My name is Marko Horvat and I was born in Croatia in 1992.


I graduated from the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering and Naval Architecture in Zagreb in July 2016. I have obtained Bachelor and Master degree in Mechanical Engineering, with an expertise in Process and Power engineering. My masters thesis deals with Computational Fluid Dynamics in the area of turbomachinery. The Thesis compares different numerical approaches used in the industry of turbo-machinery, performed on two real life pump geometries, with a goal of specifying the most suitable approach for a given application.

In January 2021, I have finished wtih the PhD done within the SMaRT project. The Thesis 'Computational Wind Engineering Simulations for the Design of Sand Mitigation Measures around Railway Tracks' deals with my research activities during the project. Due to the fact that the Thesis covers confidentaial industrial information, it was published with an embargo period of 3 years (until January 2024).

My Research Within the SMaRT

My specific research activities revolved around the application of CFD to environmental issues induced by wind-blown sand and its deposition around civil infrastructures across deserts. I gained deep general knowledge of the CFD approach, i.e. modelling complex 3D geometries, generation of high quality meshes around them, choosing suitable mathematical models and numerical schemes, running simulations on High Performance Computing utilities, post-processing and visualizing results. I have also had the opportunity to get involved with optimization process coupled with CFD simulations. In a genuine engineering perspective, CFD simulations were addressed to support the understanding of the physical phenomena, the problem setting, the conceptual and detailed design of SMMs and their optimization towards industrial production. Using such approach, the design framework for SMM design has been shifted from trial-and-error to a rationale framework based on the aerodynamic performance assessment of the unmitigated railway and the aerodynamic working principles of the proposed SMMs. In particular, I optimized the shape of the patented "Shield 4 Sand" barrier, and conceived an innovative mitigation measure "Sand Blower"; an SMM to be installed close to the railway and protect pointwise railway equipment.


1.) L. Bruno, M. Horvat, L. Raffaele (2018). Windblown Sand along Railway Infrastructures: A Review of Challenges and Mitigation Measures, Journal of Wind Engineering and Industrial Aerodynamics,
2.) M. Horvat, L. Bruno, S. Khris, L. Raffaele (2020). Aerodynamic shape optimization of barriers for windblown sand mitigation using CFD analysis, Journal of Wind Engineering and Industrial Aerodynamics,
3.) M. Horvat, L. Bruno, S. Khris (2021). CWE study of wind flow around railways: Effects of embankment and track system on sand sedimentation, Journal of Wind Engineering and Industrial Aerodynamics,
4.) M. Horvat, L. Bruno, S. Khris. Conceptual and preliminary design of Receiver Sand Mitigation Measure using CWE simulations, Journal of Wind Engineering and Industrial Aerodynamics, to be submitted after the potential check for a patent


1.) M. Horvat, Computational wind engineering simulations for design and performance assessment
of sand mitigation measures, PhD Session during the online conference of the Italian Association
for Wind Engineering, September 7th, 2020

Current position

After SMaRT I was empoyed by Wikki Limited in London at the position in a new European Project - VIPCOAT.  The goal of the Project is to create an open innovation platform that should assist engineers in developing coating materials and constructing accelerated life test scenarios to assess their durability. Initially, the platform will target the aeronautic industry. However, it will later host interoperable applications, based on standardized ontologies as extensions of the European Materials Modelling Ontology that should enable transferring methods and insights to other industries. The VIPCOAT platform will open the door to new production concepts with reduced process steps, lower energy consumption and reduced use of natural resources. Supporting modelling, the platform should also promote the development of green, cheap and efficient coatings that inhibit corrosion. Together with professor Hrvoje Jasak, we are in charge of ensuring the interoperability between the different applications in the multi-scale modelling framework. More about the project can be found at the following link.