Foto del docente

Maurizio Spurio

Full Professor

Department of Physics and Astronomy "Augusto Righi"

Academic discipline: FIS/01 Experimental Physics

Curriculum vitae

1. Vitae, positions and formation

  • Born in Offida (AP) on July, 9th 1962. I am married with two children.
  • Scientific maturity (San Benedetto del Tronto, AP) in 1981 with 60/60 mark.
  • Graduated with honors in Physics (UniBo) in 1986, supervisor prof. G. Giacomelli.
  • Summer Student at CERN in 1985 with supervisor prof. E. Zavattini.
  • PhD in Physics (III cycle) in 1990, INFN post-doc fellowship in 1990.
  • University researcher since 1991 (Experimental Physics)
  • Associate professor (SSD: FIS / 01) in Bologna in 2002
  • Full Professor (SSD: FIS / 01) from March 2018.
  • Member of the Italian Physical Society (SIF) since the PhD


2. Research Activities

My research activity is in experimental astroparticle physics, in particular to the multi-messenger approach of astroparticle physics using cosmic rays and neutrinos. I have published more than 180 referred papers. Since 2000, I participate in activities for the construction of a neutrino telescope in the Mediterranean (ANTARES and KM3NeT experiments). Previously, I participated in the MACRO experiment at the Gran Sasso, and at the SLIM experiment for the research of magnetic monopolies.

The ANTARES experiment (a collaboration involving a dozen of states and about 150 researchers) has been taking data since 2008. This undersea detector is located at about 2500 m off Toulon (France). ANTARES uses a matrix of 900 optical modules on 12 lines to detect high-energy neutrino interactions. Italy, through INFN, contributed 15% -20% to the costs of construction and operation. In ANTARES, I have (or have had) the following positions:

• responsible (from 2004 to 2007) of the II level trigger design;

• convener of the Working Group for widespread neutrinos (from 2006 to 2012);

• chair of the Publication Committee (from 2012 to 2014);

• deputy-spokesperson (as of May 2014).

I contributed significantly to different aspect of the experiment, in particular (as a corresponding author) to the study producing the limit on the diffuse flux of cosmic neutrinos [PLB696 (2011)] and on the measurement of the atmospheric muon flux [APP34 (2010 )]. In collaboration with my students (masters and PhDs) and post-docs, on the study of atmospheric neutrino oscillations, on the measurement of their energy spectrum [EPJC73 (2013)] and on the searches for neutrinos from the Galactic plane [PLB760 (2016)].

I produced a parametrization of the flux of muons in bundle, [APP25 (2006)], and a Monte Carlo event generator (called MUPAGE) [CPC179 (2008) ] that is widely used and quoted by water neutrino telescopes. In 2010, I was invited by EPJC to write a review on "High-energy astrophysics with neutrino telescopes" [EPJC65 (2010)]. I'm author of a book on multi-messenger opportunity in Astrophysics, (Particles and Astrophysics, for Springer). I am also the author of some papers with a possible interpretation of the origin of cosmic neutrinos observed by IceCube [PRD90 (2014)], [JCAP12 (2015)].

The NEMO project, completed in 2012, had the objective of studying the feasibility of a larger neutrino telescope with a lower cost than ANTARES. I was local manager in Bologna until 2011. The project then merged into the KM3NeT experiment, which also received funding from the EU FP6 and the EU FP7 frameworks. The Bologna group has achieved considerable visibility in the community of neutrino telescopes in the field of DAQ, Monte Carlo simulations and in data analysis.

Before year 2000, I participated to the MACRO experiment at the Gran Sasso Laboratories. MACRO was a large area detector with multiple research purposes in the field of cosmic ray, neutrino and astrophysics, which took data from 1989 to 2000. The papers on the limits on the magnetic monopole flux and on nuclearite flux contain also the results presented in my PhD thesis.

I participated in all phases of the experiment, from design to data taking, analysis and preparation of publications. In MACRO, I contributed to the development of the nuclear track detector (see below); to the data reduction and the creation of a Data Summary Tape (DST); and I was responsible (from 1998 to the closing) of the experiment software. I participated to the studies of atmospheric neutrino-induced events and to the searches for magnetic monopoles and nuclearites. Together with SuperKamiokande, MACRO highlighted the oscillations of atmospheric neutrinos, measuring the oscillation parameters. I played a significant role in the important result [PLB434 (1998)], [EPJC36 (2004)], corresponding author of the analysis for the contained events [PLB478 (2000)]. I presented the results on neutrino fluctuations in the name of Collaboration in numerous conferences.

One of the devices used in MACRO magnetic monopole searches was the nuclear track detector (trade name: CR-39) made in Bologna under the responsibility of prof. G. Giacomelli. The detector has proved to be very versatile: it has been used in other research activities. Between 1986 and 1992, I contributed to R&D activities and to the realization (in collaboration with the INTERCAST industry of Parma) of the polymer with the characteristics of sensitivity and reproducibility necessary for use in Physics experiments. Among the most significant published results: the applicability of CR-39 for the searches for slow particles and the measurement of fragmentation cross sections. The CR-39 was also used in the SLIM experiment (2004-2008) at the Chacaltaya laboratory (Bolivia) for the search of intermediate mass magnetic monopoles. I maintain an interest in the search for magnetic monopolies, also within the MoEDAL collaboration at LHC [PRL118 (2017)]; I recently wrote (with L. Patrizii) a review on the status of magnetic monopoles searches [Ann.Rev.NPS65 (2015)


3. Teaching Activities

Since 1996/97, I had the teaching responsibility of at least two semester courses. As Associate Professor (since 2001) I always had three semester courses with at least 18 credits and a total average of about 150 hours/year of teaching. In detail, the teachings I have been / are responsible:

  • General Physics (about 7 CFU/year)
  • Nuclear and Subnuclear Physics (6 CFU/year)
  • Astroparticle Physics (6 CFU/year)

I was supervisor of:

- 8 PhD thesis in Physics at the University of Bologna,

- 12 thesis Master's Degree in Physics

- about 40 bachelor thesis in Physics, Astronomy or Computer Science


4. Institutional, organizational and service activities at the University

  • 2008-2012. Representative of the “Science” macro-area in the Unibo Academic Senate.
  • 2009-2012: effective member of the University Budget and Planning Committee.
  • From 11/2012: Chairman of the “Paritetica” Commission (CP) of the School of Sciences-UniBo. The mandate was renewed in 2015. Among the competences (by National law) of the CP: the monitoring of the educational offer and the quality of teaching of the 30 bachelor and masters courses of the School, and the preparation of an Annual Report.
  • From 4/2016: member representing the 02 area (Physics) of the University Research Evaluation Committee (CVRA). Previously, since March 2014, I was a member of Panel-Area 02.
  • From 2006 to 2012: I was chair of the Guidance Committee of the Faculty of Sciences MM.FF.NN. (then, School of Sciences).
  • I represented the University of Bologna in the "Dean of Science seminar" of the University of Coimbra Group (of which the University of Bologna is a member) in Leuven (2/2009), Krakow (11/2009), and organizer of the similar meeting in Bologna (6/2010), introduced by the Rector.
  • Member of competition committee for university researcher (U. Catania, 2008, U. Genova 2017 - two different competitions), and of various commissions for the access or the achievement of the PhD degree (Bologna, Genoa, Catania, Padua, GGSI-L'Aquila)
  • Member of commissions for the issue of PhD in Physics (or Astrophysics) in foreign universities (Valencia, Groningen, Amsterdam, Bucharest, Oujda, Marseilles, Stockholm).