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Manuela Aguzzi

Manuela Aguzzi, PhD in Industrial Design and Multimedia Communication, participated in the 2015 diploma awarding ceremony with the following speech

Dijon De Moraes

Dijon De Moraes, PhD graduate in Industrial Design from the Politecnico di Milano, is now rector at Minas Gerais Federal University (UEMG) in Brazil. He made a speech at the 2013 graduation ceremony, and you can view a video of his testimonial at: 

Fabio Violante

Establishing an innovative business following a PhD: the Neptuny experience

"In a world in which everyone develops applications or creates new systems, I set out to optimise existing systems, and to make them work better, because there is plenty of room for improvement in the existing infrastructure. My experience in the field of performance evaluation, capacity management and cloud computing started out from this intuition, which was destined to become an axiom.

I was born in Reggio Calabria, and in 1972 I moved to Milan to obtain, first a degree, and subsequently a PhD in Computer Engineering. I then worked for two years with Accenture (formerly Andersen Consulting), before dedicating myself heart and soul to my intuition. In 2000, through the aid of the Politecnico Business Accelerator and the help of two future partners (both professors at the university), I established Neptuny, a vertical company specialising in performance evaluation for large data centres, and designed to attract the attention of giants such as Fastweb, Vodafone and Expedia. An exponential growth in employees (from 1 to 90 in just a few years) and the opening of branches in London and California confirmed Neptuny's success, right up to the 2010 acquisition by the BMC group.

Today I serve as Chief Technical Officer EMEA at BMC Software, the eighth software company in the world, listed on NASDAQ."

Fabio Violante, PhD graduate in Computer Engineering

Alessio Tizzanini

Executive PhD, ENEL, 2013

"As a company representative for a major research project and, at the same time, as an Executive PhD student, I had the privilege of developing this activity by working simultaneously on the two fronts that represent the foundation and the future of research itself: the corporate and the university fronts. At the end of this experience, I gained significantly in terms of specific technical knowledge and understanding of the collaboration dynamics between the corporate world and academia (including strengths and areas for improvement), as well as the similarities and differences in their respective approaches to research.

For me, all this, combined with the excellent results achieved by the project and the personal and professional relationships that I was able to establish, was a significant and stimulating source of personal satisfaction.

The need to work at the same time in two different (yet largely overlapping) contexts required focused and continued commitment. However, in my opinion it was well worth while. Indeed, if we consider that research is moving fast towards an ever closer interaction between academia and industry, it is clear that initiatives such as the Executive PhD allow the researcher to develop and assimilate a particularly effective approach to research geared towards application."

Alessio Tizzanini, PhD in Energy and Nuclear Science and Technology 

Testimonials on the work of Alessio Tizzanini:

"I have no qualms in defining Alessio Tizzanini's "Executive" PhD experience a complete success: in just three years (not the four originally planned), Alessio put together an excellent thesis, which describes a major project - resulting from a collaboration agreement (signed before the PhD had been envisaged) between ENEL, Turboden my department - in all its stages (from conception of the prototype, to preparation of a test circuit, execution of tests and analysis of results). The project involved an organic supercritical fluid engine, for geothermal applications. Truth be told, several circumstances contributed to this result: (i) the undoubted talents of the student, (ii) the existing collaboration between ENEL and the Department of Energy, (iii) the common interest towards an undertaking of great prestige, and - last but not least - (iv) ENEL's significant investments in the project.   It is to be hoped that similar opportunities will arise again, either with ENEL or with other companies."

Prof. Ennio Macchi, Supervisor, Department of Energy

"The project in which Tizzanini was involved, concerning the development of high-efficiency ORC cycles for low-enthalpy geothermal applications, is certainly one of the most complex and interesting research projects promoted by ENEL in recent years. In light of the highly innovative character of the project in question and the quality of the resource involved, Enel Research decided to offer Tizzanini the possibility to take part in an Executive PhD at the Politecnico di Milano, a renowned university centre with which we already had an ongoing collaboration agreement for the research topic in question. The scope was manifold: to promote greater interaction between academia and industry; to offer the company an opportunity to train and professionally develop the resource involved; and to allow him to obtain a qualification in a theme of ongoing interest for the company. All of this combined, gave Tizzanini the tools required to make a decisive contribution to the full success of the project, which is why we consider this a very positive Executive PhD experience."

Sauro Pasini, Head of Technical Research - Engineering and Research Division, ENEL Engineering and Research



Prof. Carolina Di Biase 

"Many of our best students now work at the Architectural and Landscape Heritage Superintendency. Some are even Superintendents: two years ago we invited the Superintendent of Siena and Grosseto to our graduation ceremony. But it also works the other way: sometimes leading exponents of the State Administration of Cultural Heritage ask to be admitted to the PhD (we have one working in Brera this year). It is also for this reason that we have worked to create a more systematic relationship with the Ministry of Cultural Heritage and its most prestigious research centres."

