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I have a degree in Mechanical Engineering (2003) from University of Pisa. In parallel, I have been a student and got a Diploma in Applied Sciences at Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna (2003). Later, I earned a PhD in Robotics from Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna (2008). 
I am now Associate Professor at Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna. 

  • Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering (Mechanics of Machines) at Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna 2020-now.
  • Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering (Mechanics of Machines) at University of Trento. 2019-2020
  • Assistant Professor Tenure Track in Mechanics of Machines at University of Trento. 2016- 2019
  • Assistant Professor in Mechanics of Machines  at Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna 2008-2016
  • Ph.D. Innovative Technologies (Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna) 2004-2008 
  • MS Mechanical Engineering (University of Pisa) 1997-2003
  • Diploma (Allievo Ordinario), Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna (Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna) 1997-2002

These are my Scholar and Scopus profiles. 


I do research on the development of new electromechanical hardware.  
My research activities include modelling, optimization, control and experimental characterization of mechatronic devices in the fields of: 

  • Smart material transducers 
  • Innovative devices for energy harvesting 
  • Mechanisms and mechantronic systems for robotics
  • Haptics 


SELECTED  (see my  CV  for a complete updated list)

Sîrbu, ID., Preninger, D., D. Danninger, L. Penkner, R. Schwödiauer, G. Moretti, N. Arnold, M. Fontana, M. Kaltenbrunner  Electrostatic actuators with constant force at low power loss using matched dielectrics. Nat Electron 6, 888–899 (2023).

Lightweight Human-Friendly Robotic Arm Based on Transparent Hydrostatic Transmissions, Bolignari M.,Rizello G., Zaccarian L., Fontana M., IEEE Transactions on Robotics 39 (5), pp. 4051-4064, 2023

A multi-mode, multi-frequency dielectric elastomer actuator , Gratz-Kelly S., Rizello G., Fontana M., Seelecke S., Moretti G. Advanced Functional Materials, 32.34 (2022): 2201889.

High-frequency voltage-driven vibrations in dielectric elastomer membranes, Moretti G., Rizello G., Fontana M., Seelecke S. Mechanical Systems and Signal Processing, 168, 2022.

Electrostatic bellow muscle actuators and energy harvesters that stack up, Sˆırbu I.D., Moretti G., Bortolotti G.,M. Bolignari, S. Dir`e, L. Fambri, R. Vertechy, M. Fontana. Science Robotics 6, eaaz5796 (2021). FULL TEXT

A review on dielectric elastomer generator systems, Moretti G., Rosset S., Vertechy R., Anderson I., Fontana M. Advanced Intelligent System, 2 (10), 2020.

Design and experimental characterization of a high performance hydrostatic transmission for robot actuation, Bolignari M., Fontana M. Meccanica 55, 1169–1179, 2020.

Modelling and field testing of a breakwater-integrated U-OWC wave energy converter with dielectric elastomer generator. Moretti G., Malara G., Scial`o A., Daniele L., Romolo A., Vertechy R., Fontana M., Arena F. Renewable Energy, 146, 2020.

Modelling and testing of a wave energy converter based on dielectric elastomer generators Moretti G., Papini G.P.R., Daniele L., Forehand D., Ingram, D., Vertechy R., Fontana M. Proceedings of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences, 475 (2222), 2019

Resonant wave energy harvester based on dielectric elastomer generator, Moretti G., Papini Rosati G.P., Righi M, Forehand D., Ingram D., Vertechy R., Fontana M. Smart Materials and Structures 27 (3), 2018

A New Class of Variable Capacitance Generators Based on the Dielectric Fluid Transducer, Duranti M., Righi M, Vertechy R., Fontana M. Smart Materials and Structures, 26 (11), 2017.

Airborne Wind Energy Systems: A review of the technologies. Cherubini A., Papini A., Vertechy R., Fontana M. Renewable & Sustainable Energy Reviews, 51, 2015.

The Body Extender: A Full-Body Exoskeleton for Transport and Handling of Heavy Loads. Fontana M., Vertechy R., Marcheschi S., Salsedo F., Bergamasco M. Robotics & Automation Magazine, IEEE, 21 (4), 2014

Haptic Hand Exoskeleton for Precision Grasp Simulation. Fontana M., Fabio S., Marcheschi S., Bergamasco M. ASME Journal of Mechanisms and Robotics, 5 (4), 2013.