Innovative Ideas

Since its beginnings SP has been appointed to perform unusual tasks calling for non-conventional and innovative solutions


Large hydraulic works

The engineers Giorgio Pietrangeli and Paolo Alfredo Pallavicini have always personally followed the progress of their ambitious projects, as may be seen in the photograph which shows one of them during the testing of the spillway of the Legadadi Dam, where five different types of dam (including concrete buttress and rockfill) were employed to adapt the structure to the foundations.


Unusual design tasks

Construction of the Bumbuna plant was a fundamental milestone for the development of Sierra Leone.
By adopting multi-functional hydraulic tunnels, SP managed to half the construction costs without affecting the level of energy produced. SP also had the singular task of designing the Sierra Leone banknote.


Cutting edge technology

Studio Pietrangeli has always tried to carry out topographical surveys using our own personnel and instrumentation, in order to maintain direct control over the acquired data and relevant elaboration. Also in this sector, SP has always been innovative.
As early as in 1997, for the Dankel project, we applied a topographic technique today widely used: the aerial survey using Laser, today better known as LiDAR.
Nowadays, SP has successfully pioneered the use of drones in the field of dam engineering in a wide range of contexts and environments, accumulating over 200 hours of flight in 10 countries.


Innovative hydraulic design

Our ingenious hydraulic structures have contributed to improve the overall performance and reliability of several projects. The Gibe III spillway's original design has been presented at international specialist conferences.

Fast Track

More recently, special “fast-track” projects have become a new challenge for SP. For instance, starting from satellite photos and Shuttle DTM, the conceptual design of Gibe III was completed in less than 50 days. One of the various special “fast-track” techniques comprises surface surveying with drones or from helicopter.


The founder and director of the firm, Giorgio Pietrangeli, always reminds young engineers that l’ingegnere è una persona che si ingegna (an engineer is a person of ingenuity), meaning that our work demands the full use of our technical qualifications, culture and creativity to find solutions to the most difficult problems.


Innovative solutions in rock mechanics field (see Chapter 6, Rio Grande, in "Rock Engineering, Course Notes" by Evert Hoek, 2004) or in bituminous (six dams completed) and concrete facings (saddle dam of GERdp project), together with other engineering innovations, characterize many of the firm's projects.

Dam Engineering Hydropower engineering