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EGU Award Ceremony (Credit: EGU/Foto Pfluegl)

Division Outstanding Early Career Scientist Awards 2024 Roberto E. Rizzo

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European Geosciences Union

Roberto E. Rizzo

Roberto E. Rizzo
Roberto E. Rizzo

ERE Energy, Resources and the Environment

The 2024 Division Outstanding Early Career Scientist Award is awarded to Roberto E. Rizzo for outstanding research in the field of rock fractures and associated community service.

Roberto Rizzo obtained his PhD in 2017 at the University of Aberdeen, UK. Since 2022 he has been a research fellow at the University of Florence. He is exploring the fundamental connections between fractures in outcrops and in laboratory experiments through the development of codes freely available for the geoscience community, such as a wavelet analysis toolbox and the statistical analysis, permeability and connectivity suites within the FracPaQ toolbox. Accurate fracture attribute characterisation is a fundamental step for predictive models of bulk permeability and fluid flow, and it represents a grand challenge in Solid Earth that has been identified as critical knowledge for a successful energy transition. His research has developed innovative analysis tools to provide quantitative characterisation of fracture networks in rocks in a series of natural, experimental and synthetic scenarios, that involve accurately scaling with statistically robust methods the parameters governing fracture attributes (JSG, 2017b), along with image analysis algorithms that quantify localization, hydromechanical models that translate laboratory tests to network and reservoir scales, and experimental techniques that indicate approaching seismic failure (Nat. Comm, 2022, Geology, 2023). In addition to the FracPaq platform, he developed open-source codes for rock deformation, image analysis and tracking fracture tip propagation. His strength is also in the ability to bridge lab and computer science with field observations. He obtained prestigious research awards, e.g. EU-EXCITE grant to use micro-CT to image serpentinite carbonation. He has been awarded the 2019 Ramsay medal and the 2016 AGU Outstanding Student Paper. Rizzo is also a role model for students and the Earth sciences community by his ability to produce cross-disciplinary research at the interface between geosciences and computer sciences, and for his involvement in community services (e.g. conference session organiser, reviews). He has been the lead convener of the successful Energy, Resources and Environment Division ‘Faults and Fractures’ session since 2022 and served as convener before.