Maurizio Porfiri was born in Rome (Italy) and now happily resides in Brooklyn (New York). He received M.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees in engineering mechanics from Virginia Tech; a “Laurea” in electrical engineering and a Ph.D. in theoretical and applied mechanics from the University of Rome “La Sapienza” and the University of Toulon (dual degree program). Since 2006, he has been a member of the faculty of the Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Department at NYU Tandon School of Engineering, where he is currently a Professor. His work is in the area of dynamical systems, specifically focusing on interdisciplinary underwater applications. He is the author of more than 250 journal publications, and his research has been featured in numerous major media outlets, including CNN, Discovery Channel, and NPR. He has received the National Science Foundation CAREER award, the Outstanding Young Alumnus award from the College of Engineering of Virginia Tech, the ASME Gary Anderson Early Achievement Award, the ASME DSCD Young Investigator Award, and the ASME C.D. Mote, Jr. Early Career Award. ; and has been named to the Popular Science “Brilliant 10” list for young scientists as the "Water Wizard".