University of California, Riverside

Bourns College of Engineering

Elisa Franco

Faculty Profile

Faculty Profile

Elisa Franco

Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering
Elisa Franco

Ph. D., Automation, University of Trieste (Italy), 2007
Ph. D., Control and Dynamic Systems, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, 2011

Bourns Hall A309
University of California, Riverside
Riverside, CA 92521

Telephone: (951)827-2442
Fax: (951)827-2899

Personal Webpage

Prior Institutions:

  • University of Trieste, Italy
  • California Institue of Technology, Pasadena, California


Elisa Franco received her B.S. and M.S. (Laurea Degree) in Power Systems Engineering from the University of Trieste (Italy) in 2002, summa cum laude. In 2007, she received her Ph. D. in Automation from the same institution. In 2011, she completed her second Ph. D. at the California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, in Control and Dynamical Systems.


  • Ph.D. Control and Dynamical Systems 2011, California Institute of Technology
  • Ph.D. Automation 2007, University of Trieste
  • M.S. Power Systems Engineering 2002, University of Trieste
  • B.S. Power Systems Engineering 2002, University of Trieste

Research Topics

Dr. Franco's main interests are in the area of biological feedback systems. In particular, her research focuses on bottom-up approaches to the design and synthesis of controllers, sensors and actuators in biochemical reaction networks, using nucleic acids and proteins. She also works on robustness analysis of natural biochemical systems. In the past, Dr. Franco worked in the field of cooperative control and distributed estimation.

Selected Publications

  • "Timing molecular motion and production with a synthetic transcriptional clock”, E. Franco, E. Friedrichs, J. Kim, R. Jungmann, R. M. Murray, E. Winfree and F. C. Simmel. In press. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States, 2011.
  • "Structurally robust biological networks", F. Blanchini and E. Franco. BMC Systems Biology, 5:74, 2011.
  • "Geometry of unsteady fluid transport during fluid-structure interactions ”, E. Franco, D. N. Pekarek, J. Peng and J. O. Dabiri, Journal of Fluid Mechanics, vol. 589, pages 125-145, 2007.
  • "Belief Consensus and Distributed Hypothesis Testing in Sensor Networks”, R. Olfati-Saber, E. Franco, E. Frazzoli and Je. S. Shamma, Lecture Notes in Control and Information Sciences, Volume 331, pages 169 - 182, July 2006.
  • "Cooperative Control of Discrete Time Agents with Delayed Information Exchange: a Receding--Horizon Approach ”, E. Franco, T. Parisini and M. M. Polycarpou, International Journal of Robust and Nonlinear Control, vol. 17, n. 10-11, pages 982-1001, 2007.

More Information 

General Campus Information

University of California, Riverside
900 University Ave.
Riverside, CA 92521
Tel: (951) 827-1012

College Information

Bourns College of Engineering
446 Winston Chung Hall

Tel: (951) 827-5190
Fax: (951) 827-3188