Umberto Viaro was born in Bolzano, Italy, in 1949. He obtained the "Laurea" degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Padova in 1972. In June 1973 he passed the State examination for the qualification for the profession of engineer. After attending the required air force specialization school (SAAM) in Florence, he served as a second lieutenent in the Italian air force corps of electronic engineers (GAri-el) till the end of 1974. In 1975 he obtained the M.Sc. degree in Systems Engineering from the University of London. From November 1975 till October 1994 he was first assistant lecturer and then associate professor of Automatic Control at the University of Padova. Since November 1994 he has been full professor of System and Control Theory at the Department of Electrical, Managerial and Mechanical Engineering (DIEGM) of the University of Udine.
From its inclusion in the Electronics Engineering curriculum in 1995 to 1999 he chaired the Electronics Engineering apprenticeship committee of the Udine University.
From its establishment in the academic year 1999/2000 till January 2006 he coordinated the Ph.D. course in Information and Industrial Engineering held at DIEGM.
From November 2007 to November 2009 he was a member of the evaluation committee ("Nucleo di Valutazione") of the University of Udine.
His recent research activity focuses on the following topics: (i) optimal model reduction, (ii) robust control of uncertain systems, with particular regard to standard controller parametrization and tuning, and (iii) switching control.
The main application areas of the projects in which he has been recently involved are: (i) permanent magnet ac motor drives, (ii) molten steel level control in continuous casting plants, (iii) planning and control of water distribution networks, and (iv) feedback control of predator-prey systems.
He has long-standing collaborations with: the control group in Udine (at both DIEGM and the Department of Mathematics and Informatics), the Department of Information Engineering of the University of Padova, and the Systems Research Institute of the Polish Academy of Sciences in Warsaw.
He is the author or coauthor of 75 peer-reviewed international journal papers published outside Italy (in particular, 24 papers in the transactions of the IEEE).
His collaboration with various Italian research groups operating in both the industrial and the academic sector is documented by further 25 research papers (9 of them in English) appeared in the main Italian peer-reviewed journals on information science and technology (in particular, 7 in Alta Frequenza), more than 20 international book chapters, and more than 35 papers in the proceedings of international conferences.
A major result of his 25-year-long collaboration with Antonio Lepschy (1931-2005), one of the founding fathers of the automatic control society in Italy, is the coauthorship of 8 papers (5 in English, 3 in Italian) in the transactions ("Atti") of the Accademia Galileiana in Padova, and 8 (6 in English, 2 in Italian) in those of the Istituto Veneto di Scienze, Lettere ed Arti in Venice.
The research activity of Umberto Viaro with Antonio Lepschy is illustrated in his book “Twenty-Five Years of Research with Antonio Lepschy”.
He is also the author or coauthor of 4 books and 8 papers on education and cultural issues.
In 1980 he was awarded the AEI-IEL prize for the best paper published in the proceedings ("Rendiconti") of the 1979 annual meeting, devoted to automatic control, of the Associazione Elettrotecnica ed Elettronica Italiana (AEI).