Dr. Ignazio Maria VIOLA is Lecturer in Naval Architecture at the School of Marine Science and Technology at Newcastle University, UK.
Ignazio is one of the world’s leading experts in yachting technology. His specialist expertise is in numerical and experimental fluid dynamics, with a particular interest in sailing yacht performance. He has
collaborated with several America’s Cup Teams and he is currently
leading the most active European research group in this field.
Ignazio was awarded a master degree in Genoa, Italy in 2001. Following his graduation, he worked in a yacht yard (MAS, Como) where, in three years, he became the Director of Mass Production. In the same period, he was the consultant for a Research and Development office (PRIMA R&D, Como), where he coordinated a team of engineers to develop patents for the yacht industry.
After completing his PhD, Ignazio was funded by the European Social Fund to investigate sail aerodynamics with computational fluid dynamics (CFD). He successfully performed a record-breaking simulation with a grid of more than one billion cells, which was the largest grid ever performed with commercial software.
During 2009 and 2010, Ignazio was Post Doctoral Fellow at the Yacht Research Unit of the University of Auckland, which is the scientific advisor of Emirates Team New Zealand, a challenger for the America’s Cup. In 2010 he performed the world’s first direct pressure measurements on a full-scale spinnaker.
His PhD thesis, which was undertaken at the Politecnico di Milano, was
sponsored by Luna Rossa, an America’s Cup challenger, and was on how to
develop high-performance sails with CFD
and wind tunnel tests.
Ignazio has written more than 50 scientific publications. He has received several academic awards, such as the RINA Medal of Exceptional Merit and the Medal of Distinction. He is a member of the Editorial Board of prestigious scientific journals and is an elected member of the Specialist Committee on CFD of the International Towing Tank Conference (ITTC).
Ignazio Maria Viola’s specialist skills and experience are in numerical and experimental fluid dynamics. His main research focus is high-performance sailing yachts and, in particular, sail aerodynamics and hull hydrodynamics. His research portfolio also includes the aerodynamics of trains, cars, long- span bridges and tall buildings.
Ignazio is the Group Leader of the Yacht and Superyacht Research Group (YSRG), which is the leading European academic research group on the fluid dynamics of yachts and superyachts. The YSRG researches is in three different areas: Sail Aerodynamics, Hull Hydrodynamics and Race Performance.
The fluid dynamics of upwind and downwind sails is investigated with three methods: full-scale tests, model scale tests and computational fluid dynamics.
The hydrodynamics of sailing and powerboats is investigated with towing tank tests and computational fluid dynamics. Cavitation and ventilation of appendages are studied in the cavitation tunnel.
Velocity prediction programs and racing strategy models are developed in order to enhance the yacht performance and to support the decision process of the tactician during sailing yacht competitions.
Please see a frequently updated list of taught courses in my CV: