Since October 2018 I am a Chancellor Fellow in Robotics and Autonomous Systems, as part of the Data Driven Innovation Fellowship program. I am based in the Scottish Mircroelectronics Center where I conduct research on soft-bodied underwater vehicle design and propulsion, shape-changing vibrational systems and model-predictive control of unmanned underwater vehicles.
I hold a Laurea Degree (MSc equivalent) in Marine Science & Technology from the University of Pisa in 2006 with a thesis on coastal meteorology numerical weather prediction. During this time Iworked at the Laboratory for Environmental Monitoring and Modelling (LAMMA) in Florence. I was later awarded a Marie-Curie Early Stage Training (EST) Fellowship to undertake a PhD in Computational Fluid Dynamics jointly between the School of Earth and Environment and the Faculty of Engineering of the University of Leeds. My postgraduate research entailed the study of density-driven flows. In 2011 I was awarded a Marie-Curie European Reintegration Grant (ERG) to undertake a Research Fellowship in bioinspired aquatic propulsion at the Centre for Sea Technologies and Marine Robotics of the Biorobotics Institute, as part of the CFD-OctoProp project and the project PoseiDrone.
In 2015, sponsored by the Lloyd's Register Foundation, I moved to the Fluid Structure Interaction Group of the University of Southampton where I started working on the development of bioinspired soft-bodied underwater vehicles and the study of aquatic propulsion aided by body-shape variations. In June 2016 I was awarded, along with Dr. Gabriel Weymouth, a "technology proof-of-concept" NERC grant to pursue the study of pulsed-jet propelled, shape-changing underwater vehicles within the "Aquatic soft robots for environmental sensing" project.
In 2018 I moved to the University of Edinburgh as a Research Associate of the OrcaHub, where I work on model predictive control of unmanned underwater vehicles for operations in advese weather conditions. This project is carried out in collaboration with Dr. Kiprakis (Institute of Energy Systems), Prof. Mistry (School of Informatics) and Dr. Stokes (Scottish Microelectronics Institute).