Politecnico di Milano
|Type||State-supported Technical University|
|Established||29 November 1863|
|Colors||White and blue-gray|
|Affiliations||PEGASUS, NEREUS, TIME, CESAER, EUA, EASN, IDEA League, UNITECH International|
The Polytechnic University of Milan (Politecnico di Milano) is the largest technical university in Italy, with about 42,000 students. It offers undergraduate, graduate and higher education courses in engineering, architecture and design. Founded in 1863, it is the oldest university in Milan.
The Polytechnic University of Milan has two main campuses in the city of Milan, where the majority of the research and teaching activities are located, and other satellite campuses in five other cities across Lombardy and Emilia Romagna. The central offices and headquarters are located in the historical campus of Città Studi in Milan, which is also the largest, active since 1927.
The university was ranked the best for Engineering and among the top big universities in Italy in the CENSIS-Repubblica Italian University rankings for 2014–15. According to the QS World University Rankings, as of 2018 it is the 17th best technical university in the world, ranking fifth for Design, ninth for Architecture, ninth for Civil and Structural Engineering, 17th for Engineering and Technology.
|List of rectors of the Polytechnic University of Milan|
|Francesco Brioschi (1824—1897)||1863—1897|
|Giuseppe Colombo (1836—1921)||1897—1921|
|Cesare Saldini (1848—1922)||1921—1922|
|Luigi Zunini (1856—1938)||1922—1926|
|Gaudenzio Fantoli (1867—1940)||1926—1940|
|Carlo Isnardo Azimonti (1876—1943)||1940—1943|
|Gino Cassinis (1885—1964)||1944—1960|
|Gino Bozza (1899—1967)||1960—1967|
|Bruno Finzi (1899—1974)||1967—1969|
|Francesco Carassa (1922—2006)||1969—1972|
|Luigi Dadda (1923—2012)||1972—1984|
|Arrigo Vallatta (1930—2001)||1984—1987|
|Emilio Massa (1926—1998)||1987—1994|
|Adriano De Maio (b. 1941)||1994—2002|
|Giulio Ballio (b. 1940)||2002—2010|
|Giovanni Azzone (b. 1962)||2010—2016|
|Ferruccio Resta (b. 1968)||2017—2022|
The Polytechnic University of Milan was founded on 29 November 1863 by Francesco Brioschi, secretary of the Ministry of Education and rector of the University of Pavia. It is the oldest university in Milan. Its original name was Istituto Tecnico Superiore ("Higher Technical Institute") and only Civil and Industrial Engineering were taught. Architecture, the second main line of study at the university, was introduced in 1865 in cooperation with the Brera Academy.
There were only 30 students admitted in the first year. Over the decades, most of students were men: the first female graduate from the university was in 1913.
In 1927 the university moved to piazza Leonardo da Vinci, in the district now known as Città studi (City of Studies), where the university's main facilities are still today. At the time, it was named Regio Politecnico ("Royal Polytechnic"). The word Regio was removed as Italy was proclaimed a republic at the end of World War II. The historical building still in use today was designed and built by engineers and architects all graduated from the university itself.
In 1954, the first European centre of electronic computation was opened at the university by Gino Cassinis and Ercole Bottani. In 1963 Giulio Natta received the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his research on crystalline polymers, polypropylene in particular. In 1977, the satellite Sirio, jointly developed by the university and other companies, was launched.
Since the end of the 1980s, the university has begun a process of territorial expansion that would have resulted in the opening of its satellite campuses in Lombardy and Emilia Romagna. A university program in industrial design was started in 1993. In 2000, the university's faculty of design was created with new courses in undergraduate and postgraduate programs of graphic & visual, fashion and interior design along with the already existent industrial design.
In April 2012, the university announced that, beginning in 2014, all graduate courses would be taught only in English. This decision was then partially revised, after the decision of the Italian Supreme Court, that stated Italian language could not be totally abolished nor downgraded to a marginal role.
Milan Leonardo is the oldest of the university's campuses still in use. The first buildings on Piazza Leonardo da Vinci were inaugurated in 1927. Over the years, the complex has been expanded and is now generally referred to as "Città Studi", City of Studies, which also refers to some faculties of the University of Milan in the same area. The campus extends over several streets: Leonardo, Bonardi, Clericetti, Mancinelli, Gran Sasso and Colombo.
The Leonardo Campus is the main campus of the university, and comprises the central administration offices, the rectorate, and most of the research departments.
The Milan Bovisa campus is located in the Bovisa district of Milan and became active in 1989; campus Bovisa is today composed of campus Durando, opened in 1994, and campus La Masa, inaugurated in 1997. The first is the seat of the School of Design, while the second is dedicated to Industrial, Mechanical, Aerospace, and Energy Engineering faculties. Bovisa also houses the related research facilities, including the wind tunnel.
The Polytechnic University of Milan offers several three-year undergraduate courses, two-year graduate courses, one-year master courses and PhD programs in the fields of engineering, architecture and design. The university offers 32 first level (Bachelor) degree programs.
The academic year is divided into two terms, or semesters, the first from mid-September to late January and the second from March to late June. There are 3 exam sessions: those at the end of each semester (in February and July) and one more in September. Students need to achieve 60 "university credits" (CFU or Crediti Formativi Universitari) per year during their Bachelor and master's degrees. Therefore, the 3-years Bachelor requires 180 credits while the 2-years Master 120. The university, like most universities in Italy, is organized to comply with the framework of the Bologna Process.
The university maintains several relations with foreign universities and offers a wide range of international projects for student exchange, The university encourages the enrollment of foreign students by providing several courses in English, German and Spanish. It participates in the ENTREE network for student exchange among Electrical Engineering colleges in Europe and it is a member of Top Industrial Managers for Europe (TIME) network.
The Alta Scuola Politecnica is a joint institution of the Polytechnic University of Milan and Polytechnic University of Turin addressed to young talents who want to develop their interdisciplinary capabilities for leading and promoting innovation, and runs in parallel to the two-year programs of laurea magistrale (graduate courses).
Some of them are:
According to the QS World University Rankings the university is ranked as 149th overall in the world, the first Italian university in this ranking. By field of study, it is ranked 6th for Design, 11th for Architecture, and 16th for Engineering and Technology. More specifically, it was also ranked as the 7th best university in the world regarding civil and structural engineering topics.
As for Italian national rankings, the university was ranked the best university for Engineering and among the top big universities in Italy in the CENSIS-Repubblica Italian University rankings for academic year 2011-2012. In 2009 an Italian research ranked it as the best in Italy over indicators such as scientific production, attraction of foreign students, and others.
The admission in the undergraduate program in engineering at the university is bound to an admission test, aimed to verify the starting preparation of every student. The main goal of this test is to point out the lacks of the aspiring students and, in case, to assign them an extra course. Only some programs have a strictly limited number of places, even if the Academic Senate fixes an approximate maximum number of students for every program. The admission test for any Engineering school, except Construction Engineering, is divided in four parts, each about one of the following general subject: English Language; Logic, Mathematics and Statistics; Verbal Comprehension; Physics.
Architecture, Design and Construction Engineering schools have a limited number of students admitted every year and the selection is based on a national test administered by the Ministry of Education. The test is divided into five parts, each about one of the following general subject: Logic and General Knowledge; History; Drawing and Representation; Mathematics and Physics.
Admission to the graduate programs in the university requires an undergraduate degree and a set of requirements specific for each school, such as the time spent in obtaining the undergraduate degree or the grade point average scored during the undergraduate program.
The university also offers courses of study for the title of Dottore di Ricerca (Ph.D.), MBA courses, and other postgraduate courses. MIP Business School is one of the most prominent management school in Italy and was ranked as 96th best business school in the world by Financial Times in 2011.
The Polytechnic University of Milan is organized in 12 departments:
The library system of the university counts more than 470,000 records distributed over the libraries in the campuses. The system comprises four central libraries along with teaching libraries (department libraries). The titles registered in the library system can be searched through an online public access catalogue (OPAC).
Since autumn 2004, the Polytechnic University of Milan has owned a publishing trademark, Polipress, created mainly to publish researches by the university community. Polipress publishes also the free Politecnico periodical.
The Polytechnic University of Milan participates in European and international networks of scientific research. In year 2004 alone, about 60 large scale, multi-year international research projects have been initiated or participated by the university, just in the context of the European Research framework. As of 2012, the university takes part in over 132 current FP7 research projects. The University raised almost 80% of its research funds from external sources in 2008, from participation in national and international calls for proposals by its researchers and from research contracts stipulated with companies. The Polytechnic University of Milan was the first university in Italy for total number of European research funding awarded under the Horizon 2020 program, with 296 projects and a total of €125.7 million.
The university has a long history of research. Many scientists working in the university have received awards and recognition by the scientific community: among them, the most famous is Giulio Natta, the only Italian Nobel laureate for Chemistry, in 1963, who was the head of the Department of Industrial Chemistry. The University also operated the first research nuclear reactor in Italy, the 50 kW LM54, from 1959 to 1979 in the "Enrico Fermi Nuclear Research Institute" and now operates several important laboratories such as one of the biggest wind tunnels in Europe.
As of 2005, a number of professors at the Polytechnic University of Milan are ACM or IEEE fellows. The university participates in associations and consortia for applied research, has offices to assist technological transfers and continuing education for professionals. The university supports the establishment of research spin-offs (20 spin-offs from 2000 to today), and also of high-tech companies during their start-up phase, with a structure named Acceleratore d'Impresa (Start-up Incubator).
According to the SIR 2013 World Report about the quality of scientific research produced, the university has a normalized impact factor of 1.42, and 16.62% of the articles produced fall within the 10% most cited in the international bibliography.
The Rector, the Academic Senate and the Board of Directors (Consiglio di Amministrazione) are the governing bodies of the university. Internal Financial Auditors (Collegio dei revisori dei conti) controls the management and finance of the University. There are several other consulting bodies, among them the Students' Council, which is directly elected by students and serves in an advisory role.
The Rector represents the University and coordinates the Academic and Research activity. The tenure of the Rector is six years, and can serve only one term.
Student fees at the Polytechnic University of Milan depend on the income of the family of the student. They range between about 150 €/year and 3000 €/year. Students with good grades are granted partial or full rebates, in addition to various kinds of scholarships. There are many scholarships for international students as part of its recent internationalization program.
Most Italian universities do not offer accommodation for their students on campus. The university has a limited number of approximately 2000 beds available for students. Most students from outside the city are either commuters or renting. It is customary for students to share flats in small groups of 3 or 4 people, as rent rates are very expensive in the city.
The Istituto per il Diritto allo Studio Universitario (ISU) manages additional student facilities such as scholarships, student housing, open libraries, lending of computers, cafeterias and study spaces.
Educafe is a cultural center in the Leonardo campus, where students can meet and events are held regularly.
Among the student organizations:
The 2007 graduate survey shows that 80% of graduates of the Polytechnic University of Milan find a job within three months from graduation, and almost 95% within six months. The figures are similar for the bachelor and the masters level graduates. A specialized "Career Service" facilitates contacts between graduates and the industry, it invites companies for presentations and prepares statistics about graduated students. It posts several stage and job offers every day both for students and graduates.
Approximately 55% of undergraduate students complete their studies on time, and approximately 80% of them graduate within an additional year. Similar figures apply to graduate students.
Students at the university elect representatives in the Academic Senate, the Board of Directors and in the Boards of Schools. Currently, there are three main political groups in student's elections:
There are also other smaller groups. However, participation in student elections is generally low, as a result of low participation in the extra academical activities. In the last elections it figured out a new wave of interest, with 20% of participation (after the 16% of the previous ones).
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