Victor Colognesi
PhD student
Ir. at UCLouvain in 2016

Main project: Modelisation and optimization of bird flight
Funding: FRIA
Supervisor(s): Philippe Chatelain, Renaud Ronsse

This research project aims at modeling and optimizing bird flight. The goal of this modelization is to get a deep understanding of the mechanisms that govern avian flight and the best way to understand it is to re-create it. That is, the flight will be modeled starting from the given anatomy of a bird and the kinematics will be the result of an optimization process aiming at the most optimal flight.
Compared to other existing studies on the subject of bird flight, this project will follow a "bottom-up" approach, all the way from muscle activation, up to the wing aerodynamics and gait optimization. This approach is necessary to be able to evaluate key values such as metabolic rates, ...
This will allow us to answer a few questions such as :
- What are the mechanisms enabling high efficiency in bird flight ?
- How do we achieve a stable flapping flight ?
This work is purely numerical. The bio-mechanical model of the bird is developed using the multi-body solver Robotran developed at UCLouvain. This bio-mechanical model will be coupled to an aerodynamical model based on a vortex particle-mesh code (VPM) developed at UCLouvain as well.

IMMC main research direction(s):
Computational science
Dynamical and electromechanical systems
Fluid mechanics


Research group(s): TFL - MEED


Recent publications

See complete list of publications

Journal Articles

1. Colognesi, Victor; Ronsse, Renaud; Chatelain, Philippe. Numerical assessment of wake-based estimation of instantaneous lift in flapping flight of large birds. In: PLOS ONE, Vol. 18, no.5, p. e0284714 (2023). doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0284714.

2. Ducci, Gianmarco; Colognesi, Victor; Vitucci, Gennaro; Chatelain, Philippe; Ronsse, Renaud. Stability and Sensitivity Analysis of Bird Flapping Flight. In: Journal of Nonlinear Science, Vol. 31, no.2, p. 47 (2021). doi:10.1007/s00332-021-09698-1.

3. Colognesi, Victor; Ronsse, Renaud; Chatelain, Philippe. A model coupling biomechanics and fluid dynamics for the simulation of controlled flapping flight. In: Bioinspiration & Biomimetics, Vol. 16, no.2, p. 026023 (2021). doi:10.1088/1748-3190/abdd9c.

Conference Papers

1. Caprace, Denis-Gabriel; Ransquin, Ignace; Colognesi, Victor; Chatelain, Philippe. Flow sensing for improved wake harvesting in formation flight. 2022 xxx.

2. Colognesi, Victor. Numerical simulation of bird flapping flight. 2021 xxx.

3. Colognesi, Victor. Numerical simulation and closed-loop control of flapping bird flight. 2020 xxx.

4. Colognesi, Victor. Simulation of flapping bird flight: closed-loop control, forces and wake topology. 2019 xxx.

5. Colognesi, Victor. Trimmed bird flight : simulation and performance quantification. 2018 xxx.


1. Colognesi, Victor. Modeling and simulation of bird flapping flight : control, wakes and formation, prom. : Chatelain, Philippe ; Ronsse, Renaud, 25/08/2022.