Piero Martinoli appointed Honorary President of USI

Piero Martinoli and Lorenzo Cantoni
Piero Martinoli and Lorenzo Cantoni

Institutional Communication Service

6 May 2023

During the 27th Dies academicus ceremony, Professor Piero Martinoli was appointed Honorary President of Università della Svizzera italiana. This accolade reflects the university community's deep appreciation and the scientific world's high regard for his contributions as a researcher. Specifically, the honour recognizes "his crucial role in advancing and promoting USI nationally and internationally during its second decade. He was instrumental in strengthening scientific research, establishing a centre for computational sciences, and creating the Faculty of Biomedical Sciences."

Piero Martinoli served as President of Università della Svizzera italiana (USI) from 2006 to 2016. During his tenure, he actively advocated for the advancement of supercomputing and computational sciences in Ticino and the entire country. He also spearheaded the establishment of the Faculty of Biomedical Sciences at USI.

Martinoli studied at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich, where he earned a degree in physics, then a PhD with a theoretical-experimental thesis on contact phenomena between a superconductor and a normal metal. In the United States, he worked as a visiting associate professor at one of the most prestigious research centres for the study of the physics of matter, the Ames Laboratories of Iowa State University.

On his return, his overseas research allowed him to obtain a professorship at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich and then a chair in experimental physics at the University of Neuchâtel. At this university, thanks to funding from the National Fund, the European Union, the European Science Foundation and a National Research Pole, he carried out intensive research on order-disorder transformations in two-dimensional superconductors.

This work has generated over 120 publications in some of the most prestigious international journals. Piero Martinoli spent two sabbatical leaves as a visiting scientist at the IBM Research Laboratory in Zurich and as a visiting professor at the University of Geneva. He also served as the President of Division II of the National Science Foundation and was recently appointed as an individual member of the Swiss Academy of Technical Sciences.