Mattia Gazzola


Mattia Gazzola was born in Galliate, a nice village with a castle, located in Piemonte, Italy. His wandering led him to the cities of Milano, Madrid, London, Barcelona, Zurich, Los Angeles, Boston and... Urbana-Champaign, Illinois!


2016 - Present: Assistant Professor, UIUC MechSE and NCSA

2013 - 2016: Postdoctoral Fellow, Harvard University
Advisor: L. Mahadevan

2012 - 2013: Postdoctoral Fellow, ETH Zurich
Advisor: Petros Koumoutsakos


2007 - 2012: Ph.D. Mechanical Engineering, ETH Zurich
Advisor: Petros Koumoutsakos
Co-advisors: Fotis Sotiropoulos, John O. Dabiri, Philippe Chatelain
Thesis: Simulation, optimization and learning of artificial swimmers

2004 - 2006: M.Sc. Nuclear Engineering, Politecnico di Milano
110 /110 cum Laude
2000 - 2003: B.Sc. Energy Engineering, Politecnico di Milano
110 /110 cum Laude


11/2010 - 03/2011: Visiting scholar, Caltech
Advisor: Anthony Leonard
Topic: Aero-effected flight control using distributed active bleed

09/2009 - 03/2010: Visiting scholar, MIT
Advisor: Tomaso Poggio
Topic: Stochastic optimization of a visual cortex model

03/2006 - 03/2007: Software developer, Pompeu Fabra University
Topic: Medical image registration

06/2005 - 03/2006: Mobility program, Imperial College London
Advisors: Joaquim Peiro, Luca Formaggia, Alessandro Veneziani
Topic: Shape reconstruction from medical images

01/2004 - 06/2005: Erasmus, Universidad Politecnica de Madrid


2019: NSF CAREER Award

2018: Cover of Advanced Functional Materials
Simulation and fabrication of stronger, larger and faster walking biohybrid machines

2016: Blue Waters Professorship

2016: Cover of Science
Phototactic guidance of a tissue-engineered soft-robotic ray

2016: The Vizzies top 10 finalist
NSF and Popular Science best science visualizations of the year: C-start

2015: Advanced Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) Fellowship

2015: Le Prix La Recherche
Most relevant francophone research of the year - Special Prize of the Jury

2014: Cover of Nature Physics
Scaling macroscopic aquatic locomotion

2013: Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) Fellowship

2013: ETH Medal Award for outstanding Doctoral Thesis

2013: Cover of Journal of Fluid Mechanics
Optimal shapes for anguilliform swimmers at intermediate Reynolds numbers

2012: Cover of Journal of Fluid Mechanics
C-start: optimal start of larval fish