Amilcare M Porporato

Amilcare Porporato

Addy Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering

Amilcare Porporato earned a Master Degree in Civil Engineering (summa cum laude) in 1992 and his Ph.D. in 1996 from Polytechnic of Turin. He was appointed Assistant Professor in the Department of Hydraulics of the Polytechnic of Turin, and he moved to Duke University in 2003, where he is now Full Professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering with a secondary appointment with the Nicholas School of the Environment.

In June 1996, Porporato received the Arturo Parisatti International Price, awarded by the Istituto Veneto di Scienze, Lettere e Arti. He was Research Associate at the Texas A&M University (USA) in 1998 and Visiting Scholar at Princeton University (USA), Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, from 1999 to 2001. In 2008-2009 he was the first Landolt & Cie Visiting Chair in “Innovative Strategies for a sustainable Future” at Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne (EPFL), Switzerland. He was awarded the 2007 Professor Senol Utku’ award, the 2010 Earl Brown II Outstanding Civil Engineering Faculty Award, and in 2011 he received a Lagrange fellowship from the Polytechnic of Turin, the CRT bank and the ISI (Institute for Scientific Interchange). In 2012 he was elected an AGU fellow.

His main research interests regard nonlinear and stochastic dynamical systems, hydrometeorology and soil-atmosphere interaction, soil moisture and plant dynamics, soil biogeochemistry, and ecohydrology.

Porporato has been Editor of Water Resources Research (AGU) (2004-2009), and he is currently editor for Hydrological Processes. He is also member of the editorial board of Advances in Water Resources and the Hydrologic Science Journal. Among other things, he was chairman and convener of the Ecohydrology sessions of the AGU Spring Meeting in 2001 and 2002 and of the EGU in 2004-2006. Porporato has been part of the Italian research groups of Turbulence and Vorticity and of Climate, Soil and Vegetation Interaction, an adviser for real-time forecasting in the Piedmont Region (Italy), and ecohydrology (US National Academy).

Porporato's didactic experience comprises courses in Environmental Fluid Mechanics, Hydraulics, Hydraulic Constructions, Statistical and Physical Hydrology, Ecohydrology, Nonlinear Dynamics and Stochastic Processes. He has also been the didactic coordinator for the International School "Hydroaid: Water for Development", co-organized by the Polytechnic of Turin and the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Porporato is author of more than 140 peer-reviewed papers, several publications presented at national and international conferences and invited talks. He is also co-author of the book "Ecohydrology of water controlled ecosystems" (Cambridge Univ. Press, 2004) and the edited the book "Dryland Ecohydrology" (Springer, 2005).

Appointments and Affiliations

  • Addy Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering
  • Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering
  • Professor in the Division of Environmental Sciences and Policy

Contact Information

Education

  • Ph.D. Polytechnic University of Turin (Italy), 1996
  • M.S. Polytechnic University of Turin (Italy), 1992

Research Interests

Near-wall turbulence, nonlinear analysis of hydrologic time series, stochastic soil moisture dynamics and water balance, soil-atmosphere interaction, and ecohydrology, complexity in the environment, sustainable use of soil and water resources.

Specialties

Hydrology
Geophysics
Nonlinear Dynamics
Water, Resources and Treatment
Environmental Impacts
Environmental Engineering

Awards, Honors, and Distinctions

  • Fellows. American Geophysical Union. 2012

Courses Taught

  • CEE 301L: Fluid Mechanics
  • CEE 463L: Water Resources Engineering
  • CEE 686: Ecohydrology
  • CEE 690: Advanced Topics in Civil and Environmental Engineering
  • CEE 692: Independent Study: Advanced Topics in Civil and Environmental Engineering
  • CEE 890: Special Readings in Civil and Environmental Engineering
  • ME 759: Special Readings in Mechanical Engineering

