Public Release: 

NYU School of Engineering professor honored for contributions to mechanical vibration

ASME committee names Maurizio Porfiri the 2015 C.D. Mote, Jr. Early Career Award winner; his research could lead to safer ships and ways to harvest energy from the small eddies and vibrations in bodies of water

NYU Tandon School of Engineering

BROOKLYN, NEW YORK--The Technical Committee on Vibration and Sound of ASME announced it selected NYU Polytechnic School of Engineering Professor Maurizio Porfiri as recipient of its 2015 C.D. Mote, Jr. Early Career Award for his contributions to the field of vibration and acoustics.

The prize, named for the president of the National Academy of Engineering, recognizes Porfiri's efforts to elucidate the interactions between fluid flows and the dynamics of nautical and aerospace structures.

By advancing new tools in nonlinear dynamics, experimental fluid dynamics, and computational mechanics, his Dynamical Systems Laboratory aims to contribute to the design of lightweight, fuel-efficient, and resilient marine vessels. The same theoretical underpinnings could translate to microsystems such as atomic-force microscopes.

In the broad field of vibrations and acoustics, Porfiri's research advanced a new framework for extricating usable energy from small aquatic systems by exploiting ubiquitous natural and man-made ambient mechanical vibrations and little eddies. This untapped energy could someday be harvested to power self-sustainable, multifunctional underwater micro-sensors.

Porfiri is a member of the faculty of the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering.

"We are proud that Professor Porfiri's research has created a comprehensive theoretical, computational, and experimental framework that could lead to the design of safer marine vessels," said Vice Dean for Research, Innovation and Entrepreneurship Kurt Becker. "In his studies, structural dynamics, particle image velocimetry, and computational fluid dynamics have all been seamlessly integrated to a seminal contribution to the field of vibrations. It is gratifying to see his talents acknowledged by his peers in a respected organization like the ASME."

Porfiri's doctoral work, conducted in Italy, demonstrated his capacity to construct physical "analogs" to understand and contribute to the understanding of vibration and acoustics. His current research also includes microelectromechanical systems, underwater robotics, complex systems, and collective behavior.

Porfiri's many honors include a place on Popular Science magazine's 2010 "Brilliant 10" list of young innovators, ASME's Gary Anderson Early Achievement Award for his contributions to the field of smart structures and materials, the ASME Dynamics Systems and Control Division Young Investigator Award, and a National Science Foundation Faculty Early Career Development Program (CAREER) award. Porfiri has been invited twice to National Academy of Engineering Symposia in 2011 and 2014, the latter chaired by the president Dr. Mote. Porfiri is the author of approximately 200 journal publications.

The Technical Committee on Vibration and Sound will present the C.D. Mote, Jr., award at the ASME (founded as the American Society of Mechanical Engineers) 2015 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences in Boston on August 5, 2015.


The NYU Polytechnic School of Engineering dates to 1854, when the NYU School of Civil Engineering and Architecture as well as the Brooklyn Collegiate and Polytechnic Institute (widely known as Brooklyn Poly) were founded. Their successor institutions merged in January 2014 to create a comprehensive school of education and research in engineering and applied sciences, rooted in a tradition of invention, innovation and entrepreneurship. In addition to programs at its main campus in downtown Brooklyn, it is closely connected to engineering programs in NYU Abu Dhabi and NYU Shanghai, and it operates business incubators in downtown Manhattan and Brooklyn. For more information, visit

Disclaimer: AAAS and EurekAlert! are not responsible for the accuracy of news releases posted to EurekAlert! by contributing institutions or for the use of any information through the EurekAlert system.