Career highlights

1984-1988 Fulbright Fellow, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, New Jersey, USA
1988-1997 Premier Assistant et Chargé deCours, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Lausanne, Switzerland
1997-2003 Professor, Université Paul Sabatier, IMFT, Toulouse, France 
2003-present Professor, Università di Genova, DICCA, Genova, Italy


After graduating cum laude in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Genova with a Laurea thesis on the thermal instabilities developing in the heat exchanger of a fast breeder experimental nuclear reactor (research carried out at the ANSALDO-NIRA company, under the joint supervision of Dr. A. Donati and Prof. G. Guglielmini), Alessandro Bottaro spent a year as a soldier in the Italian mountain troops, and then joined the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at Rutgers University, New Jersey, with a Fulbright fellowship. There, he pursued numerical research on natural and mixed convection in three-dimensional cylindrical geometries, advised by Prof. A. Zebib. This work led him to his doctorate degree, obtained in 1988, after having been elected in 1987 "the Rutgers MAE graduate student with most scholarship and promise". Shortly afterward, Alessandro Bottaro joined the Hydraulic Machines and Fluids Mechanics Institute at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne, Switzerland, directed by the late Prof. I.L. Ryhming, and started numerical work on the generation of structured grids for the simulation of flows in hydraulic turbines, and on the mixing processes in chemical reactors, activities sponsored by the Swiss pharmaceutical and hydraulic-machines industries. He also started lecturing to senior undergraduate and graduate students on general fluid mechanics, hydrodynamic instabilities, fluid mixing and turbulence. Later research carried out in Switzerland dealt with the effect of centrifugal and Coriolis forces on flow instabilities in boundary layers and channels. Most notable is the study on the receptivity of Goertler vortices conducted in collaboration with Prof. P. Luchini, based on an inverse approach that requires the backward-in-time integration of the adjoint stability equations. In 1997, Alessandro Bottaro was appointed Professor at the Department of Mechanics of the University Paul Sabatier in Toulouse, France. There, he gave classes to undergraduate and graduate students on general mechanics, thermodynamics, heat transfer, waves in fluids, stability, transition and turbulence, numerical methods in fluid mechanics, and flow receptivity/control.  He also carried out research activities at the Fluid Mechanics Institute of Toulouse, leading a group of twelve to fifteen researchers working on topics ranging from flow instabilities, to receptivity, coherent structures and optimal/robust control of transition.  In 2002 he was appointed as coordinator of the Fluid Mechanics and Energy unit of the French CNRT on Aeronautics and Space.  During his tenure at the University of Toulouse Alessandro Bottaro also co-organized a number of specialised workshops and large scale conferences, sat in the Scientific Committee of several international meetings, and delivered some thirty invited seminars at conferences, summer-schools and research laboratories throughout the world. He has held European union grants in the Fifth, Sixth and Seventh Framework Programmes (ALTTA, WAVES, RECEPT, FLUBIO, REDWING, TTT, COT) and a number of contracts with science-sponsoring organisations and industries (Airbus, Siemens, Ansaldo Energia, Oto Melara, GreenProject, Selex Galileo MUAS).  He routinely referees papers submitted for publication to fluid dynamics journals, such as the Journal of Fluid Mechanics, Physics of Fluids, AIAA Journal, etc.  In 2003 he was appointed Full Professor at the University of Genova for "Chiara Fama" ("Clear Renown"), in the framework of an Italian National Programme aimed at counteracting brain drain.  He is since with the Department of Civil, Chemical and Environmental Engineering, lecturing on fluid mechanics and continuum mechanics, and has geared his most recent research activity toward the study of biological systems, such as the hydrodynamics of beating cilia or the optimization of the propulsion characteristics of flapping foils through kinematic control. Recently, he has been appointed 'expert' with the European Union, and at the French Ministry of Education and Research within the Mission Scientifique, Technique et Pédagogique, DSPT8. From September 2007 to September 2011 he has been President of the Scientific Council of the French Foundation on Aerospace Science and Engineering (RTRA-STAE). At present he sits in the Scientific and Technical Committee of the Ligurian District on Sea Technologies (DLTM), based in La Spezia. In November 2011 he has been drafted into the ANVUR evaluation panel (ANVUR is the national agency for the evaluation of universities and research institutes) to assess Italian research output in the fields of industrial engineering and computer science for the period 2004-2010. He has been awarded the Edoardo Kramer prize in 2013 from the Istituto Lombardo, Accademia di Scienze e Lettere, as the "Italian engineer with significant contributions to fluid dynamics and turbulence". In 2014 he has been granted a Chaire d'Attractivité from the Institut National Polytechnique de Toulouse, in the frame of the French IDEX (Initiative d'Excellence) program, to conduct research in fluid mechanics and biomimetics at the Institut de Mécanique des Fluides de Toulouse for the period 2015-2019. From 2016 to 2019 Alessandro Bottaro has presided over the Scientific Council of the Marseille-based Labex ("Laboratoire d'Excellence") Mécanique et Complexité. His research has featured on Le Scienze and Sapere (Italian science journals), and on the New Scientist, Conservation Magazine, The Economist, Lava Magazine, and other science divulgation magazines and web sites. He is the author of eighty refereed journal publications, two thirds of which in either the Journal of Fluid Mechanics or Physics of Fluids, and one patent. He serves as Associate Editor for Meccanica since 2011, and for the European Journal of Mechanics - B/Fluids since 2019.



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