Enrico Paterna room HIL E 47.2
PhD Student tel +41 58 765 4747
  fax +41 44 823 4009



Enrico Paterna received his M.Eng. degree in Environmental Engineering from the Università Politecnica delle Marche (Italy) in 2009. After graduation he attended the Research Master in Environmental Fluid Dynamics at the Von Karman Institute for Fluid Dynamics (Belgium). Enrico Paterna is currently working as a PhD student at ETH Zürich (Switzerland).


Research topic

The twentieth century has seen a rapid urbanization worldwide. By the year 2050 69% of world’s population is expected to live in cities. As a result, a high portion of the total energy budget is consumed in cities, giving rise to the emission of heat and pollutants in the urban environment. From the above overview, it is clear that possible negative impacts of the urbanization are a source of major concern, depending on the complexity of the urban configurations, and on the boundary conditions such as the meteorological conditions, the pollution and the heat sources.

The current project aims at characterizing the spatial and temporal characteristics of the lower part of the surface layer in and above a number of idealized urban configurations. Insight in the flow structure is a prerequisite for further studies dealing with pollutant dispersion, wind/thermal comfort and building energy consumption.

Physical modelling of the flow is conducted in the ETHZ/Empa wind-tunnel by employing time-resolved stereoscopic Particle Image Velocimetry. Numerical modelling is performed by employing Large Eddy Simulations running on the Empa cluster.

The main objectives of the project consist in characterizing the joint spatio-temporal evolution of coherent flow structures and determining their role in the turbulent kinetic energy budget for each urban configuration, and comparing LES simulations to the data measured in wind tunnel, not only on the basis of the time-averaged data but also on the time-resolved flow fields. Proper Orthogonal Decomposition and wavelet analysis other than spectral analysis and space-time correlation analysis are applied both to measured and simulated data to achieve such objectives.



Journal papers

1. Paterna E., Moonen P., Dorer D., Carmeliet J.: Mitigation of surface reflection in PIV measurements. ''Measurement Science and Technology: 24, 057003 (5pp), 2013" DOI

Mirzaei P. A., Paterna E., Carmeliet. J.: Role of the flow modification on performance enhancement of the integrated photovoltaic panels using particle image velocimetry and thermography techniques, 2012, under review

Conference proceedings

1. Paterna E., Moonen P., Dorer D., Carmeliet J., Flow around a cube: time-resolved PIV measurements and analysis, "Proceedings of the 8th International Conference on Urban Climates", ICUC 8, Dublin, 6-10 August 2012.
2. Paterna E., Moonen P., Dorer D., Carmeliet J., 2011, Turbulent flow around a surface-mounted cube: time-averaged and time-resolved measurements, "Proceedings of the International Workshop on physical modelling of flow and dispersion phenomena – Physmod", Hamburg 22-24 August 2011
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