Dr Ignazio Maria Viola




+44(0)131 6505622


3.093 Faraday Building

Personal Page: 

Social Media: 

Engineering Discipline: 

  • Mechanical Engineering

Research Institute: 

  • Energy Systems

Research Theme: 

  • Naval Architecture
  • Offshore Renewable Energy
Dr Ignazio Maria Viola
Dr Ignazio Maria Viola


Dr Ignazio Maria Viola is Reader at the School of Engineering, University of Edinburgh, and Fellow of the Royal Institution of Naval Architects. His research in applied fluid dynamics focuses on those conditions where the forces on immersed bodies are governed by vortex flow. He has been awarded two Medals of Distinction and one Medal of Exceptional Merit by the Royal Institution of Naval Architects. 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 Editorial Board Member of 4 other journals: Ocean Engineering, J Marit Eng, Int J Small Craft Tech, and J Mar Sc and Eng. He is the Edinburgh co-Director of the Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT) in Wind & Marine Energy Systems and co-investigator and Deputy Director of the new CDT in Wind & Marine Energy Systems & Structures.

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)
Editorial Board Member, Ocean Engineering, ELSEVIER (2015-date)
Editorial Board Member, International Journal of Maritime Engineering, RINA (2020-date)
Editorial Board Member, International Journal of Small Craft Technology, RINA (2012-2021)
Editorial Board Member, Journal of Marine Science and Engineering, Ocean Engineering Sec., MDPI (2018-date)


FRINA, Fellow of the Royal Institution of Naval Architects, no. 00300035 (2015)
CEng, Chartered Engineer Registered by the Engineering Council (UK), no. 584133 (2010)
EUR ING, European Federation of National Engineering Associations, no. 31153 (2010)

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 (2013)
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 Engineer Board of Milan, 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 (2019-2023)


UK Fluids Network, Steering Committee (2020-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 Engineering Early Career Forum (2016-2019) – informal advisory board of the EPSRC
EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT) in Wind & Marine Energy Systems, Co-Director (2016-date)
EPSRC CDT in Wind & Marine Energy Systems and Structures, Director of Responsible Research and Innovation (2019-date)
EPSRC Supergen Offshore Renewable Energy Hub, Research Advisory Board (2018-date)
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 our focus is 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 https://voilab.eng.ed.ac.uk


Aerodynamics and hydrodynamics, including

  • Biomechanics and bio-inspired drones
  • COVID aerodynamics
  • Wind and tidal energy
  • Sail aerodynamics

Further Information: