UMass Boston

Beacon Lab Director Mark Borrelli addressing attendees of a Beacon Lab open house

Dr. Mark Borrelli serves as the Director of the Beacon Lab. He is a Coastal Geologist with over 2 decades of experience extensively studying coastal processes and acoustic surveying. His work on natural processes and coastal resilience can help inform any work being done in coastal, near-shore, and offshore areas. His labs employ custom shallow-water surveying platforms, aerial and aquatic autonomous systems, and a range of oceanographic sensors.

Along with his role as the Director of the Beacon Lab, Mark is the Department Head of the Marine Geology Program at the Center for Coastal studies in Provincetown, MA. He is also the founding Director of the Coastal Processes and Ecosystems Lab (CaPE Lab), a joint research lab between the School for the Environment and the Center for Coastal Studies. Mark has received a PhD from the University of Rhode Island, an MS from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and a BS from Tufts University. 

Research Engineer, Francesco Peri specializes in ocean sensor development, buoy design and deployment, and quantification technologies for in-field chemical and biological detection. He has over two decades of experience in the design and engineering of aquatic systems and sensors.  This experience allows him to effectively and efficiently design, build, and deploy almost any type of sensor needed for BlueTech research. Francesco holds a MS in Computer Science from UMass Boston, as well as a BS in Electrical Engineering from the University of Florance. He also holds both a 100-ton captain’s license and research diving certification.

UMass Boston is good at attracting and retaining diverse students in STEM. In a recent survey, we had the 3rd most diverse student body in the country. These students have the opportunity to work with the Beacon Lab and the startups we work with to help learn new skills, gain industry experience, and build network connections. We also recognize the great ideas that come with great diversity. The varying backgrounds of our students help to cultivate unique and fresh ideas to help innovate in the BlueTech space. 

Currently, we have a program with SeaAhead and Blue Swell that forms a cohort of 6 interns and provides wraparound services (expectations meeting for interns and hosts, DEI training for hosts, monthly meetings, and a wrap-up celebration at the end of the semester for all). The Beacon Lab will leverage the University’s student body and expose them to cutting-edge science and technology development.

Beacon Lab