International workshop in honour of Michele Bianda


Institutional Communication Service

17 October 2022

The seminar on 14 and 15 October 2022 in Locarno pays tribute to Dr Michele Bianda, who led IRSOL for 35 years since its creation in 1987. More than 50 experts have registered for the event to learn more about high-precision solar polarimetry, for decades the main focus of research at IRSOL.

"We would like to celebrate Michele Bianda's scientific career and institutional leadership with colleagues and those who have contributed to the institute's development," - stressed the new Director of the Aldo and Cele Daccò Solar Research Institute, Professor Svetlana Berdyugina.

Currently, between permanent staff and researchers, about 15 people work at IRSOL, thanks mainly to competitive funds won for projects funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation and the European Union. But in the beginning, in 1988, when the FIRSOL foundation acquired the institute, there was only him.

Under his leadership, the IRSOL telescope and instruments were upgraded and further developed in close collaboration with the Institute of Astronomy at ETH Zürich, headed by Prof. Dr Jan Stenflo until his retirement in 2007. This collaboration brought IRSOL to the forefront of solar spectropolarimetry, both as a key developer and as the basis of the high-performance solar imaging polarimeter ZIMPOL. Furthermore, in 2012, IRSOL was acknowledged as a research institute of national importance, enabling it to bring leading scientists with long-term prospects into its ranks and, thanks to the competitive funds acquired, to recruit postdoctoral researchers and PhD students. As a result of these achievements, IRSOL was first associated with USI in 2015 and then in 2021 affiliated.

It is a success story that, not without some obstacles over the years, Dr Michele Bianda has transformed from a small institute to a solid scientific reality, well embedded in the Ticino university reality and with attractive research prospects at the international level.