CNR-INM | Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche | Istituto di Ingegneria del Mare
+39 06 50299 222

Mario Felli

Contact information

Position Technology Director
Phone +39 06 50299 240
OfficeRome HQ
AddressVia di Vallerano 139, 00128 Rome, Italy
Research profilesGoogle Scholar | Scopus | ORCID | ResearcherID | ResearchGate | Publons | CNR People

Short biography

Dr Mario Felli is Technology Director at CNR INM (and previously at CNR-INSEAN). He received the Master Degree in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Rome “La Sapienza” in 1999 and the Ph.D. in Mechanical and Industrial Engineering from the University of Rome “Roma Tre” in 2004. Currently, he directs the Large Cavitation Channel of CNR INSEAN and serves as Professor in Experimental Hydrodynamics in the Department of Ocean Engineering at the University of “Rome Tre”.

His research has been focused on fluid mechanics and aero/hydro-acoustics and has conerned the development and exploitation of advanced experimental methods to gain physical understanding of the underlying fluidynamic and acoustic mechanisms related to marine and aeronautic propulsion. He has over 200 publications in refereed journals, conference papers and technical reports.

He has been principal investigator of many research projects dealing with the study of propellers and jets, funded from national and international organizations (i.e. European Community, Office of Naval Research of the US Navy, Italian Navy, Italian Ministry of Education, Universities and Research) and has also been part of several large collaborative projects. Currently, he is the principal investigator (PI) and/or scientific director for INM (SD) for the US Navy ONR NICOP project “PROUD” (PI), of the EU ERANET MARTERA Project “PRONOVI” (SD), of the Italian Ministry of Defence PNRM Project “DECEIVING PROP” (PI), of the EU CBC Programme Interreg Italy-Croatia Project “SOUNDSCAPE” (SD), of the EU H2020 Project “SATURN” (SD) and of the EU H2020 Project “GATERS” (SD). He has also obtained funding from major companies and Institutions, such as Tyssenkrupp HDW, Rolls Royce, Defence Agency of Singapore and Fincantieri. 

He served as South Europe representative in the Resistance committee of the 28th ITTC and in the “Detailed flow measurements” committee of the 26th and 27th ITTC in the capacity of secretary and technical committee member. Currently, he chairs the community of practice on “Noise Measurements” of the European Hydro-Testing Forum and has been appointed onto the NATO Technical Team AVT-320 “Assessments of Numerical Simulation Methods for Turbulent Cavitating Flows” .

Research interests

Fluid-mechanics, Aero/Hydro-acoustics, Aeronautic and naval propulsion, Advanced flow measurement techniques (e.g. Laser Doppler Velocimetry, Particole Image Velocimetry, Tomography), Unconventional methods for noise source and noise radiation mechanism identification

Research topics/groups

Underwater noise
Experimental hydrodynamics and hydroacoustics

Selected projects

AEROTRANET 2 (AEROnautical TRAining NETwork in Aerodynamic Noise from Widebody Civil Aircraft)
The Project AeroTraNet 2 (2012-2015) is a Marie Curie Action of the EU 7th Framework Programme (FP7). It trains Early Stage Researchers (ESRs) and Experienced Researchers (ERs) in front-line, integrated, industry relevant research in unsteady aerodynamics and noise for the next generation of environmentally friendly wide-body civil aircraft. Six academic partners address the common objective of modelling shock cell noise in a wide-body aircraft engine configuration from AIRBUS by shock-tolerant numerical modelling for under-expanded jets (University of Leicester), large eddy simulations for turbulent jets with weak shocks (Cerfacs), advanced flow-noise correlations (Università degli Studi Roma Tre), jet and near-field noise experiments (Von Karman Institute for Fluid Dynamics), reduced-order modelling and flow control (Institut de Méchanique des Fluides de Toulouse, IMFT-INP), and advanced laser-based measurement techniques (CNR-INM). Knowledge output is synthesized through a dedicated knowledge capturing programme by the University of Greenwich.

DECEIVING PROP (Analysis Methods and Design Measures for the Reduction of Noise and Vibration Induced by Marine Propellers)
The project DECEIVING PROP has funded by the Italian Ministery of Defence within the National Plan of Military Research (PNRM). The project DECEIVING PROP proposes a research programme which deals with the study of the noise generation and radiation from marine propellers and aims at developing design solutions oriented to the control, mitigation and masking of the acoustic signature. In the first stage, the Project proposes a theoretical and experimental analysis of simple configurations. This stage is aimed at identifying the fundamental underlying mechanisms influencing the propeller noise generation, radiation and modulation. The results are then applied to a case study of military interest. The partnership involves CNR-INM (Principal Investigator), FINCANTIERI and CETENA.

