Edinburgh Research Explorer

Prof Paolo Perona

Chair of Environmental Engineering

Profile photo

Willingness to take PhD students: Yes


Professor Perona studied mechanical engineering at the Politecnico di Torino, in Italy, and is a professionally registered engineer. He gained his PhD in hydraulic engineering in 2001 at the Politecnico di Milano (consortium with Politecnico di Torino) with a dissertation on experimental rheology and non-Newtonian fluid mechanics. Following a postdoc at Politecnico di Torino working on river meandering dynamics, he joined ETH Zurich as a senior research fellow in fluvial systems and water resources management. In 2010 he was awarded the Swiss National Science Foundation assistant professorship grant to study alpine system dynamics and water use sustainability in riparian environments, at EPFL. In january 2016 he joined the School of Engineering with an appointment to as Chair of Environmental Engineering at the Institute for Infrastructure and Environment.

Research Interests

Professor Perona’s research is experimental and analytical, devoted to environmental processes understanding and related modeling using methods of time series analysis, stochastic processes, dynamical systems, rheology and fluid mechanics. Some recent studies include the active role of vegetation in river morphodynamics, plant root growth and mechanical anchoring, flow erosion and vegetation uprooting, snow processes and avalanche formation, water routing and the sustainability of water exploitation in mountain catchments and streams.

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