Assistant Professor Porfiri receives prestigious CAREER award from NSF

Maurizio Porfiri, Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering

Assistant Professor Maurizio Porfiri of Poly’s Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Department has received the prestigious Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) award from the National Science Foundation (NSF).

According to the NSF, the CAREER award, which includes a five-year grant of $419,000, “supports the early career development activities of those teacher-scholars who are most likely to become the academic leaders of the 21st century.”

Porfiri says that the grant will go towards research that “aspires to close the loop between engineering and nature” through a study of engineered guidance and control of fish shoals where bio-mimetic robotic fish will be placed within live fish environments. Behavioral models and mathematical methods for analysis and control of complex networks will be advanced to understand and control the dynamics of the fish shoals.

The goal of the research is to improve the current understanding of complex multi-agent dynamical systems. It has potential impact on multi-vehicle robotics, animal behavior science, aquacultural engineering, and fish protection methods.

An innovative educational experience at the New York Aquarium for elementary, middle, and high school students, including those from under-represented groups, will also be part of Porfiri’s project.