In the News

Representative Publications

  • Pascale, S; Lucarini, V; Feng, X; Porporato, A; ul Hasson, S, Projected changes of rainfall seasonality and dry spells in a high greenhouse gas emissions scenario, Climate Dynamics, vol 46 no. 3-4 (2016), pp. 1331-1350 [10.1007/s00382-015-2648-4] [abs].
  • Ghannam, K; Poggi, D; Porporato, A; Katul, GG, The Spatio-temporal Statistical Structure and Ergodic Behaviour of Scalar Turbulence Within a Rod Canopy, Boundary-Layer Meteorology, vol 157 no. 3 (2015), pp. 447-460 [10.1007/s10546-015-0073-1] [abs].
  • Katul, GG; Manes, C; Porporato, A; Bou-Zeid, E; Chamecki, M, Bottlenecks in turbulent kinetic energy spectra predicted from structure function inflections using the Von Karman-Howarth equation., Physical Review E - Statistical, Nonlinear, and Soft Matter Physics, vol 92 no. 3 (2015) [abs].
  • Mau, Y; Porporato, A, A dynamical system approach to soil salinity and sodicity, Advances in Water Resources, vol 83 (2015), pp. 68-76 [10.1016/j.advwatres.2015.05.010] [abs].
  • Rigby, JR; Yin, J; Albertson, JD; Porporato, A, Approximate Analytical Solution to Diurnal Atmospheric Boundary-Layer Growth Under Well-Watered Conditions, Boundary-Layer Meteorology, vol 156 no. 1 (2015), pp. 73-89 [10.1007/s10546-015-0018-8] [abs].

Additional Information

Honors and Awards
  • 1992, Magna Cum Laude distinction, Polytechnic of Turin, Italy.
  • 1996, Arturo Parisatti International Prize, awarded by the Istituto Veneto di Scienze, Lettere ed Arti, Venice (Italy), for the paper “Nonlinear analysis of river flow time sequences” by Amilcare Porporato and Luca Ridolfi.
  • 2007, Professor Senol Utku Award, for best graduate student peer reviewed paper "A theoretical analysis of nonlinearities and feedbacks in soil carbon and nitrogen cycles" in Soil Biology and Biogeochemistry written with S. Manzoni, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Duke University
  • 2008-2009, first Landolt & Cie Visiting Chair in “Innovative Strategies for a sustainable Future” at Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne (EPFL), Switzerland.

    Professional and Service Activities

    • Editor of Water Resources Research (AGU) 2004-2009.
    • Editorial Board of Advances In Water Resources
    • Member of the American Geophysical Union (AGU) since 1999, European Geophysical Union (AGU), International Association of Hydrologic Sciences (IAHS).
    • Didactic Coordinator, Hydroaid: International School "Water for Development", co-organized by the Polytechnic of Turin and the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Turin, Italy, 2002-2003.
    • National Research Group for Studies on the Impact of climate, soil, and vegetation on flood dynamics, Italian Ministry of University and Scientific and Technologic Research, MURST. 2001-2004.
    • Scientific Coordinator, Project for the study the geomorphological evolution of the Pellice river. Polytechnic of Turin and the Province of Turin, Italy, 2001-2004
    • Chairman and Convener of the Ecohydrology sessions of the AGU Spring Meeting 2001 and 2002 and EGU 2004-06.
    • Scientific Coordinator, Project for real time flood forecasting for Piemonte rivers. Polytechnic of Turin and Piemonte Region, Italy.
    • Primary Investigator, National Research Group for Studies of Turbulence and Vorticity, Italian Ministry of University and Scientific and Technologic Research, MURST. 1996-2000.
    • Scientific Coordinator, Project for the study of a flood forecasting procedure for the Tanaro river, Polytechnic of Turin and City of Alba, Italy. 1996-1997.
    • Scientific Advisor, flood forecasting Piedmont Region (Italy).
    • Scientific Advisor, monitoring health of our planet, US National Academy.