Pirelli: 34 ‘super engineers' thanks to the first university master's degree with the Milan Polytechnic University on tyres the future

The “R&D EXCELLENCE NEXT” master’s course involved 34 young engineers from Pirelli’s Research & Development

Home Life People interviews Pirelli: 34 ‘super engineers' thanks to the first university master's degree with the Milan Polytechnic University on tyres the future

The Level 2 University Master's degree course, “R&D EXCELLENCE NEXT”, lasted 18 months, from September 2021 to March 2023, . Resulting from the partnership between Pirelli and Milan Polytechnic University, the course was attended by 34 recent engineering graduates from all over Italy, from Naples to Bergamo, Rome and Padua, Milan and Turin, and with different areas of specialisation, such as aerospace, mechanical or materials engineering. Five young women and 29 young men, all young graduates already employed by Pirelli, were offered the opportunity to supplement their training at the start of their professional career as part of the Pirelli Research & Development team.

The graduation ceremony of the Master's degree course was held during the closing ceremony on Friday 19 May at Milan Polytechnic University, in the presence of Donatella Sciuto, Dean of Milan Polytechnic University, Andrea Casaluci, General Manager of Operations at Pirelli, Piero Misani, Executive Vice President of Research and Development and Cyber at Pirelli, and Davide Sala, Chief HR and Organization Officer at Pirelli.

Training and research are the prerequisites for an industrial development that looks to the future,” stated Edoardo Sabbioni, Professor at Milan Polytechnic University and Scientific Director of the Master's course. “This Master's course fully embraces these aspects by promoting a multifaceted training and a systemic vision capable of combining design elements, production and testing of the tyre through knowledge of vehicle dynamics to support their virtualisation and expertise in materials and processes to ensure an increasingly sustainable development. During the Master's course, I witnessed considerable growth on the part of students, who achieved their best with project work, whereby they implemented the skills acquired from the different areas of learning and applied them critically and creatively to real-life situations, combining the backgrounds of the different components of the work group.”

Piero Misani, Executive Vice President of Research and Development and Cyber at Pirelli, said: “The complexity of tyres today is such that it requires an extremely high level of specialisation and as short an experimenting time as possible. It is only with novel and up-to-date digital skills that can we compete in the marketplace as lead players. This Master's course allowed us to deliver an indispensable know-how to these 34 young men and women who are already repaying the company today by achieving significant results.”

The project, which is part of the long-standing collaboration between Pirelli and Milan Polytechnic University aimed at generating cutting-edge technologies, has focused on the product skills of the automotive sector, in particular on the design and production of tyres of the future and on the knowledge of vehicle dynamics. These are essential elements for the ever-increasing use of virtualisation, which is now needed to develop the most innovative tyres and for a successful collaboration with car manufacturers.

The Master's course, which involved students engaged in classroom learning activities as well as workshops, was developed across 5 subject modules covering different subject areas: from the in-depth knowledge of the tyre (forces, performance, design, tests, etc.) to “smart tyretechnologies, from the study of materials to production processes, but also from an insight into environmental issues to machine learning techniques or data analysis. The lessons, which were partly held inside the Learning Hub of Pirelli's new Cinturato Building in Bicocca dedicated to the Group's training activities and at the R&D laboratories, subsequently ended with a company project work carried out in small groups of students with a group tutor and a dedicated team with the aim of finding and highlighting the main connections between innovative, strategic, and growth topics for the company.

The “R&D EXCELLENCE NEXT” Master's course is one of the examples of the bond between Pirelli and the university world, strengthening its open innovation model, which today sees the company working on about 65 projects with 18 universities. Collaborations with academia complement and complete Pirelli's Research and Development, with its 13 internal research centres employing over 2 thousand people across the globe.