2021, a year to remember: awards to Politecnico students

2021 brought awards and nominations for alumni from all over the world, standing out for their “made in Polimi” factor

The third stage of the Best of 2021 brings us to the many awards and nominations from around the world, in which alumni and alumnae have distinguished themselves for their Made in Polimi factor.

"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.


An Italian wins the James F. Schumar Scholarship

Lorenzo Vergari, a Poli Nuclear Engineering Alumnus and now a PhD student at UC Berkeley, receives the prize that has been awarded annually since 1984 for research results in the field of materials science applied to nuclear power.


European Inventor Award 2021, Marco Donolato is a finalist

Magnetic nanoparticles used to diagnose diseases (including Covid19), cheaply and in minutes: a patent belonging to Italian startupper Marco Donolato, Physics Engineering alumnus, can detect infectious diseases, including Dengue fever, Zika, and SARS-CoV-2.The test requires a single drop of blood and produces accurate results in less than 10 minutes, enabling timely treatment of patients.


Elena Bottinelli wins the Premio Bellisario in the Management category

Women at the heart of the recovery: this is the message of the 33rd edition of the Marisa Bellisario Award “Women making a difference”. Among the other winners of this 33rd edition, the Marisa Bellisario Award Committee picked Alumna Elena Bottinelli, in the Management category.


Valentina Sumini nominated Ambassador for Italian Design 2021

Alumna and visiting professor at Politecnico di Milano, Sumini imagines an “architectural vision of space” and designs houses and hotels for living on other planets. She was conferred the title in Washington during the fifth edition of Italian Design Day, promoted by the Italian Embassy to celebrate Italian design and creativity in the world.


The Giorgio Modena Medal 2021 was awarded to Professor Pierangelo Metrangolo at Politecnico di Milano, for his research into the chemistry of halogenated compounds

The entire scientific world associates the discovery of the halogen bond to the Politecnico di Milano. If you have no idea what this is, it’s because it takes us to the frontiers of science: we talked about it directly with Professor Metrangolo,from the “Giulio Natta” Department of Chemistry, Materials and Chemical Engineering, at Politecnico di Milano, on alumni-polimi.itThe Medal, established in 2019, is awarded every two years to honour the memory and work of Giorgio Modena, one of the masters and pioneers of research in organic physical chemistry. “This is a great recognition for a scientist working on intermolecular interactions,” commented Professor Metrangolo. “And it is an honour that I share with my colleagues in the research group. In particular, with Giuseppe Resnati (of whom we have spoken on MAP 9, page 40) with whom I had the good fortune to discover something new in chemistry, which will be further studied and researched for decades.”

At the intersection of architecture and technology

The University of Southern Denmark (SDU) awarded the TEK Research Dissemination Prize 2021 toRoberto Naboni, architecture alumnus and Phd, now associate professor in Computational Design and Digital Fabrication at SDU, and founder and director of the CREATE research group working on Computational Research in Emergent Architectural Technology. “Researching at the intersection of architecture and technology is just so exciting these days, and this award motivates me to keep doing it, and continue speaking about it around the world and on social media”, comments Naboni.


James Dyson Award 2021 to three Politecnico students

Safer, more beautiful, sustainable roads: Luca Grosso, Silvana Migliozzi and Alessio Puleo, three students on the Laurea Magistrale (equivalent to Master’s degree) course Intregrated Product Design, won the award with their Roadfix project, a tool designed to repair road surfaces at no cost to the public budget, instead involving sponsor companies through a design project. The idea was conceived during the Concept Design Laboratory held by Prof. Massimo Bianchini al at the Politecnico and resulted in a prototype. The James Dyson Award is an international design award for young engineers and designers. These three Politecnico students stood out as the best young inventors among more than 2,000 participants who submitted inventions from 28 countries.

Eni Award: The President of the Italian Republic awards two Alumnae of Politecnico

Monica Ferro and Greta Colombo Dugoni, Politecnico di Milano alumnae and researchers, received their awards at Palazzo del Quirinale in the presence of the President of the Republic Sergio Mattarella during the 13th edition of the Eni Award for scientific research, with the special mention “Eni Joule for Entrepreneurship”. Also known as the “Nobel Prize for Energy”, this award is considered an international benchmark for research in the fields of energy and the environment. The alumnae received it for their work in the startup Bi-Rex, which they founded.


Double silver for Politecnico Alumna Federica Fragapane

After winning second place at the European Design Awards in June, Fragapane, a Communication Design alumna, also received the Pierre Keller Award at the Hublot Design Prize 2021, the most important recognition in the design sector to support young talent. At London's Serpentine Galleries, 160 international art experts and gallerists gathered to present works by emerging and established artists from around the world. Federica Fragapane was picked as the winner for her data visualisation work that represents the complexity of data in organic and poetic forms.

2021 has been a year of silver for Fragapane, who also won second place at theall’European Design Awards in June.

Alumna Tiziana Monterisi wins Fortune's Italia Prize

Monterisi won the MPW2021 – Fortune Italiaaward, which she received at the Fortune Italia MPW (Most Powerful Women) International Convention. An Architecture alumna, she is CEO and co-founder of Ricehouse, a company focused on transforming rice production waste into building and construction materials. The company uses all the natural materials that usually end up as waste to create building infrastructures.

Nellie Award Italia goes to young female graduates with big social impact

Awarded by The Circle Italia and Tiffany & co., the first edition picked three winners based on their academic achievements and the impact of their proposed solutions:Tracy Bassil,a Product Service Design and Management, Economics and Industrial Engineering alumna, developed a proposal to tackle the housing crisis after the Beirut port explosion in 2020. Marine Kerdaffrec, an Integrated Product Design alumna, designed a device that links asthma monitoring and air pollution detection. Elena Redaelli, a Biomedical Engineering alumna, developed a method to improve the lives of people operated on using the TEVAR technique.