2021, a year to remember: Politecnico innovators

Let’s look back at a year full of awards and recognitions for alumni who have distinguished themselves for their innovative spirit

We continue on our Best of 2021 journey: from Forbes to Corriere della Sera newspaper, the international press and businesses around the world celebrate the year's greatest professionals. Including many minds from Politecnico di Milano. 

"What a year for our ALUMNI!" - comments the President Enrico Zio - "A year that I can dare to say "normal", given the exceptional nature of our community of Alumni. The committment, professionalism, ethics and dedication of the Architects, Designers and Engineers of Politecnico di Milano, combined with the quality of their skills, "naturally" lead to these great results. So, let's continue to surprise the world with our "normal" work: I am the President of this community, and I am proud of it.

As of right now, the year is not over yet and the list could get longer. Surely, then, we will have lost someone along the way: in that case, let us know and we will correct it. What is certain is that these postcards from the podiums of the world, signed by Alumni and students of the Polytechnic, are a testimony of the strength of this community in the most varied fields.  


11 Politecnico students on the Forbes list of young innovators  

This is the famous list of under-30s to keep an eye on due to their ideas and the impact they will have on the world. They also included several Politecnico students: Giovanni Pandolfi Bortoletto, 29, Aeronautical Engineering, founder of Leaf Space, in the science category;Matteo Marzorati, 26, games category, founder of Cordens Interactive and a Product Service System Design Alumnus; Domitilla Rapisardi, 29, art&style category, founder of IINDACO and a Fashion Design Alumna; Francesca Bona, 29, in the energy category, energy transition expert, Energy Engineering; ​Andrea Evangelista and Chiara Riente, both 27, Materials Engineering and Nanotechnology and Communication Design alumni, founders of Piantando, for the social impact category; Marco Laganà, 29, e-commerce category, founder of Dog Heroes, Fashion Alumnus; Elisa Piscitelli, 30, and Mariapaola Testa,29, Management Engineering, education category, founded Orientami; Enrico Bertino, Mathematical Engineering, and Gianluca Maruzzella, Management, Economics and Industrial Engineering, founders of Indigo. ai, enterprise technology category.


World’s top 50 best designers of 2021 according to Marie Claire 

Among the world’s top 50 designers, this renowned magazine numbers Elena Salmistraro, an Industrial Design Alumna, designer, painter and illustrator for big names such as Apple, Disney and Ikea.

Shaping the future of business through AI: 40 women on IBM’s list 

The list of the top 40 women in artificial intelligence includes two Politecnico students, both Electronic Engineering Alumnae: Donatella Sciuto, vice-rector of Politecnico di Milano and rector’s delegate for Research and Diversity, and Elisabetta Burei, an Electronic Engineering alumna and Senior demand&project manager at CheBanca!

Information security gurus in Italy 

La Repubblica newspaper lists the top 50 Italian experts in cyber security, at international level. Among them, 4 Alumni: Vincenzo Iozzo, Engineering of Computing Systems, Senior Director at CrowdStrike, leaders in the field of cyber-security; Luigi Rebuffi, general secretary atEuropean Cyber Security Organisation, Nuclear Engineering Alumnus (and guest at the 10th Politecnico di Milano Alumni Convention on 13 November 2021); Giovanni Vigna, Electronic Engineering and Phd, professor in the Computer Science Department at the University of California in Santa Barbara (UCSB), founder of the Shellphish hacker group (her lectures on hacking are available on YouTube); Stefano Zanero, Engineering of Computing Systems Alumnus, associate professor  at Politecnico Milano.

Speaking of cyber, did you know that the first students in Cyber Risk Strategy and Governance graduated this year?..


5 Politecnico alumnae among Italy’s “inspiring 50”  

Women at the top of the technological world in Italy: from digital, to artificial intelligence, robotics, life sciences and so on. 5 international alumnae on the list: Cristina Canavesi, Telecommunication Engineering, Co-founder & President at LighTop Tech Corp; Elena Bottinelli,, Electronic Engineering, today Head of Innovation, Digitalization and Sustainability at Gruppo San Donato; Guendalina Cobianchi, SVP Business Development & Partnerships in V-Nova, Management, Economics and Industrial Engineering; Monica Dalla Riva, , VP Design & CX at Deutsche Telekom, Industrial Design;Patrizia Casali, Biomedical Engineering, innovation developer and team leader. And the UK list includes Marzia Bolpagni, Architecture PhD alumna. She specialises in Building Information Modelling and also won the young engineer of the year award from the Royal Academy of Engineering, which each year selects 5 engineers, and she received the prestigious Sir George Macfarlane Medal, given to young professionals.


The 100 “wonder women” 

Still with Forbes, for the fourth consecutive year this magazine celebrates 1100 most successful female Italian leaders selected from scientists, sporting champions, business visionaries, and managers. They include two of our Alumnae:

Emanuela Trentin, Management, Economics and Industrial Engineering, CEO at Siram Veolia (she was a guest at the 10th Politecnico di Milano Alumni Convention) and Virginia Magliulo, Electronic Engineering, President of Global View HCM in ADP (we find her in the book “TOWARDS 2099 - 87 Tips from the great Alumni of the Politecnico di Milano”)

Tra i 100 migliori manager secondo Forbes Italia 

There is also Giuseppe Di Franco, Group Executive Vice President – Global Head of Resources & Services and CEO of Italy at Atos. We also find him in the book “TOWARDS 2099 - 87 Tips from the great Alumni of the Politecnico di Milano”.