We are sure that you will have unexpectedly come across a work of art while running from one lecture to the next. The Poli’s collection comprises many works created by great artists and designers: works that represent the university's history, its values and its DNA. An open-air museum with a symbolic entrance in the heart of the Leonardo Campus, in Piazza Leonardo da Vinci 32 (we told you about it in MAP 9, Made in Polimi), that can be visited virtually at www.museovirtuale.polimi.it.
We spoke to Professor Federico Bucci, the Rector’s Delegate for Cultural Policies:
We spoke about Ettore e Andromaca in MAP 10We asked Bucci about the value of these donations: "A work that comes from a private collection is made available to everyone and enjoyed by students in particular, who pass by it every day. The students are therefore immersed in a cultural climate of the highest calibre, absorbing it, being stimulated and motivated.”
he Virtual Museum, like the physical museum which spans across the Politecnico’s spaces, is a work in progress, never finished, always evolving. “Not only do new works arrive, but there are many artefacts of great value that are still stored and protected in cupboards, that need to be assessed and exhibited in the correct way, telling the story of the pioneers that came before us, offering the hahahahshhsdjfsjfjbdbfjdajbfjd narrative background to examples of the Politecnico’s DNA created by the great artists hat have donated them over the decades. As an art historian, I really believe in this project which is not merely about preservation: it is an invitation to interpret memories in perspective, as our forefathers did, like Francesco Brioschi and Giuseppe Colombo, who worked on history in order to design the future. Entrusting a valuable work to future generations is an invitation to create something new", concluded Bucci.
THREE LINKS TO BEGIN WITH: THE CRC 102A, THE MUSEUM OF CORROSION DEDICATED TO PEDEFERRI AND THE GIÒ POMODORO COLLECTION
You can browse hundreds of works and historical objects in the Virtual Museum. Today we are inviting you to visit three of these virtual rooms (because there is not enough space for all of them here; although you can find them online).
“I like to imagine a young (Luigi) Dadda, returning from the United States at barely 25 years old, as he disembarked from the ship with a large box containing Europe’s first calculator", remarked Bucci.
The Museum of Corrosion, a collection dedicated to Professor Pietro Pedeferri, a 1963 Alumnus of Chemical Engineering and full professor from 1983, first of “Electrochemistry” and later of “Corrosion and Protection of Materials” who subsequently became the Head of the Department of Chemistry of Materials. It consists of a selection of approximately 140 case studies that demonstrate the behaviour of metals subjected to different types of corrosion.
“If it were simple, it would not have been called the Politecnico”, says the Alumnus Stefano Della Torre , laughing, while maintaining a certain seriousness and a certain pride in the background. A professor in the Politecnico’s Faculty of Architecture, Della Torre is responsible for the university’s consultancy work with the Veneranda Fabbrica del Duomo, a partnership which involves around a dozen women and men from all departments of the Politecnico with the objective of rationalising and implementing the conservation and restoration of Milan’s cathedral. The Duomois a unique monument in and of itself. Not only for its sentimental value to the people of Milan, and perhaps even less for its purely architectural value. It is in the Duomo’s intrinsic nature to be special,
“The Duomo has always been a place of experimentation”, explains Della Torre, “and so this ideal continuity between artistic experimentation and our experiments in the field of conservation is interesting”.
For the Politecnico, today the Duomo is also a building-site laboratorya place where our students and researchers can do research in the field and encounter real problems using state-of-the-art technologies, in a context that is impossible to reproduce in a laboratory on campus.
The Politecnico, shoulder to shoulder with the Veneranda Fabbrica (“the oldest business in Italy”, comments Della Torre), is taking care of Northern Italy’s most iconic church on a day-to-day basis.As the professor remarks, “it is an incredible work” due to the Duomo’s dimensions and the risks – the damage – to which it is subject every day in a city like Milan “The logic behind our intervention is to apply the most modern approach to conservation, called planned conservation, to the Duomo. This means not simply intervening “on the spot” when there is a problem, but coordinating and planning all the activities”.
The Politecnico di Milano has obtained from the European Commission important funding for two research projects: one for the fight against breast cancer and the other for the fight against climate change.
This takes the form of two ERC Advanced Grant, funding awarded by the European Research Council to researchers well-established in their field, in order to carry out innovative and high-risk projects. The selection for this type of funding is very competitive: this year, out of 1735 projects submitted, only 14.6% obtained the funds.
SUPERCOMPUTERS THAT CONSUME 5000 TIMES LESS ENERGY
Daniele Ielminii, professor at the Department of Electronics, Information and Bioengineering, will leadANIMATE (ANalogue In-Memory computing with Advanced device Technology), a project that aims to develop a new computing concept to reduce energy consumption in machine learning. It is a critical issue for stopping climate change: we do not think about it when we use a computer, but the energy cost of the actions we perform on the internet, starting with the everyday things, is very high. Data centres, which currently meet most of the world's AI needs, now consume about 1% of global energy demand, but growth is expected to reach up to 7% by 2030. Apparently simple operations, such as searching for a consumer product or service (for example when we book holidays or choose a film on a streaming site) are based on data-intensive algorithms and have a significant impact on the production of greenhouse gases.
Professor Ielmini’s preliminary ANIMATE research has shown that computational energy requirements can be reduced by closed-loop in-memory computing (CL-IMC). This system is capable of solving linear algebra problems in a single computational step. Thanks to the reduction in calculation time, CL-IMC requires 5,000 times less energy than digital computers with the same precision in terms of number of bits. Ielmini's project will develop the device and circuit technology, system architectures and set of applications to fully validate the CL-IMC concept.
A PROTOCOL TO NEUTRALIZE THE NATURAL BARRIER IN BREAST CANCER
Manuela Raimondi, professor in the ‘Giulio Natta’ Department of Chemistry, Materials and Chemical Engineering, combines mechanobiology, bioengineering, oncology, genetics, microtechnology, biophysics and pharmacology to develop a new method for the treatment of breast cancer.
In fact, in this type of illness, the aggressiveness is related to the fibrotic stiffening of the tumour tissue: fibrosis progressively prevents drugs from reaching cancer cells. With BEACONSANDEGG – Mechanobiology of cancer progression, Raimondi intends to develop a method capable of circumventing this problem. Starting from the modelling of microtumours at various levels of fibrosis and from human breast cancer cells adhered to 3D polymer micro-supports, the microtumours will be implanted in vivo into the respiratory membrane of embryonated avian eggs, in order to elicit a fibrotic foreign body reaction in microtumours. This study model will be validated with anticancer drugs whose clinical outcome is known to depend on the level of tumour fibrosis. It will also provide a standardisable and ethical platform to promote the clinical translation of new therapeutic products in oncology. This is a key issue for professor Raimondi: some of the research and modelling tools she has developed over the last ten years have precisely this goal: to reduce or replace the pre-clinical experimental phases in vivo, for example, with the use of 3D supports for cell cultures and microfluidic chambers for tissue and organoid culture.
ERC: “CHALLENGING EUROPE’S BRIGHTEST MINDS”
A bit of context for this good news: the Politecnico is at the top of the world rankings of universities also thanks to the frontier scientific research that it carries out in its laboratories. The protagonists of this Italian record are the many scientists and researchers of the Politecnico (ERC and beyond): about 3500..
Some of these are 'ERC researchers', with ERC standing for European Research Council. ERC is a European Commission tool that supports pioneering and frontier research. It is said that these researchers are among "the brightest minds in Europe", scientists who could be on the trail of new and unpredictable scientific and technological discoveries.
In total, to date, 52 ERC projects at the Politecnico. They vary according to the size and duration of the funding: between Euro 150 thousand and 12 million.
Starting Grant, for emerging researchers, with 2-7 years of experience gained after obtaining the PhD
ConsolidatorGrant, for young people who already have ten years of research behind them
AdvancedGrant, dedicated to outstanding and established scientists, able to open up new directions in their respective research fields and in other sectors
SynergyGrant, , which promotes substantial advances in the frontier of knowledge and encourages new lines of research
Proof of Concept, a minor funding, dedicated to researchers who already have an ERC project underway or have recently completed it. It aims to ensure the link between basic research and the market
CONVERTING UNCERTAINTY INTO ACTION AND REVOLUTIONIZING MATERIALS SCIENCE
. Sara Bagherifard, with ArcHIDep project, and Massimo Tavoni, with EUNICE project, get two ERC Consolidator Grants. Tavoni, professor of Climate Change Economics at the Department of Management Engineering and Director of RFF-CMCC, European Institute on Economics and the Environment, has the goal of reducing the uncertainties involved in confronting climate change. His research covers energy and climate economics, and in particular, the modelling of international climate policies. With EUNICE, he tackles the problem of uncertainties in climate stabilization paths and in current climate-energy-economy models and converts the scenarios outlined by these models into indications that help define resilient, solid and reliable policies to combat climate change.
Bagherifard, senior researcher at the Department of Mechanical Engineering, deals with numerical and experimental approaches to design, manufacture and characterize multifunctional materials. With the ArcHIDep project, she intends to deploy a revolutionary solid state deposition system in order to obtain heterogeneous materials with architecture structured on three levels of scale: micro, meso and macro. ArcHIDep will make it possible to develop a framework, which does not currently exist, for designing and building components which are capable of overcoming the limitations associated with the current inability to combine conflicting properties.
ERC PROOF OF CONCEPT, OR: SCIENCE TESTING THE FACTS
Once again we find Daniele Ielmini with SHANNON, acronym for Secure hardware with advanced nonvolatile memories. It aims to develop a new type of encryption circuit based on the concept of non-cloneable physical function. The encryption keys are generated through random memory states that are completely invisible to an external inspection, thanks to a new algorithm and a new cell structure, making this solution very interesting for the security of Internet of Things systems.
Paola Saccomandi, from the Department of Mechanical Engineering, works on the development, technological validation and market analysis of a device for the laser removal of tumours, much less invasive than the instruments we have today. The project is called LEILA: closed-loop and multisensing delivery tool for controlled laser ablation of tumors.
With the TCOtronics, acronym for transparent conductive oxide nanocrystalline films for electronics and optoelectronics via low-cost solution processing, Francesco Scotognella(Department of Physics) aims to manufacture thin layers based on nanoparticles of metal oxides, which can be used as optical filters or transparent electrodes for solar cells and light emitting diodes. An important goal is also the use of non-toxic and abundant elements on the planet.
Francesco Topputo (Department of Aerospace Science and Technology) aims to develop an autonomous navigation sensor for satellites in deep space. Thanks to the SENSEproject: a sensor for autonomous navigation in deep space, satellites themselves will be able to estimate their position without the need to communicate with ground stations. This will make it possible to cut navigation costs for space exploration, making space accessible to universities, research centres and small businesses.
What you are reading is an article from the latest issue of the Magazine of the Alumni of the Politecnico di Milano. (read it here). MAP is one of the many initiatives created by Alumni Politecnico di Milano. If you want to receive two issues of the magazine in paper format, consider donating..
Founded in late 2021 by universities and businesses, the activities of the Hydrogen Joint Research Platform, have begun. The Hydrogen JRP, which was commissioned by the Politecnico di Milano, has the aim of promoting the research and innovation of the potential of hydrogen as a clean energy source, developing scenarios and strategies for the production and consumption of carbon-free energy. The platform is designed to facilitate technology transfer through the partnership of public and private bodies and to create a system of scientific research, innovation and the industrial world as parts of a supply chain. Alongside the university and the Fondazione Politecnico di Milano, Edison, Eni, Snam, A2A and NextChem are also currently members of the Hydrogen JRP. The goal is to create a genuine hydrogen supply chain in Italy, expanding participation to the greatest number of stakeholders.
It is not entirely new: researchers at the Politecnico have been working on this line of research for years, but today the agenda is more important than ever: from the production of “clean” hydrogen to solutions for its storage and shipping, to residential, industrial and transport applications. In a recent interview, the Rector of the Politecnico di Milano Ferruccio Resta explained how forecasts indicate that in 2050, the year by which Europe has vowed to become climate neutral, hydrogen could cover more than 20% of the total energy requirements in key sectors of the Italian economy.
