Academic Profile : Faculty

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Asst Prof Luca Dal Zilio
Assistant Professor, Asian School of the Environment
External Links
Luca Dal Zilio is an Assistant Professor of Geophysics at Nanyang Technological University (NTU) in Singapore and a Principal Investigator at the Earth Observatory of Singapore (EOS), leading the Computational Geophysics Lab. Dal Zilio is a computational geoscientist focused on studying natural hazards, with a strong interest in the mechanics of fracture, frictional sliding, and multiphase flow in porous media.

Prior to joining NTU and EOS, Dal Zilio was a Senior Researcher at ETH Zurich and the coordinator of the Modelling Working Group in Bedretto Underground Laboratory for Geosciences and Geoenergies (BedrettoLab), conducting in-situ experiments focused on geothermal energy, fault reactivation, and earthquake physics. He also held a postdoctoral position at Caltech as the Cecil and Sally Drinkward Distinguished Postdoctoral Fellow in Mechanical Engineering, focusing on bridging spatiotemporal scales from tectonic to earthquake scales. He holds a Master's in Geophysics from the University of Padova and a Ph.D. from ETH Zurich, awarded in 2019.
His research combines theory, physics-based simulations, and laboratory experiments to characterize and understand earthquakes, crustal deformation, tsunamis, and similar phenomena. Specific focus is on identifying the fundamental mechanical processes governing a system of interest, developing numerical models incorporating these processes, validating them using geophysical observations, and then using the models to predict system behaviour. Research areas include earthquake rupture dynamics, earthquake source processes, tsunami generation, large-scale geodynamic processes, and geoenergy exploration due to anthropogenic operations involving underground fluid extraction or injection, with applications in enhanced geothermal systems and carbon sequestration.

For his work, Dal Zilio received the 2023 Jason Morgan Early Career Award from the American Geophysical Union, the 2022 Prix Schläfli award from the Swiss Academy of Sciences, the 2021 Giorgio Dal Piaz award from the Italian Geological Society, the 2020 Silver Medal from ETH Zurich for an outstanding doctoral thesis, and the 2019 Springer Nature Thesis Award. Since 2020, he has also served as an associate editor for the journals Nature Communications Earth & Environment and AGU Tectonics.
  • Computational Geophysics Lab
  • Integrating Volcano and Earthquake Science and Technology (InVEST) in Southeast Asia
2023 Jason Morgan Early Career Award, American Geophysical Union (AGU)
2022 Prix Schläfli award from the Swiss Academy of Sciences
2021 Giorgio Dal Piaz award from the Italian Geological Society
2020 Silver Medal from ETH Zurich for Outstanding Doctoral Thesis
2019 Springer Nature Thesis Award
2019 Poster award, Southern California Earthquake Center (SCEC) annual meeting, Palm Springs (CA)
2018 Outstanding Student Poster Award by the European Geosciences Union, Vienna
Fellowships & Other Recognition
2019 Cecil and Sally Drinkward Distinguished Postdoctoral Fellowship, Caltech
Supervision of PhD Students
• Guoguang Wei (visiting PhD student at ETH from SUSTech, China): 2023 – present
• Jiayi Ye (PhD student supervisor, ETH Zurich): 2022 – present
• Danyang Jiang (PhD student co-supervisor, ETH Zurich): 2022 – present
• Betti Hegyi (PhD student co-supervisor, ETH Zurich): 2021 – present