img The History

The Department of Chemical Engineering, Industrial Chemistry and Materials Science of the University of Pisa was founded as such on the 18th of March 1982, but its beginnings go back to 1919, the year in which the Institute of Applied Chemistry was founded within the School of Applications for Engineers (this was how the future Faculty of Engineering was named at that time) from which todays Department originated and evolved.

In the first years ofits existence, between 1919 and 1923, the Institute of Applied Chemistry wasdirected first by Professor Luigi Marino then by Professor Nazareno Tarugi.

Lessons and exercise classes of Chemistry applied to construction materials were held for Civil Engineering and Architecture, the only degree courses of the school at that time. The research activity, which was mainly experimental, was concerned with the study of metals, bricks, mortars and cements. In particular, excellent results were obtained in the hydraulic cement field mainly through the work of Professor Fabio Ferrari, the inventor of the first cement resistant to sea water and sulphates, a compound which became widely known and used throughout the world.

In 1924, Professor Gino Gallo was made director of the Institute, a role which he held until 1946. Important changes occurred over these years: in 1936, the School of Applications for Engineers became the Faculty of Engineering and all the engineering Institutes that up until that time were guests of various other Institutes of the University inside inadequate buildings, found their home in a specially constructed building in via Diotisalvi. Shortly after this, degree courses in Mechanical, Aeronautical and Electronic Engineering were initiated. This resulted in an increase in both didactic and research loads for the Institute of Applied Chemistry: in addition to courses about materials, others were added dedicated to Industrial Chemistry and research was extended to the study of fuels, lubricants, lightweight alloys and to Aeronautical Technology.

From 1947 to 1952, the director of the Institute was Professor Erminio Piantanida. At the end of this period, due to the recent initiation of a degree course in Chemical Engineering, the Faculty decided it would be appropriate to convert the chair of Applied Chemistry, the only chair present in the chemistry sector, into the chair of Industrial Chemistry. As a consequence, the Institute of Applied Chemistry became the Institute of Industrial and Applied Chemistry.

In 1953, Professor Mario Baccaredda Boj was nominated director of the new institute, a post which he held until 1982. During this period, the greatest number of changes occurred which transformed the old Institute into the current Department. In particular, a complete reorganisation of teaching in the chemistry field was performed, and in order to render the teaching more relevant to real industrial situations, members of the Department with a purely academic background were flanked with professional experts from industry. As well as this, numerous innovative initiatives were taken in various research sectors such as Science and Technology of Macromolecular Materials, Industrial Chemistry, Chemical Plant Design, Metallurgy, Chemical Reactor Design, Plant Safety and Environmental Engineering. These initiatives were made possible by fruitful collaborations with research organisations and italian and foreign industries. These didactic, technical and scientific activities brought the Institute 10 permanent new chairs.

In March 1982, the Institute became the Department of Chemical Engineering, Industrial Chemistry and Materials Science, the title which it holds to the present day. From 1982 to 1998, directorship of the Department has been rotated every three years between the full professors of the department. The current Director is Professor Pier Luigi Magagnini.

At the present time the following lines of research are being developed within the department:

The department is currently staffed by: