Welcome to the website of the Aerospace Engineering Department of the University of Pisa!
The University of Pisa (Università di Pisa) is a renowned and ancient School, the origins of which can be traced back to the early middle-ages. The earliest evidence of a Pisan Studium dates to 1338, when the renowned jurist Ranieri Arsendi transferred to Pisa from Bologna. He and other lecturers were, at the time, paid by the Municipality to teach public lessons. The papal bull In Supremae Dignitatis, granted by Pope Clement VI on September 3, 1343, recognized the Studium of Pisa as a Studium Generale, an institution of further education founded or confirmed by a universal authority, the Papacy or Empire. Pisa was one of the first European universities that could boast this papal recognition, which guaranteed the universal, legal value of its educational qualifications. In the following centuries, the University of Pisa was home to such scientists as Galileo Galilei, Antonio Pacinotti and Vito Volterra, and Nobel laureates Enrico Fermi, Carlo Rubbia and Giosué Carducci.
Upon the political unification of Italy in the second half of the nineteenth century, the University became a public institution where engineering disciplines were taught within the Faculty of Sciences, before an independent Faculty of Engineering (Facoltà di Ingegneria) was set up in 1913. The first Aeronautical Engineering course was held in 1942 and some years later the Institute of Aeronautics was founded. With the reform of public universities in 1980, the Institute of Aeronautics became the Department of Aerospace Engineering (DIA), which is currently responsible for the aeronautical and space engineering activities of the University. The Department is entitled to Lucio Lazzarino.
DIA's staff incudes 20 professors and assistant professors, representing the main part of the teaching staff, 8 engineers or technicians and 6 administrative and service personnel. Several post-doc, Phd students and graduate students also collaborate in the research activities carried out at DIA, mostly carried out in collabaration with the main international aerospace companies and agencies (Finmeccanica, Boeing, ESA, ASI, European Commission, etc.). The proactive approach of DIA's researchers towards the industrial world resulted in the establishment of two spin-off companies, operating respectively in the space technology sector (Alta SpA) and in the aeronutical vehicle field (SkyBox Engineering Srl).