Three representatives from the FPD Division, Marco Bertoni, Åsa Ericson and Mattias Bergström, have been in Italy during a week to meet previous known people and new acquaintances.
Marco, who is born and grown up in Italy and has earned his PhD degree at Politecnico di Milano, was coordinator, chauffeur and tour conductor with valuable historical and cultural skills. He guided us in the Milano/Bergamo traffic system, but also through several meetings with Italian researchers and colleagues, all having exciting and interesting projects to present for us.
Politecnico di Milano represented the main target of the visit, since many researchers are dealing with topics closely related with the FPD area of interest. Politecnico enrols approximately 40,000 students dislocated in 7 different campuses spread all around the Lombardy region. We had the opportunity to visit the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the Milano Bovisa campus and to meet Professor Umberto Cugini, head of the KAEMaRT (Knowledge Aided Engineering Manufacturing and Related Technologies) group. Prof. Cugini guided us inside the KAEMaRT facilities and presented the research projects. We appreciated the possibility to visit the testing Labs and especially to try out the haptic device which is under development in the frame of the EU FP6 SATIN Project.
During our visit at campus Bovisa we had also the pleasure to meet Carlo Vezzoli, professor of Environmental Requirement of the Industrial Product (Life Cycle Design) at the Faculty of Design of Politecnico. Prof. Vezzoli conducts researches in the Product-Service Systems (PSS) field. His openhearted and knowledge sharing approach gave us useful insights into his projects and research interests. We got from him very good hints about the PSS literature, so we did not waste time, instead we went in to the nearest bookstore immediately after the meeting.
We had also the opportunity to visit the University of Bergamo, located in Bergamo, about 40 km far from Milano. UniBG is composed of 6 faculties (from Human Sciences to Economics and Business Administration) and enrols 14000 students, 2200 of those dealing with engineering-related topics. We had the great chance to meet Professor Caterina Rizzi and her co-workers, Daniele Regazzoni and Stella Gabbiadini. Their research perspective, complementary to the FPD mainstream, is interesting and opens up for collaboration. Paolo Gaiardelli, from the Logistics and Production System department also joined the meeting and contributed to the discussion with yet another perspective, by providing an insight of the research area connected with Service Management.
One evening, and as a social event, we had the opportunity to visit a farm – in the middle of Milano! – Agriturismo Ranza. We met donkeys, hens, goats, sheeps, but most of all we had the pleasure to get to know Giuseppe Ranza and his family, those who perform the activities. The awesome food that we enjoyed in huge quantities cannot be described in words, it has to be experienced. The Italian kitchen at it’s best.
We would like to say thanks to all nice and hospitable people that we have met.