Nicola Bezzo

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My Biography

I am an Assistant Professor in Robotics and CPS at the University of Virginia. My main research interests are on motion planning of aerial and ground vehicles under uncertainties and attack resilient control of cyber-physical systems. I work also on co-design of mechanical, electronics, and software specifications and automatic generation of code using GUI-based programming environments. Finally, I’m working on vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) technologies for the coordination of manned and unmanned vehicles in urban and highway environments.

My home town

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Early Life

I was born and raised in Vittorio Veneto, a small town in Italy on the foot of the Dolomites, not far from Venice. My parents lead a company on automation and security in my home town for more than 30 years (BTA Sicurezza) in which I've been involved since I was young. In the company's laboratory I started early to work and play with electronics and automation leading to my passion for electrical, mechanical, and computer engineering. My elementary school was just few steps from my house and my middle school just few blocks away. After middle school I enrolled at a technical school, ITIS Galileo Galilei, where I gained a strong preparation in math, electronics, power systems, and automation. In 2003 I graduated from high school with the highest score and enrolled at Politecnico di Milano, one of the top engineering university in the country.


In 2006 I obtained a bachelor of science (BS), summa cum laude, in Electrical Engineering. My thesis was on the development of an innovative non-contact current sensor which leverages the rogowski coil principle. This technology and sensors are available nowadays from ABB and Siemens.

Immediately after graduating, I left for a scholar exchange year at Oklahoma State University (OSU) in USA where I also started my Master in Electrical and Computer Engineering. I was able to extend my stay at OSU for the Summer to do some research in robotics with Prof. R. Fierro, optoelectronics with Dr. D. Grischkowsky, and metamaterial with Dr. W. Zhangs. At OSU I was awarded the president honor roll for outstanding graduate performance.

After this experience abroad, in the Summer of 2007, I returned to Politecnico in Milan to complete my master (MS) and decided to focus on automation and robotics. One year later, in 2008 I graduated summa cum laude with a degree in Electrical Engineering with orientation Automation. My master thesis was on the development of an inexpensive profilometer sensor based on stereoscopic vision. The same year I was also awarded the Gold Medal for best graduate student.

The same summer I started a PhD in robotics and control systems at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque, NM, under the supervision of Prof. Rafael Fierro, who haD S recently moved from OSU while I was finishing my MS. My main research focus there was on coordination of multi-agent systems (homogeneous and heterogeneous) under communication constraints. Specifically I focused on switching systems and stability analysis and optimization of the communication throughput using the mobility of the agents. This work led to many collaborations including Prof. Y. Mostofi (UC Santa Barbara) and Prof. S. Ferrari (Duke), numerous papers in major conferences and journals, and invited talks at NASA JPL and universities.

In November 2012, few days after obtaining my PhD at UNM, I left Albuquerque to join UPenn and start my PostDoct at the PRECISE Center where I had the opportunity to work on the development of some of the first attack-resilient control algorithm against sensor spoofing on automobiles and aerial and ground robotic systems.

In January 2016 I started as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Systems and Information Engineering at the University of Virginia. In 2017 I also joyined the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at UVa.

My resume (up to 2017) can be downloaded HERE.



In my free time (not too much and even less now that I’m pofessor) I’m a licensed air pilot within the Italian Aviation. I received my license when I was 17 years old (before my driving licence). The video on the right (taken during Spring 2014) shows some of the sceneries you can see flying from Belluno airport toward my town (at the end of the video). I usually like to glide which is more quiet and relaxing.



I like to take pictures every time I travel to new places, or if the weather is nice :) The following page contains some pictures I took in the last few yeas (under construction).



I play piano, I play tennis, and I’m a food enthusiast.