Hydrogen,if used in a complementary manner with other technologies, can in fact contribute significantly to creating industrial processes which are more sustainableindustrialipiù sostenibili and clean and to reducing emissions,” stated Resta. It could play a particularly important role in the transport, power generation and residential heating sectors: “Long-haul transport is responsible for about 5-10 percent of total CO₂ emissions. With the measures in the NRRP, we could see significant hydrogen penetration of up to 5-7 percent of the market by 2030.”
Among the priorities stated by the NRRP, Resta explained that
“the Italian government intends to develop technological and industrial leadership in the main sectors of the energy transition (photovoltaic systems, turbines, hydrolysers, batteries) that create jobs and growth through the development of the most innovative areas, starting with hydrogen.”
The Hydrogen JRP was launched at the Politecnico di Milano to heed this call: The energy transition is one of the greatest challenges of our time. There are two key concepts that we must insist on: firstly, the creation of a political path, aligning ourselves with European guidelines, based on a phase of providing support to the industrial system; secondly, the development of research and training in order to position ourselves as a reference point for this technology on the international stage. In order for this to happen, we need to chart a common journey which sees the university working alongside businesses. Therefore, the Hydrogen Joint Research Platform, which we are launching today with the participation, willingness to listen and innovation of three great companies in the industry, must expand as much as possible to the productive fabric.”
“This will go down in history as the year in which more was done for education and more school and nursery facilities were opened in Tirana than in the last hundred years,” remarked Erion Veliaj, the mayor of Tirana, Albania. Of these facilities, three were designed by the alumnus Stefano Boeri and his firm in the areas of Don Bosco, Koder-Kamez and Shqiponja.
The 9,812m2 complex in Don Bosco comprises a middle school, a high school, spaces for preschool education and a nursery: the Koder-Kamez schools extend over a total area of 11,898m2, offering educational provision as Don Bosko; and the Shqiponja schools comprise facilities for preschool education, a middle school and a nursery, occupying 7,898m2.
We spoke to the architects and alumni Stefano Boeri and Francesca Cesa Bianchi, the project directors at Stefano Boeri Architetti’s.
An open school implies osmosis within a community, an exchange of knowledge and experience which reverberates through the life of the neighbourhood. Often, school buildings are the core of a community and creating new schools provides an opportunity to construct a new piece of the public city
The buildings feature a simple and functional system and a combination of materials and colours that evokes the tradition of Italian architecture in Tirana. The design and distribution of the learning spaces have an influence on the academic performance of the students and, given that learning methods are continually evolving, it is necessary that architecture follows, or better yet anticipates, those changes.
How, and where, do you think that a first Open School project could emerge in Italy?
We are already working on projects of this kind, both in Milan, where were are creating a model for the “classroom of the future”, as well as in Liguria, where we are designing a school building that follows these principles at least in part. But, generally speaking, things are moving in this direction: the guidelines of the National Recovery and Resilience Plan (NRRP) envisage a programme for the replacement of school buildings and energy improvement which will involve 195 properties, for a total of more than 410,000m2. Together with Renzo Piano, Cino Zucchi, Mario Cucinella, Massimo Alvisi, Sandy Attia and Luisa Ingaramo, with Fondazione Giovanni Agnelli and Triennale Milano we have followed the guidelines for the design of the new school buildings, on the basis of the open school concept specifically.
It is a market that, according to most analysts, will be worth 800 billion dollars, within two years, with a staggering potential for growth: Fortune and Deloitte talk of 13 trillion dollars by 2030, by which time it will have 5 billion users according to Citi (at the moment there are estimated to be 350 million, an increase of 900% over the last year, with an average age of 27 and split across 43 platforms). This is the Metaverse, a system of technologies which enables virtual, augmented and mixed reality experiences, allowing something of an expansion of the physical world into virtual and semi-virtual universes with their own rules for operating and communicating.
Many large brands have decided to join the Metaverse and create an appealing presence for consumers who, thanks to increasingly sophisticated technologies, enjoy experiences at the edge of reality, trying and purchasing products through their avatars. The Metaverse Marketing Labis an initiative by the School of Management at the Politecnico di Milano in partnership with UPA and UNA (the associations that represent advertisers and advertising agencies) which intends to chart the evolution of a market which is as dynamic as it is fluid, to promote good practice and analyse consumer behaviour in relation to experiences of immersive, virtual and augmented reality.
