Staff news

Appointment: Paolo Perona

Professor Paolo Perona has been appointed Chair of Environmental Engineering in the College of Science & Engineering.

Professor Paolo Perona

Professor Perona is the Director of the Applied HydroEconomics and Alpine Environmental Dynamics (AHEAD) at the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), in Switzerland.


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 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.


Professor Perona’s research is experimental and analytical, devoted to process understanding and related modeling using methods of time series analysis, stochastic processes, dynamical systems, rheology and fluid mechanics.

His recent studies on environmental system processes have included the active role of vegetation in river morphodynamics, plant root growth and mechanical anchoring, flow erosion and uprooting, snow processes and avalanche formation, water routing and the sustainability of water exploitation in mountain catchments and streams.