Prof. Carolina Di Biase, Coordinator of the PhD in Preservation of the Architectural Heritage


Eng. Livio Baldi, Micron Semiconductor Italia

"For the semiconductor industry, it is extremely important to be able to combine the business rationales of efficiency and effectiveness with the ability, typical of universities, to build new knowledge. This is the key ingredient to competing on a global scale, and is typical of territorial systems open to innovation. Hosting PhD students in the process of writing their dissertation enables a mutual exchange of ideas and experiences between academia and industry. This opens up new opportunities for innovation and creates a strong link between universities and businesses. Since 2002, 12 doctoral theses have been carried out with the Politecnico di Milano at the STMicroelectronics/Micron technological research centre in Agrate Brianza, 4 of which are currently underway. To these we can add more than 30 master's degree theses, mostly carried out by students from the Politecnico di Milano, but also by some from other universities. And the figures reveal a growing trend, which is very reassuring."

Livio Baldi, External Relations and Funding Senior Director of Micron Semiconductor Italia.


"With the Politecnico we have had in place for over ten years a very important collaboration for the development of our Research and Development and Process Technology Team.

Working alongside graduation candidates and, subsequently, with those continuing their academic career with a PhD through an experience with us has allowed us to create a dynamic team that is the pride of our group.

For at least a decade we have been collaborating with the Department of Mechanics and Steelmaking, selecting students able and willing to grow together.

Those who have had an experience with us increase our strength with their freshness and enthusiasm that goes well with the "passion" that distinguishes our company's activities.

For our part, we try to offer deserving students the opportunity of a truly unique experience in a company such as ours, an excellent business card for their professional future.

I don't think I am wrong in saying that at least three-quarters of my "boys" come from the Poli and many of them joined our Team after a PhD or Post Graduate Internship experience in Italy or abroad that we agreed with the Poli professors as time went by.

It has been a great pleasure to welcome them and my personal satisfaction to see them grow in our company, both in Italy and in our subsidiaries abroad."

Mauro Bianchi Ferri

Senior Vice President "Steelmaking"



"Our Italimpianti Ovens BU has a long-standing tradition in research and development, mainly in the field of combustion, and has reached, thanks to the professionalism of several generations of engineers, a globally recognised level of excellence. Starting from these premises, we thought it was necessary to make a quantum leap with the assumption that the best weapon to meet technological challenges and compete while maintaining our leadership was knowledge. To accomplish this we identified the Executive PhD of the Politecnico di Milano as a viable opportunity.

The purpose of the Executive PhD is to develop a knowledge base on continuum mechanics calculation methods. The applicability of this knowledge applies to an extremely wide variety of engineering disciplines and is a fundamental approach for the analysis and forecasting of phenomena in the mechanical, chemical, metallurgical and fluid dynamics fields. The area of immediate interest is in the computational fluid dynamics of eddy and reactive currents (combustion). The same methodologies are however applicable to various fields and define the calculation procedures for parallel machines (supercomputing).

The result of this programme is the preparation of a professional figure somewhere between that of an engineer and an applied mathematician. The activities of such a figure include quantitative analysis of products and processes via numerical simulation, identification of critical factors for improving technological limits and collaboration with engineering departments for implementing changes or creating totally new products.

The immediate benefit for the company, and in particular for the Italimpianti Ovens BU, is the acquisition of highly qualified resources for the Research and Development sector, enabling the development of products with an increasingly technological content.

We believe that our participation in the Executive PhD becomes all the more important the more, in perspective, it does not remain an isolated incident but intersects with other examples of technological specialisation to form a solid platform of excellence for Research and Development in our company."

Massimiliano Rintuzzi

"Tenova ltalimpianti" R&D Manager



"The qualities we are looking for in our resources, engaged in the design of power plants and process plants for the chemical and petrochemical industry, are not confined solely to technical abilities. The characteristics we find in PhD's with experience from a school of excellence such as the Politecnico di Milano represent a set very important values in line with the corporate mentality. Their presence enriches the team and is a continuous incentive to improve. In particular, I am referring to the ability and desire to go into detail, an essential quality to cope with the complexity of technical issues that we are faced with, the systematic nature and the method with which one carries out one's work, a necessary characteristic in order to ensure the high quality standards that our market obliges us to maintain and the ability and propensity to exhibit results in an explanatory manner, ability necessary for the appropriate management of relations with the team and with the customer, whose personnel we increasingly find ourselves having to train."

Andrea Ferrera

Process, Mechanical & Technology Department Manager