Marco Miniaci, CNRS winner of the ERC Starting grant 2021

Marco Miniaci is a lucky CNRS laureate of the ERC Starting Grant, which provides significant funding for young researchers’ projects.

His project « POSEIDON », aims at developing « Unconventional principles for the control of underwater waves in the sub-wavelength regime » (IEMN – CNRS/University of Lille/École Centrale de Lille)

« We are like dwarfs on the shoulders of giants, so that we can see more things than them and further, certainly not because of the acuteness of our sight or the size of our body, but because we are elevated and carried high of the stature of giants ». (Bernard de Chartres).

Marco is inspired by the spirit of this twelfth-century Neoplatonist philosopher in the design of his research:

« In this perspective, thanks to the scientific results of POSEIDON, I hope to be able to help others to see further into science, exactly as I have been able to do over the past seven years, standing on the shoulders of other researchers. This has been the secret to the conception of POSEIDON! »

Summary of the POSEIDON project

Growing interest in marine renewable energy and ocean-related human activities are the main causes of an alarming increase in the level of noise in the oceans and seas.
Nevertheless, the performance of underwater noise mitigation systems has long been (and still is) limited by the fact that dissipation is inherently low at the sub-wavelength scale.
Therefore, an efficient solution to attenuate underwater waves over low and wide frequency ranges does not yet exist. POSEIDON aims to make up for such a scientific and technological gap by developing a new class of metamaterials allowing unprecedented reflectivity and absorption of waves over wide sub-wavelength frequency ranges.

The project will explore the intimate relationship between the microstructure and macroscopic vibrational properties of a multiscale metamaterial immersed in a heavy fluid, based on the assumption that nature would offer already optimized solutions from which we should be able to draw.

Marco Miniaci’s rich background in both engineering and research on a promising subject for the health of the oceans
  • After an engineering school course at the Alma Mater Studiorum – University of Bologna, Marco continued his PhD (2010 – 2013) to study « Elastic wave propagation in ordinary media and metamaterials ». During his PhD, the regional agency Spinner (Services for the promotion of INNovation and research) grants him a funding for a 6 months mobility project at the Institute of Fluid-Flow Machinery Polish Academy of Sciences (Gdansk), under the direction of Pr. W. Ostachowicz.
  • After a year of post-doc at the Department of Physics of the University of Turin (Italy), in 2016, Marco joins the Laboratoire Ondes et Milieux Complexes (LOMC) of Le Havre in the framework of a Marie Skłodowska-Curie individual fellowship, under the supervision of Pr. Bruno Morvan. During two years, Marco perfects his knowledge on the propagation of elastic waves in periodic media.
  • In January 2018, Marco joined the Wave Motion Lab at the Georgia Institute of Technology (Atlanta) in the research group of Prof. Massimo Ruzzene, specializing then in topological protection.
  • From July 2018 to December 2019, Marco joins the « Acoustics / Noise Control Laboratory » at the Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology (Empa) in Dübendorf, as part of a Marie Skłodowska-Curie COFUND Action, and works on the control of elastic waves via multi-scale metamaterials.
  • Since January 2020, Marco joins the CNRS as a permanent researcher, in the Acoustics group of the IEMN. His current research concerns « elastic and acoustic wave propagation in periodic media, including phononic crystals and metamaterials, elastic topological insulators, non-destructive control ».
  • In 2020, he received the « Marie Skłodowska-Curie Action Award » given by the Croatian Presidency of the Council of the EU (in Zagreb, Croatia) for « the impact of the MSCA fellowship on the career development of the fellows » and the « Industria 4.0 » award from the Italian association GiovedìScienza recognizing the industrial relevance in his research projects.