Edinburgh Research Explorer

Dr Ignazio Maria Viola

Senior Lecturer

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Willingness to take Ph.D. students: Yes

Please visit: http://goo.gl/Xxr396

Education / Academic qualification

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), Politecnico di Milano
Experimental and numerical aerodynamics of sailing yachts
Master of Engineering, Università degli studi di Genova


Download the CV from here.



Senior Lecturer, Institute for Energy Systems, School of Engineering, University of Edinburgh
09/2013-07/2016Lecturer, Institute for Energy Systems, School of Engineering, University of Edinburgh
09/2010-08/2013Lecturer in Naval Architecture, School of Marine Science and Technology, Newcastle University
01/2009-10/2010Post Doctoral Fellow, Yacht Research Unit, Mechanical Engineering Department, University of Auckland, New Zealand
02/2005-05/2008 PhD student, Mechanical Engineering Department, Politecnico di Milano, Italy
01/2004-02/2005Research Assistant, Politecnico di Milano Wind Tunnel, Italy
01/2002-12/2003Project Manager, PRIMA Research & Development, Como, Italy
08/2001-12/2003Project Manager and then Director of Mass Production, MAS yacht yard, Como, Italy

Current Research Interests

My research is in applied fluid dynamics and focuses on the viscous flow around immersed bodies, for example, the behaviour of the air around the sail of a yacht, and the water around the blade of a tidal turbine. I am particularly interested in those conditions where the nature of the onset flow is turbulent and the forces on the body are due to the formation of vortical flow structures. This occurs, for instance, on yacht sails where the sharp leading edge leads to the formation of a large vortex which contributes significantly to the yacht thrust; it occurs on tidal turbine blades, where periodic variations of the current due to the waves lead to the formation of large vortical structures and, in turn, to large load fluctuations and fatigue failure; it occurs on a microscopic scale on the closest layer of flow to the hull of a ship, where the roughness of the surface leads to microscopic vortices which increase the friction resistance. My 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.

Research Groups

Institute for Energy Systems, School of Engineering

Research students

Cathal Cummins (Postdoctoral Research Assistant)

Susan Tulli (PhD)

Nicola Speranza (PhD)

Rowan Evelin Muir (MScR)

Abel Arredondo-Galeana (PhD)

Tamás István Józsa (PhD)

Gabriel Thomas Scarlett (PhD)

Kristin Luttik (PhD)

Weidong Dai (PhD)

Jean-Baptiste Souppez (PhD part time)

Daniele Certini (PhD)

Shūji Ōtomo (PhD)

Gabriele Pisetta (PhD)


Francesca Tagliaferri (Alumni: PhD, 2015)


Fluid Mechanics

Marine Energy


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