Francesco Laio is a water scientist with expertise in hydrology, water resources assessment, environmental modelling, and statistics. He holds a degree in Environmental Engineering (from Politecnico di Torino) and a Ph.D. in Water Engineering (from Politecnico di Milano), and was recently appointed Full Professor in Hydrology. His scholarly activities are documented by more than 140 publications, including 95 papers in ISI peer-reviewed international journals, and a book published by Cambridge University Press. His ISI papers have received nearly 2700 citations in total (according to ISI Web of Science), 2480 if one excludes self-citations. His h-index of 28 (source: ISI Web of Science) indicates that his work is generally well regarded. In the past few years he has served as the coordinator of 11 national and international research projects (including a FIRB project and a ERC Consolidator Grant) for a total budget of  2.2 M€.


Research Associate, 1999-2000, Princeton University (USA)
Assistant Professor, 2004-2010, DIATI, Politecnico di Torino (Italy)
Associate Professor, 2011-2014, DIATI, Politecnico di Torino (Italy)
Full Professor, 2014-present, DIATI, Politecnico di Torino (Italy)

He has been teaching at the Politecnico di Torino (student evaluations available upon request) since 2004. His teaching portfolio includes courses in Hydrology, Water Resources Management and Planning, Hydraulic Infrastructures, Hydrology and climatology, Land and environment protection.

46 out of his 95 ISI papers have been written with one of his Ph.D. students. Ph.D. students advised or co-advised: Stefania Tamea (2004/2006, co-advised with L. Ridolfi), Alberto Viglione (2004/2006, winner of Best Dissertation Award, AMGA foundation, co-advised with P. Claps), Paola Allamano (2005/2007, co-advised with P. Claps), Lorenzo Alfieri (2005/2007, winner of Best Dissertation Award, SIMA foundation, co-advised with P. Claps), Fabio Borgogno (2006/2008, co-advised with L. Ridolfi), Daniele Ganora (2007/2009, co-advised with P. Claps), Elisa Bartolini (2008/2010, co-advised with P. Claps), Stefania Borra (2009/2011, co-advised with L. Ridolfi), Stefania Tron (2011/2013, co-advised with L. Ridolfi), Anna Botto (2012/2014, co-advised with P. Claps), Mohammed Azmat (2012/2014), Alberto Croci (2014/present), Roberta Paranunzio (2014-present), Irene Soligno (2015-present).
He also served as the advisor of the following post-doc researchers: Daniele Ganora (2010-2015); Stefania Scarsoglio (2011); Stefania Tamea (2013-2015); Paolo Cavagnero (2015-present)

Water Resources Research (IF 2.957), edited by Wiley for the American Geophysical Union, 2008-present.
Hydrology and Earth System Sciences (IF 3.148), edited by Copernicus for the European Geophysical Union, 2007-2015.
Advances in Water Resources (IF 2.449), edited by the Elsevier Editorial System, 2010-present.
Guest editor for the special issue "Advances in Statistical Hydrology" for Hydrology and Earth System Sciences, 2010.

Referee and reviewer for various scientific journals including: Water Resources Research, Journal of Hydrology, Nonlinear Processes in Geophysics, Physics and Chemistry of the Earth, Journal of Hydrological Sciences, Advances in Water Resources, Hydrology and Earth System Sciences, Geophysical Research Letters, Physica A, Proceedings of the Royal Society of Sciences Journal, Physical Review E.
Reviewer for national and international projects funded by MIUR and the US National Science Foundation, The Swiss National Science Foundation, The Dutch Science Foundation.

Chair of the Subdivision on Estuaries, Wetlands and Eco-Hydrology of the European Geophysical Union in the years 2007/2011.
Member of the "Statistics in Hydrology Working Group", and of the organizing committee for the pertinent annual meeting (since 2008).
Convener for the "How to write (and publish) a scientific paper in Hydrology" at each year's EGU general meeting (2008-2012).


  1. Methods for verifying the quality of  design flood estimates in North Western Italy, Funded by National Research Council, Period 2005, Coordinated with P. Claps, Project Value 27.500 €
  2. Uncertainty in the estimation of design floods, Funded by the Italian Ministry for University and Research, Period 2006-2008, Project Value 26.500 €
  3. Design floods estimation in Piedmont, with particular reference to catchments closed by dams, Funded by ENEL spa, Period 2006-2008, Coordinated with P. Claps, Project Value 144.000 €
  4. Assessment of agricultural water demands in the river Sesia Catchment, Funded by Consorzio Ovest-Sesia Baraggia, Period 2007-2008, Coordinated with P. Claps, Project Value 50.000 €
  5. Regional-scale analysis of water use from hydropower production plants, Funded by Regione Piemonte, Period 2008-2010, Coordinated with P. Claps, Project Value 80.000 €
  6. Methods for quantifying observational uncertainty in hydrological variables and implications for design flood estimation, Funded by the Italian Ministry for University and Research, Period 2008-2010, Project Value 22.500 €
  7. Regional flood frequency analysis in Calabria, Funded by Regione Calabria, Period 2009-2010, Coordinated with P. Claps, Project Value 37.500 €
  8. FLORA: Flood estimation in complex orographic areas for Risk mitigation in Alpine space, Funded by the EU (Interreg IV), Period 2010-2011, Coordinated with P. Claps, Project Value 150.000 €
  9. RISKNAT: Natural Risk management in mountain areas, Funded by EU (Interreg IV), Period 2010-2011, Coordinated with P. Claps, Project Value 150.000 €
  10. VIWAN, The global virtual water network – Environmental and Socio-economic implications, FIRB project funded by MIUR, Period 2014-2016, Project Value 244.000 € (total project value, including the other research units, 770.000 €)
  11. CWASI, Coping with water scarcity in a globalized world, ERC Consolidator grant funded by the EU, Period 2015-2020, Project Value 1.222.000 €

His research activities have brought to the development of regional-scale flood and rainfall frequency analysis tools that are currently used by ARPA Piemonte and Regione Calabria for their institutional activities.Similarly, a regional tool for estimating the flow duration curves at ungauged sites is used by Regione Piemonte in official applications. An experimental instrument for measuring the snow water equivalent is currently being tested by ENEL Produzione SPA for possible applications in water resources availability assessments. He is one of the inventors of a “Method for measuring a particle precipitation rate, and device thereof”, patent application N. TO2015A000029.

Solicited talks were given by the PI at the 2007 and 2010 American Geophysical Union general assembly and at the general assembly of the European Geophysical Union in 2008, 2009, 2012 and 2014.

Torricelli Prize (5000 €) for the best young Italian scientist in Water Engineering, 2006. The prize was awarded by the Italian Water Engineers Association (GII), under the recommendations of an international selection committee.
Recipient, in years 2007, 2008, 2009, and 2010, of the award for excellence in research granted by the Polytechnic of Turin.
The associate professorship he has been holding was created by his institution in recognition of his achievements, based on an assessment of the scholarly record of all the Assistant Professors at the Politecnico di Torino (9 positions  for 250 competitors). 
Excellence in reviewing award, Advances in Water Resources, 2013.
Colosimo award for the Best poster presentation, "Measuring the rainfall rate from a photo", IHS meeting, 2014.
Water Resources Research 2015 Editors’ Choice Award for the paper “Drivers of the virtual water trade” (doi: 10.1002/2013WR014707)