ESMprop (Experimental Study of Hydrodynamics and Hydroacoustics of Marine Propellers)
The project ESMprop (2015-2018) was funded by the Office of Naval Research of the US Navy within the Naval International Cooperative Opportunities (NICOP) Program. The Project addresses the execution of a comprehensive experimental study on the hydrodynamics and hydroacoustics of a reference submarine vehicle and was focused on understanding the fundamental mechanisms triggering the wake instability of a marine propeller and improving the comprehension of the fundamental underlying mechanisms of propeller noise generation and propagation phenomena. The Project is conducted in collaboration with the University of Iowa (USA), The George Washington University (USA) and the University of Minnesota (USA).

GATERS ( GATE Rudder System as a Retrofit for the Next Generation Propulsion and Steering of Ships )
The Project GATERS (2021-2024) is funded by the European Community within the Horizon 2020 Framework Programme. Bringing together 18 technology experts and stakeholders, the GATERS project will demonstrate the benefits of a Gate Rudder system and why it can become the next-generation propulsion and steering system for waterborne transport. Specifically, the project will install and operate this system on a coastal cargo vessel. Next, the team will explore the system’s concept for oceangoing shipping operations. The technology is available for both new-build and existing vessels. .

PRONOVI (Analysis Methods and Design Measures for the Reduction of Noise and Vibration Induced by Marine Propellers)
The PRONOVI project (2018-2021) was funded by the MarTERA partners Research Council of Norway, German Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Energy and Italian Ministry of Education, Universities and Research and co-funded by the European Union. The objective of the ProNoVi project is to improve the numerical and experimental methods for the prediction of noise and vibrations induced by a propeller operating behind ship hull in full scale conditions, and to elaborate practical recommendations for the reduction of noise and vibration levels for single and twin-screw vessels of different size and speed range.

PROUD (Experimental Study of Propeller-Appendage-Hull interactions of underwater vehicles in steady drift)
The project PROUD (2018-2021) was funded by the Office of Naval Research of the US Navy within the Naval International Cooperative Opportunities (NICOP) Program. The Project addresses the execution of a comprehensive experimental study on the hydrodynamics of a reference submarine vehicle in steady drift conditions and is focused on understanding the fundamental underlying mechanisms of the propeller vortex instability under off-design conditions. The Project is conducted in collaboration with the University of Iowa (USA) and the University of Minnesota (USA).

SATURN (Solutions At Underwater Radiated Noise)
The Project SATURN (2021-2025) is funded by the European Community in the within the Horizon 2020 Framework Programme. The project brings together leading experts from a variety of disciplines (bioacoustics; population biology; marine mammal, fish, and invertebrate biology; maritime architecture and engineering; shipping; maritime policy; stakeholder engagement and science communication) to address the negative impacts of ocean noise on marine species and identify 1) The sounds that are most detrimental to aquatic species and how they are produced and propagated, 2) The short-term and cumulative long-term negative impacts of noise from shipping and boats on three representative groups of aquatic species in rivers and the sea (invertebrates, fish, and marine mammals) and 3) The most promising options for measuring and reducing the negative impacts of ship noise that can be applied to current and future vessels .

SONIC (Suppression Of underwater Noise Induced by Cavitation)
The SONIC project (2012-2015) was funded by the European Community within the 7th Framework Programme. The Project was aimed at developing computational and experimental tools to investigate and mitigate the effects of underwater noise generated by shipping, both in terms of the footprint of an individual ship (a “noise footprint”) and of the spatial distribution of sound from a large number of ships contribution to the sound (a “noise map”). The SONIC consortium consisted of world-leading hydrodynamic institutes, noise experts, propeller designers, reputable universities with specialised centres in this field, major European shipyards, and a class society; bringing together a wealth of knowledge on propeller cavitation and noise reduction. The SONIC project was executed in close co-operation with the EU FP7 AQUO project, by sharing data, organizing combined workshops and dissemination activities, and by joining forces on developing guidelines for industry and regulations.

SOUNDSCAPE (Soundscapes in the North Adriatic Sea and their impact on marine biological resources)
The Project SOUNDSCAPE (2018-2022) is funded through the European Union CBC Programme Interreg Italy-Croatia. The project includes the creation of a cross-border scientific and institutional cooperation is aimed at increasing the current knowledge on the underwater noise and the human activities that significantly contribute to it in order to ensure efficient protection of the sensitive marine species and the sustainable use of marine and coastal ecosystems. Current gaps in the knowledge on underwater noise are addressed by implementing continuous one-year monitoring of underwater noise in the sea by using the autonomous recording systems. In addition, the project involves the development/use of advanced sound propagation models to provide information on the spatial distribution of noise and variations in the noise levels in relation to human activities ongoing in the wider area of northern Adriatic Sea.

Selected publications