Smart systems in agricultural, livestock and food-processing facilities



Alberto Barbaresi

University of Bologna, Italy


Carlo Bibbiani

Department of Veterinary Sciences – University of Pisa, Italy


Lorenzo Boccia

University of Naples Federico II – Department of Architecture


Andrea Pezzuolo

University of Padova - Department of Land, Environment, Agriculture, and Forestry, Italy


Maria Nicolina Ripa

Department of Agriculture and Forestry Science, University of Tuscia of Viterbo, Italy


In the recent years, specific sensors, software, monitoring and control systems have been developed and optimized in the agricultural sector, allowing the farms to take advantage of more and more precise knowledge of the metrics involved in cultivation and production. With a specific focus on agricultural facilities, the goal of the present special session is to provide a forum for focused discussions on the monitoring and control system specifically designed for agro-industrial facilities and the related benefits in terms of indoor environmental conditions, food safety and quality and farm sustainability.


Alberto Barbaresi, Civil Engineer and Architect, Ph.D. in Agricultural Engineering, is an assistant professor at the Department of Agricultural and Food Sciences of the University of Bologna in the Agricultural and biosystems Engineering field - Rural Buildings and Agro-forest Land Planning.
His main research activities deal with: energy efficiency in food processing buildings, renewable energy source in the agricultural sector, analysis and design of agricultural and agro-industrial buildings for process optimization and minimization of environmental and landscape impact; smart farming and precision livestock farming systems; innovative LED lighting systems in protected crops; traditional rural building and landscape integration of the rural built system and infrastructure in rural areas; monitoring systems for environmental, production energy meseaurements.
He is the scientific responsible for the University of Bologna of the following international projects:
He is member of the research team of the University of Bologna within the PRIN 2017 research project “Smart dairy farming: innovative solutions to improve herd productivity” (ongoing) and PRIMA Project (Partnership for Research and Innovation in the Mediterranean Area - Euro-Mediterranean cooperation joint programme) “Self-sufficient Integrated Multi-Trophic AquaPonic systems for improving food production sustainability and brackish water use and recycling (SIMTAP)” (2019-2022) -
He has taken part in many other research activities, in collaboration with public and private bodies, in order to experiment and implement solutions aimed at enhancing the rural and peri-urban territory and the sustainability of the built system.
He teaches in different graduation programs of the Department of Agri-Food Sciences of the University of Bologna and in post-graduation masters. He also holds courses in English in the PhD course in Health, Safety and Green Systems of the University of Bologna. He taught also for five years in Architectural Faculty.
He presented articles and has been invited speaker and chairman in national and international conferences. He authored several publications on national and international journals and conferences proceedings and published various papers on ISI WoS and Scopus Journals. He is referee for various international scientific journals.
He supervises several degree theses and student training activities and is supervisor and co- supervisor of PhD students. He is member of the Italian Association of Agricultural Engineering/Associazione Italiana di Ingegneria Agraria (AIIA), European Society of Agricultural Engineers (EurAgEng), and International Commission of Agricultural Engineering (CIGR).
He has an over-ten-year experience as professional engineer and architect, with main expertise on architectural survey, structural and architectural design and acoustics certifications.

Carlo Bibbiani, Civil Engineer, Ph. D. in “Rural Engineering”. Associate Professor in Agricultural, Forestry and Biosystem Engineering (AGR/10 - Rural buildings and Agro-Forestry) at University of Pisa. His main research activities are: Applications of renewable energy to Greenhouses; Green roofs and green walls for energy saving of buildings and their LCA; measurement methodologies of physical and hydraulic properties of growing media; Greenhouse Environment Simulation; Aquaculture and research activities on fish farming facilities; Aquaponics and Integrated multi-trophyc aquaculture.

Lorenzo Boccia is Associate Professor of Planning and management of rural territory and rural buildings (it. Costruzioni rurali e territorio agroforestale) at the Department of Architecture of the University Federico II of Naples. His current research topics are rural territory survey, representation, planning and management with specific focus on polluted or vulnerable areas.

Andrea Pezzuolo is a researcher at the University of Padova - Department of Land, Environment, Agriculture, and Forestry with a focus on agricultural and livestock systems engineering: rural buildings and renewable energies.
He got MS degree (cum laude) in Agricultural Sciences and Technologies, from University of Padova in 2010. From 2011 to 2014 had doctorate in Agricultural Engineering in joint supervision with the University of Padova and Veneto Agriculture Research Center. Since 2014 he is a research fellow at the University of Padova - Department of Land, Environment, Agriculture, and Forestry. In 2018 he obtained the National Scientific Qualification to function as Associate Professor.
Currently, he is involved in research projects on Biomass and Bioenergy, Agricultural and Livestock Systems Engineering and Precision Livestock Farming (PLF). The scientific background has grown up at a national and international level, with active involvement in projects, in collaboration with other university and industrial research centers. Andrea Pezzuolo has authored and co-authored over 70 papers (53 of which are indexed in Scopus/WoS), and is reviewer for 29 peer-reviewed international journals/6 international conferences indexed in Scopus/WoS. He supervised more than 95-degree thesis, most of them in the field of Agricultural Engineering, Livestock Systems Engineering and Sensor Technology.
Andrea Pezzuolo is member of: Italian Society of Agricultural Engineering (AIIA) affiliated to CIGR (International Commission of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering); Interdepartmental Centre “Giorgio Levi Cases” for Energy Economics and Technology of University of Padova; LEARH “Land, Environment, Resources and Health” PhD Doctoral program organized at the Department of Land, Environment, Agriculture, and Forestry - University of Padova; Scientific Committee of the International Conference on “Engineering for Rural Development” Jelgava (Latvia); Editorial board of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050), Agri-Engineering (ISSN 2624-7402), Animals – “System and Management Section” (ISSN 2076-2615) and Research of Agricultural Engineering (ISSN 1212-9151).

Maria Nicolina Ripa:Associate Professor at the Department of Agriculture and Forestry Science at the University of Tuscia of Viterbo. Since 2000 taught the following courses:
Spatial Planning and Management, Geographic information systems, Cartography and photo-interpretation.
Coordinator of the Bachelor degree in Forest and Nature Science
Currently member of the PhD board in Science of crop and animal production
Member of the Board of Directors of the Spin-off “Idea 2020”
Member of the Italian Association of Agriculture Engineering (AIIA)
Member of the scientific committee of “Biodistretto della Via Amerina e delle forre”
Coordinator of several Erasmus bilateral agreements
The research activity is mainly addressed to spatial and landscape planning with a multi-disciplinary approach enhancing the interactions between physical, biotic and human factors which lead to the genesis of complex and dynamic systems.
The research has focused on the following issues: analysis of the landscape and ecosystem / landscape services; modeling and environmental monitoring applied to problems of spatial planning, remote sensing for landscape analysis, technologies for digital mapping and geographic information systems, analysis and control of diffuse sources of pollution from agriculture, management and protection of water resources, definition of Best Management Practices (BMP) for the protection of land, definition of BMP in field urban water management and microclimate control, planning of protected areas.
Maria Nicolina Ripa is author of several papers, on national and international journals and in proceedings of national and international conferences.


Special Session 4


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Italy Section
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