On July 1, Princeton Engineering welcomed Gabriele Villarini as a professor of civil and environmental engineering (CEE) and the High Meadows Environmental Institute (HMEI).

Villarini joined Princeton from the University of Iowa, where he was a professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, the Robert and Virginia Wheeler Faculty Fellow in Engineering, and the Director of IIHR—Hydroscience & Engineering, focusing on fluids-related research.

“Gabriele is a wonderful addition to HMEI. His insights and energy will further invigorate and enhance Princeton’s research expertise and teaching on all things water and the environment, which has been a longstanding area of strength for the University,” said Professor of Geosciences and the High Meadows Environmental Institute and HMEI Director Gabriel Vecchi.

In his research, Villarini focuses on flood hydrology, extreme events, hydroclimatology, and climate predictions and projections. He has published over 240 peer-reviewed papers, including articles in Nature, Science, Nature Climate Change, and the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. This fall, he is teaching a course on Statistical Methods in Water and the Environment.

“Gabriele’s unique expertise, that intertwines climate and hydrology, will further reinforce the ties between HMEI, CEE, and the School of Engineering and Applied Science in general. He will greatly expand the research aimed at addressing pressing societal challenges related to climate change, extreme events, and urban resilience at large scale,” said Branko Glišić, chair and professor of civil and environmental engineering.

Villarini has been recognized widely for his achievements and contributions. He has been honored with several national and international awards, including the Hydrological Sciences Outstanding Young Scientist Award by the European Geosciences Union (2013) and the James B. Macelwane Medal by the American Geophysical Union (2016). He is also a Fellow of the American Geophysical Union, and currently serves as editor-in-chief for Advances in Water Resources.

Prior to joining the University of Iowa in 2012, Villarini was a research associate (2008-2011), and then an associate research scholar (2011-2012) at Princeton working with James Smith, now the William and Edna Macaleer Professor of Engineering and Applied Science, Emeritus.

Villarini received his M.S. in civil engineering from the University of Rome “La Sapienza,” and his Ph.D. in civil and environmental engineering from the University of Iowa; he also received an M.B.A. from the Tippie College of Business at the University of Iowa.


  • Gabriele Villarini

  • Branko Glišić

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