A university Master's course for 34 new recruits. This is how Pirelli has decided to link training for excellence with the need to innovate, by introducing, together with the Polytechnic University of Milan, the level 2 university Master's course “R&D EXCELLENCE NEXT”. This is a project which fits into what is now a historic and strategic partnership between Pirelli and the Milan Poly destined for the avant-garde technology generation. The objective is to train a new generation of researchers and designers oriented towards innovation and capable of tackling the company's strategic challenges.
The newly-qualified graduates who are taking the course arrived at Pirelli between October last year and this July, and already in September 2021 have started their Master's, which will keep them busy for 18 months, until March 2023, dedicating, on average, two half-days a week to lessons and laboratory work. This is a significant investment of time and resources, which is also undertaken by the divisions where the new graduates have been taken on.
The Master's course is focused on the technologies and product capabilities of the automotive sector, and in particular on the design and manufacture of tyres, together with an understanding of vehicle dynamics, in order to support computer aided design, which is, and will increasingly be, the key to technical competitiveness for the car manufacturers. However, one of the most interesting challenges which the recruits will be asked to tackle is an actual “live” project to be completed for the company. Based on the teaching programme or on the company's requirements, each student will be required to produce a piece of project work defined in conjunction with their company tutor and a dedicated team.
The project will have to set out and provide proof of the main links between subjects relating to innovation, strategy and growth for the company or to tackle and attempt to resolve the principal challenges it is facing, by examining one or more of the subjects taught on the course. The theme will always have an innovative character, in relation to a product or a process, but must be set down in a practical and rigorous manner from both a technical and scientific point of view. It is then critically important that the project is monitored and evaluated from an academic and professional point of view.
In actual fact the work project is characterised as an experience which seeks to provide the course participants with an opportunity to bring into play the knowledge acquired from various areas of learning and to apply this to real life situations in a critical and creative manner. Furthermore, it allows them to acquire competences such as teamwork, communication and independent learning.
The Master's course is composed of 5 modules in different disciplines which deal with various subjects ranging from a detailed knowledge of tyres (loads, performances, design, testing, etc.) to “smart tyre” technology, from the study of materials to manufacturing processes, but also from the in-depth analysis of environmental issues through to the techniques of machine learning or data analysis.
At the end of each module, assessment tests are scheduled, to which is added a thorough evaluation of the project work completed during the Master's course. The assessments are expressed in marks out of thirty, whereas the final evaluation is in marks out of one hundred and ten. The Scientific Committee is chaired by Professor Edoardo Sabbioni (Associate Professor, Department of Mechanical Engineering), assisted by Professor Maurizio Galimberti (Professor, Department of Chemistry, Materials and Chemical Engineering) and it is made up of professors from the Milan Polytechnic and Pirelli representatives.