“The goal is to understand whether and how this ‘Metaverse rush’ represents a trend or a wave,” explained Lucio Lamberti, full professor of Omnichannel Marketing Management and Scientific Coordinator of the Metaverse Marketing Lab, which was presented today at the Politecnico. “To achieve this, in addition to studying the brands’ initiatives on a national level and comparing them with global experiences, the Lab will focus on the user perspective, analysing their behaviour and objectively measuring their emotional engagement. We strongly believe in alliances between universities and supplier associations as a means for sharing and comparison: we are on the verge of another transformation of the model of relationships between brands and consumers, which is more rapid and deeper the more the Metaverse succeeds in provoking strong feelings, which are comparable with those of real life. A phenomenon which is already taking place, according to the data of the PHEEL Laboratory at the Politecnico”.
“A great red and white heart has dreamed about this moment for years. Always on the verge of victory but never quite bringing home the title. Today that dream has finally come true, and it's for real: Sharks Monza are Champions of Italy! GO SHARKS!”
This was the post on the official (you might have guessed it) Sharks Monzapage: the Powerchair Hockey team that has won the title of Italian Championship after 22 years of narrowly missing out, dominating IOP Madracs Udine 9-2 in the final held in Lignano Sabbiadoro (Udine).
Pietro Ravasi, the Sharks’ mechanic, a mechanical engineering alumnus and meritorious citizen of Monza for his sporting achievements, shares his story and passion. Powerchair Hockey is played using electric wheelchairs. In Italy there are around 30 competitive teams vying for the title in a championship organised by F.I.P.P.S. (Federazione Italiana Paralimpica Powerchair Sport).
In this sport, the mechanic makes all the difference: the wheelchairs used by the players are, essentially, almost all the same: “there are 3 or 4 constructors across the world, but in the end people tend to buy the most competitive model. The thing that changes is the set-up of the wheelchairThe wheelchair’s engineering can be crucial for achieving results, but above all it is the means of protecting the safety of the athletes as much as possible” Athletes like Mattia Muratore, a paralympic ambassador and captain of the Sharks who suffers from osteogenesis imperfecta, also known as brittle bone disease:We and the wheelchair have to be as one”, he explained to the Poli Alumni“I have always wanted to play sport, but it wasn’t easy to find one that suited my disease: the slightest impact could have serious consequences. Nevertheless, here I am. At middle school my PE teacher, unlike other teachers who kept me in the sports hall to watch the other pupils, started to coach me to use a hockey stick. I have never looked back since.”
Ravasi works as a mechanic on unique parts, modifying the wheelchairs to suit the athlete’s needs and specific disability: “I completely strip them down and rebuild them from scratch in order to perfect the set-up and personalise them for the players.” It’s a partnership that began in 2006: “Luigi Parravicini, the Sharks captain at the time, needed a wheelchair to play but couldn’t find one. Back then, they were accustomed to having the wheelchairs modified by friends, by amateurs as a hobby. However, I’m a Poli engineer. I came with experience as a designer and an inspector for a business that manufactured go-karts and I used what I had learned in that field and what I had learned at the Poli to begin working on a custom wheelchair for Luigi. Then in 2014 I was appointed to the national team as an official mechanic and I took an extra wheelchair that I had designed. That same year we went to the World Championship together for the first time. There's no way we can forget it: we came second last.””.
But Ravasi and the team did not admit defeat. “When I went home, to Monza, I built two other wheelchair prototypes for the Sharks and I developed, for the first time in the Italian Championship, identical sticks perfected for the team. Powerchair Sport wheelchairs must be agile and made of materials that are light and robust in order to protect and be controlled bypeople with limited muscular strength: the stick is a plastic paddle similar to that which is used in floorball and is made with plastic materials that are very light, but even so there are some players that cannot use it and instead utilise a sort of paddle which is attached to the front of the athlete’s wheelchair, allowing even those that cannot hold the stick to control the ball and play a part in the game. “It’s a lot of hard work and the electronics are crucial. Each player has his own specifications and the electronics are adapted to his or her specific rotation and braking. The athletes must have personalised wheelchairs based on their role and physical needs. Then there’s the maintenance work, which is very important. These chairs cost about €17,000 each.”
Since that first setback in 2014, the mechanic Ravasi and “his” powerchairs have come a long way. As we mentioned earlier, this year the Sharks brought home the title. But that is just the latest in a series of accomplishments. “We reached our first European final with the national team in 2016 and finished as runners-up. We went into the tournament as underdogs, we were in the hardest group and we started against second best team in the world; and we beat them in the first game. We were creating a good team.” During the last World Championship in 2018, the Italian Powerchair Hockey team took the title by beating Denmark in the final. The European Championship would have been held in 2020 but instead they were cancelled because of the pandemic, just like the national competitions. So there are big hopes for 2022. The 5th Powerchair Hockey World Championship will be held in Switzerland from 7 to 15 August 2022. As reigning world champions, we are aiming to win our second world cup, competing against the other 9 teams that have qualified: Germany, Denmark, Australia, Canada, Holland, Switzerland, Belgium, Finland and Spain.
Following these accomplishments, Ravasi is ready for a new adventure: “I offer my best wishes to our national hockey team because I now have a new role as a mechanic in the newly formed Powerchair Football national team. Wheelchair football has reached Italy and is very popular around the world, unlike hockey. It already has sufficient numbers for the Paralympics and the federations are working to unify the regulations.” This year, the first Italian Championship was held and won by Thunder Roma ahead of Aquile di Palermo; the Black Lions di Venezia were third ahead of Oltre Sport di Trani. Certain teams have been built from scratch that only play football, like Oltre Sport, while there are others that already had a hockey team and created a football team, such as the remaining three finalists. “8 players have been called up to the new national team to represent Italy at the EPFA (European Powerchair Football Association) CUP from 16 to 22 August in Geneva, which will see us compete against Austria, Belgium, Germany, Scotland, Spain and Switzerland.We will also be the team with the most female athletes (3 women out of 8). The wheelchairs are different to those used in hockey, the best being the American model. There are also Swiss models which are the best for hockey and have a special bumper for football (these are the most widely used because, as we mentioned before, many players compete in both sports), whilst there is an Italian constructor that has started to produce its first prototypes. We will have to figure it out because, in any case, in Monza we won’t be playing football so I will definitely have to come up with a different plan. It will definitely be a great experience for the athletes, most of whom will be turning out in Azzurro for the first time, whereas for me it will be useful to gain experience while keeping one eye on a good performance.”
The female population is underrepresented in many of the activities carried out at technical universities. This is also the case at the Politecnico di Milano, where women represent less than 30% of its 47,000 students and 1,400 researchers. The discrepancy is big, however, if we look closer, we can see an even greater imbalance among all engineering students, where only 1 in 4 is female.
If we focus in further still, the figure falls to 20% in the case of some courses such as Mechanical, Electronic, Computer and Aerospace Engineering.
POP – Pari Opportunità Politecniche programme (Polytechnic Equal Opportunities) is the strategic programme through which the University is committed to guaranteeing an environment for studying and working that respects gender identity, and different abilities, cultures and origins. Within it, there are various initiatives to promote STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) among girls in upper schools and incentivise them to enrol at Politecnico di Milano. Girls@Polimi scholarships, for example, funds academic scholarships for future students enrolling on engineering courses with a low percentage of females (mechanics, electronics and computing), which offer successful candidates € 8000 euros each, for each of the three years of the degree, in addition to free accommodation.
“Awareness of gender diversity is a first step, which must be followed by concrete action not only within our universities, but at the wider level and in the international context. Building networks and supporting common causes increases our ability to influence decision makers”
comments vice rector Donatella Sciuto, stressing the international and systematic aspects of this imbalance.
To this end, to guide the actions that need to be undertaken, we have written two working instruments: the first is Gender Balance, an annual analysis of the University from the perspective of gender in academic programmes and work, among teaching and technical-administrative staff. It sets out objectives, tools and directions; the specific plan of action to be undertaken, over a three-year period, is described in the Gender Equality Plan: “we have set aside a specific budget”, says the rector’s office, with the objective of “recognising the dignity of every person in their work and studies, guaranteeing equality of treatment, promoting initiatives aimed at removing discrimination in training, access to jobs, orientation and during careers.
