An interview with Gabriele Nastro a PhD student at ISAE-SUPAERO working on fluid dynamics

Available online :

Can you tell us about where you are coming from and what is your academic background before the PhD ?

"My name is Gabriele Nastro and I’m from Italy. I obtained the bachelor degree in aerospace engineering with honors in Naples, my home town, at the Università degli Studi di Napoli Federico II. After that I moved to Turin for my Master’s at the Politecnico di Torino. At the start of the second year of the Master’s program I took an interest in Fluid Dynamics, firstly inspired by my love for Leonardo da Vinci’s work."


Leonardo da Vinci was fascinated in particular with the study of Fluid Dynamics which, after him, did not make any progress for nearly four hundred years until the Irish engineer Osborne Reynolds carried on his work in 1883|

"At the end of my exams I started working on hydrodynamic stability, the subject of my Master’s dissertation (as well as my Doctoral thesis). Afterwards, on 30 November 2016, I received my Master’s degree with honors. From then on until I started my thesis, I worked with the Department of Mechanics and Aeronautics at the Politecnico di Torino to continue working on my Master’s thesis."

Why did you decide to enter a PhD program and why ISAE-SUPAERO ?

"For the first part of your question, I made this choice quite simply because I love Science. More specifically, I felt the need to continue in the direction I had started to take during my Master’s internship. It was almost by chance that, while searching on the internet, I came across a proposal for a thesis on stability here at ISAE-SUPAERO and that tweaked my interest. Moreover, I knew that Toulouse was the Space City and that ISAE-SUPAERO was an excellent school. Many of my friends had come here under the Erasmus program and everybody had highly positive things to say about it."

Can you briefly explain the topic of your thesis ?

"My PhD thesis aims to analyze the development of two-dimensional and three-dimensional secondary instabilities of variable-density round jet in the incompressible case, at high Froude number, by means of non-modal stability analysis. The main objective is to determine the validity of the mechanism at the origin of the side-jets that appear when the ratio between the jet’s density and that of its environment is low enough."

How about life in Toulouse ? Any recommendation to see, go there ?

"Toulouse is perfect for my way of life. The city is down to earth and the center is adorable. I love to go for a walk at sunset when the city’s colors grow warmer. Furthermore, it is full of students from around the world, so it’s the perfect place to rub shoulders with other cultures. I recommend you get lost in the colorful streets of les Carmes and take long walks along the Canal du Midi."

What do you plan to do after your PhD thesis ?
"So far I haven’t thought about the future after my thesis (in fact, this is just the beginning!). I’m taking advantage of the present moment and I’m putting off thinking about the future until next year!"


The Val d’Orcia, where Gabriele spent her childhood, is a wide valley in the province of Sienna, Tuscany, north-east of Mount Amiata and bordering on Umbria.


Schlieren photograph of the side-jets for a pure helium jet obtained on the DAEP test bench.

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