The editorial theme of WOO refers to teachers who have passed through the department leaving a mark, an identity. What is the identity of your departments today?
Today the identity of this department is closely linked to those who have passed through our past identity, which has changed substantially recently. You know, that in some way, we now represent what is the fusion of two real faculties, namely the faculty of science and the faculty of engineering. Everything has come together in what is the current INGEO department: engineering and geology, this identity makes it a peculiarity in the national field. I think our department is probably the only one that brings together skills with these characteristics, ie engineers and geologists. It is clear how much this synergy can currently build something extremely important, I am thinking for example of the problems linked to the territory and its management, situations such as those of Abruzzo, there has been a lot of talk lately about hydrogeological risk, seismic risk. So it is clear how much the union of these skills can create and constitute a reference entity, they are not in the regional field but also nationally and this could very well expand to a synergy with the part of architecture. Think for example of territorial planning, this need for direct contact between planners, engineers, geologists is increasingly felt; in fact, the use of the territory cannot ignore its knowledge and characteristics. This is the strong, current identity of this department that comes from what has been history, from the past, from the geology degree course that has been present for more than twenty years now, from that of architecture that has existed even before. , with which we have collaborations, and from the younger engineering one. A synergy has been created with these new entities, which places us at the top in Italy, we have this singularity that must be exploited both for research but also for teaching.
What can the InGeo department offer young people and what can it do to reduce the gap with the world of work?
What I said earlier anticipates this question a bit, that is, this synergy between these different skills, this is exactly what this department can offer. Then, the big problem, as just mentioned, is to bring students and young graduates closer to the world of work. What to do? On this issue it is very important to keep up with the times, to verify what is the actual demand of the world of work and at the same time to adapt the degree courses to the skills that are required. This is something that we have already done, in fact, from this year we have a new master's degree course for geology, totally revisited precisely on the basis of what are the new requests: we are talking about risks, we are talking about resources and natural resources. We have followed a path that has accepted, as far as possible, what are the demands of the world of work, the same will happen for engineering. In these days, a review of the study path is about to start, which will have to take into account the needs of the labor market. Understand that this is something that must be constantly updated, monitored, requires an effort on the part of teachers but also an effort on the part of students to have an open mind on what may be new outlets and new professional perspectives. You know that much of the crisis that is there is linked to the old concept of the famous piece of paper, the piece of paper is there and is still used but it must bring along adequate preparation. Also in this case, what is the importance? Student-teacher synergy. I believe this is one of the objectives to be pursued.
The last Italian university reform was that of the former minister Gelmini, which came into force in 2011. Almost 3 years after its enactment, what results, whether positive or negative, did you produce within the university?
Now, honestly, evaluating what the effects are is not easy, I can't identify positive effects at the moment to be honest. This is not because perhaps there will not be any, but we still cannot evaluate why we have witnessed, in this last period, a bureaucratization of what is the university, which is something suffocating. All this leads to a disaffection on the part of the teachers of what should instead be research, teaching which are then the peculiar tasks and priorities. To all this is added the lack of funds, you understand that the problems are many and assessing positive effects, which I hope there will be, is very difficult. The lack of funds is a general problem of all Italian universities and which also affects the efficiency of teaching. Imagine that we have three degree courses: earth sciences, geology and engineering where laboratory activities are very important, activities on the ground that involve having to go and stay outside, all dynamics that require investments. We are trying to make up for this deficiency, in part we are succeeding, with the willingness and willingness of the teachers and in some cases of the students.
The lack of adequate funds leads universities to make choices, sometimes depriving themselves of fundamental elements for the proper conduct of their activities. In your opinion, what should never be missing in a Department of Architecture \ InGeo that is missing here and what are you going to do about it?
In part I have already answered. He often talks about the lack of research in Italy and you know that we are among the countries where the funds allocated to these activities are among the lowest ever but, when the funds are there, Italian researchers emerge. The other day I heard an interview on Telethon's fundraising and the researchers who can access those funds are at the absolute top, world-wide; this goes to show that when the means are there, a lot is done and done. Consider that despite the lack of funds from the Italian university, in many fields and one of these is engineering and earth sciences, looking at the national references we are among the top three, four countries despite the ratio between the number of research students and of funds
What is the imprint you would like to leave within the departments at the end of your term as Director?
Here I will try to be ambitious. I would like him to remember this period as something that is starting, that he can carry the characteristic of the department with him even when I will no longer be the director and that is to remember the union between high skills, both in research and in teaching. associated with enthusiasm. I would like to convey this, myself personally and a little to everyone else. In the department there are high skills but above all there is this great enthusiasm, enthusiasm that must involve those who benefit from our activities, which are first and foremost the students and teachers. I would like to leave this mark.