What you are reading is an article from the latest issue of the Magazine of the Alumni of the Politecnico di Milano. (read it here). MAP is one of the many initiatives created by Alumni Politecnico di Milano. If you want to receive two issues of the magazine in paper format, consider donating..
Elda Sala, a student at the Politecnico di Milano, is the winner of the second edition of the scholarship worth Euro 5000 dedicated to the memory of Mario Buzzella.
"My study programme is the Master's in Materials Engineering and Nanotechnology - Sala tells us -. I did my thesis at the CNST (Centre for Nano Science and Technology, belonging to the Italian Institute of Technology) and I dealt with organic semiconductors. The scholarship was assigned to me based on a ranking drawn up taking into account some factors: average grades, number of credits obtained compared to the time elapsed since enrolment and economic situation, all with the obligation to be in a LM programme."
The award ceremony was held in the last days of June in the meeting room of Coim, the chemical multinational of which Buzzella was the founder, in the presence of his family and the leaders of the Rotary Club of Crema.
Beatrice Buzzella, Mario's daughter, explains what prompted the family and the company to set up the scholarship for students of the master's degree programme in Materials and Nanotechnology Engineering of the Politecnico di Milano:
"It has enormous significance for our family because it rewards a path crowned with success, the result of skill, commitment and sacrifice, in the field of research and development".
Returning to Elda, when we ask her about the Politecnico she has no doubts about the most important lessons she has learned during the years of study:
“Perseverance and adaptability, but I also learned the importance of organizing my time efficiently. I have always been a working student and it was not automatic to learn to manage many parallel commitments; the Bachelor’s was a training ground, in this sense. With a little determination, the difficulties are overcome and transformed into educational experiences."
And what does the future hold?
"In my plans there is a PhD project at the same facility where I did the thesis work, so for now I plan to stay in academic research. After that I would like to go to work in the Research and Development sector, possibly still in the field of semiconductors and electronics. In general, I like being in the laboratory and I would like to continue.".
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Prof. Andrea Sianesi (Alumnus and President of Fondazione Politecnico di Milano) describes how “this initiative adds strength to our internationalization strategy”, and he explains how this new element fits with Politecnico’s strategic plans: “The goal is to strengthen Politecnico’s North-American network, to support our University’s missions (education, research, and social and cultural diversity) while leveraging one of our major assets: the Alumni”.
2,000 Alumni of Politecnico live and work in the United States. “FPM.US will enable and accelerate partnerships with institutions and corporations in the US, where the environment and dynamics are so different from Italy that they require a dedicated counterpart.” The roadmap to consolidate Polietcnico’s network is built on three elements, as Sianesi describes. First, FPM.US is a Charity that will collect donations. Today Politecnico already runs fundraising in Italy, to finance scholarships, educational projects, and specific research projects. American donors will receive from FPM.US the same fiscal benefits other American Foundations and Publich Charities offer. The goal is to collect funds to implement local projects in the United States, as well, like scholarships for studying, participating in internships, or conducting research projects in the US.
“The second element is Research, and FPM.US will empower scientific research collaboration between Italy and the United States”: on the academic side, FPM.US will support research projects developed in partnership with top research centers, that will grant access to NSF funds for academic research. FPM.US will also connect Politecnico with corporations (for example for JRC collaborations - Joint Research Center, find out more on MAP 10), Venture Capital funds, and new opportunities for tech transfers.
“The third element is Placement and Education, and FPM.US will offer Politecnico graduates new professional opportunities and a solid network of Alumni to lean on. We are building our response to this multifaceted challenge as a beta test for a strategy we could deploy in other countries all over the world”.
More than 15,000 Alumni live and work outside of Italy, and 2,000 of them are in the United States. They are the world ambassadors of Politecnico and its culture. FPM.US provides a great opportunity for Alumni who live in the United States to participate directly and play a key role in Politecnico’s future development. FPM.US will focus on internationalization, educational innovation, tech transfer, research, all to increase Politecnico’s brand equity and fund projects and scholarships.
Enrico Zio, President of Alumni Politecnico di Milano