Professor Ignazio Maria Viola

Professor of Fluid Mechanics and Bioinspired Engineering



+44(0)131 6505622


3.093 Faraday Building

Personal Page: 

Social Media: 

Engineering Discipline: 

  • Mechanical Engineering

Research Theme: 

  • Fluid Mechanics
  • Offshore Renewable Energy
Prof. Ignazio Maria Viola
Prof. Ignazio Maria Viola


Ignazio Maria Viola is Professor of Fluid Mechanics and Bioinspired Engineering at the School of Engineering of the University of Edinburgh; Distinguished Visiting Professor at Tsinghua University; and Fellow of the Royal Institution of Naval Architects. He has been awarded two Medals of Distinction and one Medal of Exceptional Merit by the Royal Institution of Naval Architects, a Gold Rating for the Best Journal Article by the International Marine Energy Journal, as well as the Covid-19 Hero Medal of the School of Engineering of the U. of Edinburgh for significant contribution to solving Covid-19 challenges. He is Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Sailing Technology of the Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers, a society of which he is member of the Council (governing body). He is also Associate Editor of the J. Offshore Mech. Arct. (ASME), and of the J. Ocean Eng. Mar. Energy (Springer). He is the recipient of the ERC Consolidator Grant Dandidrone (101001499) and the Principal Investigator of the EPSRC project Morphing Blades (EP/V009443/1). Viola is Co-Investigator and Edinburgh Deputy Director of the CDT in Wind & Marine Energy Systems & Structures (EP/S023801/1).  

Curriculum Vitae

Research Group: VOILAb

Academic Qualifications: 

  • 2008, Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), Experimental and Numerical Aerodynamics of Sailing Yachts, Politecnico di Milano
  • 2001, Master of Engineering, Naval Architecture, Università degli studi di Genova

Professional Qualifications and Memberships: 


Editor-in-Chief, Journal of Sailing Technology, SNAME (2016-date)
Associate Editor, Journal of Offshore Mechanics and Arctic Engineering, ASME (2023-date)
Editorial Board Member, Ocean Engineering, ELSEVIER (2015-date)
Editorial Board Member, International Journal of Maritime Engineering, RINA (2020-date)
Editorial Board Member, Journal of Marine Science and Engineering, Ocean Engineering Sec., MDPI (2018-date)
Editorial Board Member, International Journal of Small Craft Technology, RINA (2012-2021)
Issue Editor, Special Issue on Ship Hydrodynamics, J of Ocean Engineering and Marine Energy, SPRINGER (2022)


FRINA, Fellow of the Royal Institution of Naval Architects, no. 00300035 (member since 2009)
CEng, Chartered Engineer Registered by the Engineering Council (UK), no. 584133 (2010)
EUR ING, European Federation of National Engineering Associations, no. 31153 (2010)
Dott. Ing., Italian State Examination to practice as ‘Ingegnere’ (engineer) (2001)


AIAA, Member of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, no. 488312 (2020)
APS, Member of the American Physical Society, Division of Fluid Dynamics, no. 61177987 (2014)
ASME, Member of the American Society of Mechanical Engineering, no. 000103762573 (2013)
RINA, Member of the Royal Institution of Naval Architects, no. 00300035 (2009)
SNAME, Member of the Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers, no. 2003765 (2010)
PIANC, Member of the Permanent International Association of Navigation Congresses (2002)
‘Albo degli Ingegneri di Milano,’ Member of the Professional Body of Engineers, no. A22092 (2001)


SNAME Council (governing body of SNAME, 6500+ members) (2019-date)
SNAME SC-2 Sailing Craft Panel, Chair (delivers industrial guidelines and advises classification soc.) (2016-date)
SNAME Featured Papers Committee (selects outstanding publications between 200+ articles/y) (2016-date)
ITTC, CFD Specialist Committee (delivered CFD guidelines for industry, (2011-2014)
NATO Applied Vehicle Technology (AVT) Panel on Gust Encounter, AVT-282 (2018-2019)
NATO AVT-347 Panel on Large-Amplitude Gust Mitigation Strategies for Rigid Wings (2019-date)


UK Fluids Network, Steering Committee (1000+ members) (2020-date)
Coordinator of the UK Fluids Network Thesis Prize (2022-date)
Special Interest Group in Marine Hydrodynamics, EPSRC UK Fluids Network (2016-date)
Special Interest Group in Boundary Layers and Complex Rotating Flows, EPSRC UK Fluids Network (2018-date)
EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT) in Wind & Marine [EP/L016680/1], Co-Director (2016-date)
EPSRC CDT in Wind & Marine [EP/S023801/1], Co-I, Director of Responsible Research and Innovation (2019-date)
EPSRC Supergen Offshore Renewable Energy Hub, Research Advisory Board (2018-date)
EPSRC Supergen Offshore Renewable Energy Hub, Research Alignment Group (2020-date)
EPSRC Engineering Early Career Forum – informal advisory board of the EPSRC (2016-2019)
EPSRC Supergen Wind, Advisory Board (2016-2019)
Offshore Wind Innovation Hub, Roadmap Element Coordinator (2018-2019)


  • Fluid Mechanics
  • Marine Energy

Research Interests: 

VOILAb: Vortex Interaction Laboratory

Our research is in fluid mechanics and it focuses on those conditions where the forces on a body immersed in a fluid are due to the formation of vortical flow structures. This often occurs in nature, where natural evolution has led to optimal solutions for complex problems. Hence, we seek inspiration from the fluid mechanics of plants and animals to develop new technology. Vortices, for instance, are exploited by natural flyers to fly stably and efficiently in the turbulent wind. Similarly, the forces on very thin surfaces, such as the wings of small drones and the sails of a yacht, are dominated by vortex flow. Our research aims to understand and, when possible control, the formation, stability and interaction of these vortices in order to improve performance, efficiency and survivability of different engineering systems.

To know more about our research, visit VOILAb at


Aerodynamics and hydrodynamics, including

  • Aerodynamics
  • Biomechanics
  • COVID Aerodynamics
  • Sail Aerodynamics
  • Wind and Tidal Energy

Further Information: