Paolo Piovano

Paolo Piovano
Group Leader, Privatdozent
MSc.  Carnegie Mellon University, 2009
PhD.  Carnegie Mellon University, 2012


Dr. Paolo Piovano received his Doctor of Philosophy in Mathematics at Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, USA, in August 2012 under the supervision of Irene Fonseca and Giovanni Leoni. After a postdoctoral position of one year at the National Research Council of Italy, Institute of Applied Mathematics and Information Technology in Pavia under the mentorship of Ulisse Stefanelli, he has been employed at the University of Vienna, Austria as Universitätsassistent. Since September 2017 he is group leader at the University of Vienna of the research group “Variational Methods and Applications” ( Dr. Piovano obtained the Austrian habilitation in Mathematics (venia docendi) at the University of Vienna in November 2019 and the Italian national habilitation in June 2020.

Dr. Piovano’s current research investigations relate to the mathematical modeling in the framework of continuum and molecular mechanics with special emphasis to the applications in materials science, nanostructure design, and more recently, bio-engineering. As the ultimate goal is to validate reliable models in agreement with the experimental evidence, his investigations in the area of PDEs, calculus of variations, and geometric measure theory also present an interdisciplinary aspect. The active cooperation with applied scientists has been carried out also in view of his prolific third-party funding activities. In particular, he was one of the 8 awardees for the international Program “Mathematics and…” ( by the Vienna Science and Technology Fund (WWTF) with the project titled “MOdeling and DEsign of epitaxially strained NAnoislands” (MODENA). In January 2021 Dr. Piovano has just been elected Secretary and Treasurer of the “International Society for the Interaction of Mechanics and Mathematics” (ISIMM) (


Professional experience

  • 2012 - 2013, Postdoc, Italian National Research Council (CNR), Pavia, Italy;
  • 2013 - 2017, Universitätsassistent, University of Vienna, Austria;
  • 2017 - now, Group Leader, University of Vienna, Austria;
  • 2019 - now, Privatdozent (habilitation in Mathematics - venia docendi), University of Vienna, Austria;
  • June 2020, Italian national habilitation (Professore di II fascia, sett. conc. 01/A3).


  • SIAM Student Travel Award (2011);
  • Grant by the “Vienna Science and Technology Fund” (WWTF) in the “Mathematics and...” Program (2017, ~600K Euro, 4 years, Principal Investigator);
  • Grant by the “Austrian Science Fund” in the “Stand-Alone Project” Program (2017, ~330K Euro, 4 years, PI);
  • Grant by the “Austrian Science Fund” in the “1000 Ideas” Program (2020, ~145K Euro, 2 years, PI)


  • P. Piovano, Evolution of Elastic Thin Films with Curvature Regularization via Minimizing Movements. Calc. Var. Partial Differential Equations, 49 (2014), 337–36,
  • M. Friedrich, E. Mainini, P. Piovano, U. Stefanelli, Characterization of optimal carbon nanotubes under stretching and validation of the Cauchy-Born rule. Arch. Ration. Mech. Anal., 231-1 (2019), 465–517,
  • E. Davoli, P. Piovano, Analytical validation of the Young-Dupré law for epitaxially-strained thin films. Math. Models Methods Appl. Sci., 29-12 (2019), 2183–2223.
  • L. Kreutz, P. Piovano, Microscopic validation of a variational model of epitaxially strained crystalline films. SIAM J. Math. Anal., in press (2020),