Since 2000, Dr Francesca M. Susin has been Assistant Professor of Hydraulics in the Department of Civil, Environmental and Architectural Engineering (ICEA) at the University of Padua, Italy, where she also teaches Bioengineering Fluid Dynamics as Aggregate Professor.
She earned her Master of Science in Hydraulic Engineering from the University of Padua in 1994 and her PhD in Fluid Mechanics from the Universities of Padua, Genoa and Florence in 1998. In her PhD thesis work she investigated the hydrodynamic stability of stratified viscous shear flows, experimentally proving the stabilizing effect of both viscosity and temporal acceleration in the process governing turbulence development.
After completing her PhD, she was a post-doctoral fellow at the University of Padua for two years. Her research activity was initially focused on basic and applied fluid mechanics topics (wall coherent turbulent structures, shock waves reflection in supercritical free surface flows, hydraulic jump stability, hydraulic hysteresis in free surface flows, morphodynamics of lagoons). Then, after a period of maternity leave, she moved her research interest onto blood circulation in humans, starting a new research line at the University of Padua with the aim of connecting clinical needs and advanced engineering skills.
In 2014 she gave birth to the Cardiovascular Fluid Dynamics Laboratory in the ICEA Department. The hydrodynamics of stenotic aortic valves, modelling of cardiovascular flows with fluid-structure interaction, functional assessment of cardiovascular devices, international standards and guidelines for heart valve substitutes, patient- and population-specific modelling of surgical approaches, and the hemodynamics of congenital heart diseases are some of the topics investigated in the laboratory by Francesca and her research group (currently comprising one post doctoral fellow and two PhD students), both in vitro and in silico.
Furthermore, solid mechanics, biomaterials, high precision additive manufacturing, imaging techniques, cardiovascular physiology and surgery are some of the fields of expertise that the laboratory grants thanks to the continuous cooperation with a number of researchers in engineering and clinical areas from either Padua or further afield.
She is author of dozens of papers in national and international conferences and in peer-reviewed journals. She is also a reviewer for journals including Cardiovascular Engineering and Technology, the Journal of Heart Valve Disease, the European Journal of Mechanics – B Fluids, and the Journal of Applied Biotechnology and Bioengineering.