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About us

This is the official website of the Space Engineering Graduate Program, part of degree programs in Aerospace Engineering run by the Aerospace Section of the Department of Civil and Industrial Engineering at the University of Pisa. The information provided below includes a short historical sketch of the University of Pisa, summary news about the Aerospace Department, its Faculty and degrees offered, and the relation of the Space option with other degree programs in Aerospace Engineering. The site also contains full information about the Space Program, its curriculum and admission requirements as well as a variety of additional information of interest for both prospective and current students.


Historical Sketch

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 3 September 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, which is currently responsible for the aeronautical and space engineering activities of the University.


The Department of Aerospace Engineering

The Aerospace Engineering Department (Dipartimento di Ingegneria Aerospaziale, DIA) comprises about twenty professors, which represent the main part of the teaching staff, a smaller number of engineers, technicians, and administrative and service personnel.

The professors, together with three representatives of the staff and two of the students, form the Department Council (Consiglio di Dipartimento), which sets the general polices for the operation and management of the Department.
Every three years the Council elects a Director (Direttore) and a Management Board, charged with the responsibility of implementing the Departmental policies. The Director chairs the Council and manages the Department with the assistance of the Management Board and the of the Administrative Secretary Office (Segreteria Amministrativa).

Since the 1980's DIA is very active in international relations, as a founding member of the ECATA consortium (dedicated to continuining education of professionals of the aeronautical industry) and of the PEGASUS network of top European aerospace universities. A number of agreements for the recognition of coursework and student exchange have been established with European and US universities. Within the framework of these agreements, petitioning students can be authorized to carry out part of their studies at another university or at an approved research institution.



The Faculty of Engineering (Facoltà di Ingegneria) offers three degrees in aerospace engineering disciplines:

  • Degree in Aerospace Engineering (Laurea in Ingegneria Aerospaziale);
  • Master of Science in Aerospace Engineering (Laurea Magistrale in Ingegneria Aerospaziale);
  • Philosophy Doctor Degree in Aerospace Engineering (Dottorato di Ricerca in Ingegneria Aerospaziale).

The Degree in Aerospace Engineering requires three years of undergraduate study, with the preparation a final thesis on an assigned design project or an industrial work stage.

The MSc degree in Aerospace Engineering requires two years of study after successful completion of the Degree in Aerospace Engineering or of a recognized equivalent degree. Full-time students normally take the equivalent of five courses during two semesters. A thesis on an original research or design topic is also required. The educational program is articulated in two options:

  • Aeronautics (Aeronautica)
  • Space (Spazio)

Instruction of the Space option of the MSc degree in Aerospace Engineering is in English.

The PhD Degree in Aerospace Engineering requires three years of advanced study and research after completion of the MSc degree in Aerospace Engineering, or of a recognized equivalent degree, the successful attendance of an approved set of courses and seminars, yearly reports and presentations on the ongoing work, the preparation of a dissertation thesis on an original research topic, and the final discussion and examination of the results with the Doctoral Committee.

Every year, about one hundred students are granted an undergraduate or graduate degree in aerospace engineering disciplines and about half a dozen students earn their doctoral degree in Aerospace Engineering.




  • Luca d’Agostino, Professor of Aerospace Propulsion
  • Mariano Andrenucci, Professor of Aerospace Propulsion
  • Guido Buresti, Professor of Fluid Dynamics
  • Aldo Frediani, Professor of Materials and Structures
  • Agostino Lanciotti, Professor of Materials and Structures
  • Luigi Lazzeri, Professor of Materials and Structures
  • Attilio Salvetti, Professor of Materials and Structures
  • Mario Chiarelli, Associate Professor of Materials and Structures
  • Eugenio Denti, Associate Professor of Flight Mechanics
  • Roberto Galatolo, Professor of Aerospace Systems
  • Giovanni Lombardi, Associate Professor of Fluid Dynamics
  • Salvo Marcuccio, Associate Professor of Aerospace Propulsion
  • Giovanni Mengali, Professor of Flight Mechanics
  • Fabrizio Paganucci, Associate Professor of Aerospace Propulsion
  • Maria Vittoria Salvetti, Professor of Fluid Dynamics
  • Simone Camarri, Associate Professor of Fluid Dynamics
  • Daniele Fanteria, Assistant Professor of Materials and Structures
  • Roberta Lazzeri, Assistant Professor of  Materials and Structures
  • Giampietro Di Rito, Assistant Professor of Aerospace Systems
  • Angelo Pasini, Assistant Professor of Aerospace Propulsion

Buildings and Facilities


- Dipartimento di Ingegneria Aerospaziale, Via Girolamo Caruso 8, 56122 Pisa, hosting the  faculty and administrative offices and the departmental library and laboratories of Aerospace Engineering, except for the Aerospace Propulsion Laboratory, which is located at Alta SpA, in the eastern outskirts of the town.

- Main Engineering Building and Polo Didattico A, Via Diotisalvi 2, 56122 Pisa, hosting part of the administrative offices of the Faculty of Engineering, the Central Library, several engineering departments, two graduation/conference halls and classrooms.

- Polo Didattico B, 2 Via Diotisalvi, 56122 Pisa, hosting the Interdepartmental Computing Center and part of the administrative offices of the Faculty of Engineering and classrooms.

- Polo Didattico C, 2 Via Diotisalvi, 56122 Pisa, hosting classrooms.

- Polo Didattico F, 2 Via Diotisalvi, 56122 Pisa, hosting classrooms.


- Alta SpA, a spin-off company of the University of Pisa, located in Via A. Gherardesca 5, 56121 Ospedaletto (Pisa), hosting the Aerospace Propulsion Laboratory and facilities.




The library system at the University of Pisa is composed of the centralized service and 16 libraries. It directly manages the catalogs and databases, the computerization of library services, the relationships with other library systems.

The library system of the Faculty of Engineering consists of a number of distributed library locations providing a number of high level information services (consultation, loan, catalogs, document retrieval, interlibrary loans, etc.) to support and facilitate the research and educational programs of the Engineering Division. The library’s policies and many electronic resources, including the online catalog, are accessible from the website at: