt, and the Pending Tower of Pisa. In the latter studies, he accounted for the combined effects of groundwater, soil and wind as possible origins for the instability of the famous monument. Colonnetti is also known for his integral approach to difficulties in engineering mechanics. His research results are mainly published in the Rendiconti of the Academy of Lincei.
Colonnetti, A. (1973). Gustavo Colonnetti - Per chi lo conobbe. Fondazione: Pollone. P Colonnetti, G. (1942). Théorie de l'équilibre des corps élasto-plastiques. Rouge: Lausanne. Colonnetti, G. (1948). Scienzia delle costruzioni. Einaudi: Torino.
Poggendorff, J.C. (1925). Colonnetti, Gustavo. Biographisch-Literarisches Handwörterbuch 5: 236; 6: 467; 7b: 871-875; 8: 741. Verlag Chemie: Leipzig, Berlin, with bibliography.
Pozzato, E. (1982). Colonnetti, Gustavo. Dizionario biografico degli italiani 27: 464-466.
Treccani: Roma.
Rovasenda, E. di (1974). Gustavo Colonnetti, maestro di libertà e di vita. Studi Piemontesi 3: 346-355. P

Hydraulicians in Europe 1800-2000 . 2013.

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