Pietro Milillo

Pietro Milillo joined the radar science and engineering section at JPL since March 2016. He has a PhD in Environmental Engineering at University of Basilicata, Potenza (Italy) with a thesis on the synergistic use of synthetic aperture radar (SAR) constellations for studying natural and anthropogenic phenomena. Pietro started his study in Physics in 2008 at University of Bari (Italy), graduating his BSc (2010) and MSc (2012) in Physics and applied Physics respectively. During the period 2013-2015 he was a visiting student at the California Institute of Technology Seismological laboratory and a Visiting Student Researcher at JPL in the Earth Science and technology division.

  • BSc & MSc in Physics – University of Bari (Bari, Italy)

  • PhD in Environmental Engineering – University of Basilicata (Potenza, Italy)

Research Interests: 

Synthetic aperture radar applications, InSAR, multi-temporal analysis, Cryosphere, Infrastructure monitoring, Natural Hazards, Earth Science.

Professional Experience: 
  • Visiting Professor – Civil Engineering, University of Bath, UK (July 2019)
  • Visiting Professor – Electrical Engineering, University of Cagliari, Italy (July 2018)
  • NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena (CA), USA. JRSVP (2013-2015)
  • Seismological Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena (CA), USA. Visiting student (2013-2015)
  • School of Engineering, University of Basilicata, Potenza, Italy (2012-2016)
  • Geophysical Application Processing (GAP) Srl (Bari – Italy) (2012)
  • Innova Consorzio per l'informatica e la telematica Srl ( Matera - Italy ) (2010)

Selected Awards: 
  • IUGG grant – IUGG 2019
  • IEEE grant - IGARSS 2015
  • 2014 NASA Group Achievement Award
  • Award Category: Group Achievement Award
Team Name: Advanced Rapid Imaging and Analysis(ARIA)Team
  • Citation: For creating a state of the art rapid response processing system for DGPS and imaging radar that is delivering actionable products in response to disasters.
  • 2012 European Geosciences Union Outstanding Student Poster Award
  • 2011 ESA summer code in space (SOCIS, declined)

Selected Publications: 


  1. Milillo, P., Rignot, E., Rizzoli, P., Scheuchl, B., Mouginot, J., Bueso-Bello, J., & Prats-Iraola, P. (2019). Heterogeneous retreat and ice melt of Thwaites Glacier, West Antarctica. Science advances, 5(1), eaau3433.
  2. Milillo, P., Giardina, G., Perissin, D., Milillo, G., Coletta, A., & Terranova, C. (2019). Pre-Collapse Space Geodetic Observations of Critical Infrastructure: The Morandi Bridge, Genoa, Italy. Remote Sensing, 11(12), 1403.


  1. Milillo, P., Giardina, G., DeJong, M., Perissin, D., & Milillo, G. (2018). Multi-temporal InSAR structural damage assessment: The London crossrail case study. Remote Sensing, 10(2), 287.


  1. Milillo, P., Rignot, E., Mouginot, J., Scheuchl, B., Morlighem, M., Li, X., & Salzer, J. T. (2017). On the Short‐term Grounding Zone Dynamics of Pine Island Glacier, West Antarctica, Observed With COSMO‐SkyMed Interferometric Data. Geophysical Research Letters, 44(20), 10-436.
  2. Milillo, P., Minchew, B., Simons, M., Agram, P., & Riel, B. (2017). Geodetic imaging of time-dependent three-component surface deformation: Application to tidal-timescale ice flow of Rutford ice stream, West Antarctica. IEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing, 55(10), 5515-5524.
  3. Chaussard, E., Milillo, P., Bürgmann, R., Perissin, D., Fielding, E. J., & Baker, B. (2017). Remote sensing of ground deformation for monitoring groundwater management practices: Application to the Santa Clara Valley during the 2012–2015 California drought. Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth, 122(10), 8566-8582.


  1. Milillo, P., Bürgmann, R., Lundgren, P., Salzer, J., Perissin, D., Fielding, E., ... & Milillo, G. (2016). Space geodetic monitoring of engineered structures: The ongoing destabilization of the Mosul dam, Iraq. Scientific reports, 6, 37408.
  2. Milillo, P., Perissin, D., Salzer, J. T., Lundgren, P., Lacava, G., Milillo, G., & Serio, C. (2016). Monitoring dam structural health from space: Insights from novel InSAR techniques and multi-parametric modeling applied to the Pertusillo dam Basilicata, Italy. International Journal of Applied Earth Observation and Geoinformation, 52, 221-229


  1. Milillo, P., Riel, B., Minchew, B., Yun, S. H., Simons, M., & Lundgren, P. (2015). On the Synergistic Use of SAR Constellations’ Data Exploitation for Earth Science and Natural Hazard Response.
  2. Milillo, P., Fielding, E. J., Shulz, W. H., Delbridge, B., & Burgmann, R. (2014). COSMO-SkyMed spotlight interferometry over rural areas: The Slumgullion landslide in Colorado, USA. Selected Topics in Applied Earth Observations and Remote Sensing, IEEE Journal of, 7(7), 2919-2926.
  3. Riel, B., Milillo, P., Simons, M., Lundgren, P., Kanamori, H., & Samsonov, S. (2015). The collapse of Bárðarbunga caldera, Iceland. Geophysical Journal International, 202(1), 446-453.


Pietro Milillo
4800 Oak Grove Drive
Pasadena, CA 91109
Phone: 818-393-7298