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The University of Southampton

Dr Francesco Giorgio-Serchi PhD

Visiting Researcher

Dr Francesco Giorgio-Serchi's photo

Dr Franceso Giorgio-Serchi is a Visiting Researcher within Engineering and Physical Sciences at the University of Southampton.

Career History: Francesco was a Research Fellow sponsored by the Lloyds Register Foundation at the Fluid Structure Interaction Research Group within Engineering and the Environment. His work entailed the development of bioinspired soft-bodied underwater vehicles and the study of aquatic propulsion aided by body-shape variations. In June 2016 Francesco and Dr. Gabriel Weymouth were awarded a NERC grant to pursue the study of pulsed-jet propelled, shape-changing underwater vehicles. He is currently working as a Research Associate in the School of Engineering, University of Edinburgh.

Education: Francesco obtained a Laurea Degree (MSc equivalent) in Marine Science & Technology from the University of Pisa in 2006 with a thesis on coastal meteorology numerical weather prediction. During this time he worked at the Laboratory for Environmental Monitoring and Modelling (LAMMA) in Florence. He was later awarded a Marie-Curie Early Stage Training (EST) Fellowship to undertake a PhD in Computational Fluid Dynamics jointly between the School of Earth and Environment and the Faculty of Engineering of the University of Leeds. His postgraduate research entailed the study of density-driven flows. In 2011 Francesco was awarded a Marie-Curie European Reintegration Grant (ERG) to undertake a Research Fellowship in bioinspired aquatic propulsion at the Centre for Sea Technologies and Marine Robotics of the Biorobotics Institute.



Research interests

Francesco is interested in coupled fluid-solid interaction problems with applications to aquatic vehicle design and biologically-inspired propulsion. His study on the dynamics of shape-changing bodies has links to soft-robotics, vortex-induced-vibrations and marine renewable energies. Prior to joining the FSI group in Southampton, Francesco was involved in the study of the role of bed-topography in determining depositional patterns in turbidity currents and its implication in oil reservoir formation. Francesco later moved to working on the design, modelling and testing of the first cable-actuated, soft-bodied, pulsed-jet thruster. Lately, his work on structurally-compliant bodies has been complemented with the research of Dr. Gabriel Weymouth on added-mass-variation effects and the chance to exploit body deformations to enhance thrust generation and control the parametric resonance of submerged vibrating bodies.

Research projects

Aquatic Soft Robots for Environmental Sensing, NERC grant NE/P003966/1, PI: Dr. Gabriel D. Weymouth

NEXUSS- Next Generation Unmanned System Science, NERC/EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Smart Observation, PI: Prof. Alberto Naveira Garabato.

Fig 1: CFD model of a density current flowing across a submerged channel.
Fig 1:CFD model of a density current across a submerged channel
Figure 2
Fig 2:aquatic soft robot, (a) crawler, (b) manipulator, (c) thruster
Fig 3: a pulsed-jet multi-modal aquatic soft robot.
Fig 3: a pulsed-jet multi-modal aquatic soft robot
Fig 4: a shape-changing oscillator subject to added-mass pumping
Fig 4: a shape-changing oscillator subject to added-mass pumping

Research group

Maritime Engineering

Research project(s)

Aquatic Soft Robots for Environmental Sensing

The aim of this project is to develop a soft-bodied vehicle with augmented mission capabilities and survivability in order to perform inspection tasks in all those scenarios precluded to standard underwater robots and divers. To do so we intend to exploit the fluid mechanics properties of volume-changing bodies and the benefits of soft-robotics design. This project is entirely supported by the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) within the “Technology Proof of Concept” programme, NERC grant NE/P003966/1.

  • SESS2015 "Hydrodynamics and Seakeeping", tutor
  • SESS6070 "Offshore Engineering and Analysis", tutor/demonstrator
  • SESS3023 Marine Hydrodynamics, lecturer
  • SESS6072 "Maritime Robotics", lecturer/tutor
  • Smallpeice "Maritime Engineering and Ship Science Summer School", course organizer, lecturer and tutor
  • "Ship Science induction week project", course design and tutoring
Dr Francesco Giorgio-Serchi
Engineering, University of Southampton, Southampton Boldrewood Innovation Campus, Burgess Road, Southampton, SO16 7QF

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