Academic Year 2014/15

School of Industrial and Information Engineering

Degree Programme of:

Materials and Nanotechnology Engineering
Laurea (Equivalent To Bachelor Of Science)

Milano Campus

1. General Information

School School of Industrial and Information Engineering
Code Reference Law348
NameMaterials and Nanotechnology Engineering
Reference LawOrdinamento 270/04
Class of degreeL-9 - Industrial Engineering
Degree level Laurea (Equivalent To Bachelor Of Science)
First year of activation 2008/2009
Official length of the programme 3
Years of the programme already activated 1,2,3
Official language(s) Italian
Campus Milano
Dean of the School Giovanni Gustavo Lozza
Coordinator of the Study programme Roberto Frassine
Website of the School
Website of the Study programme

Central Student Office - Milano Leonardo
Address VIA C. GOLGI, 42 (MI)

2. General presentation of the study programme

Development of materials has always gone hand in hand with the technological progress of our society: from ancient times mankind has learnt first to use the materials provided by nature for its own survival needs and has then succeeded in transforming them into new products, such as for example fabrics made by weaving fibres, flexible and resistant surfaces that satisfy the need for protection. The ancient Egyptians added straw to the clay mixture used to make building bricks, proving that they knew how to combine different materials in synergy to make what today we would call a composite material.

What distinguishes modern materials, however, is the capacity to obtain products with structures and properties controlled on a micrometric scale and, in much more recent times, on a nanometer scale too, using the so-called nanotechnologies. The most competitive companies invest considerable human and economic resources in materials and production processes to find new design solutions with which they can satisfy the constantly changing market needs. The criteria with which such solutions are developed depend upon thorough knowledge of the materials and their behaviour, and this know-how is typical of materials engineering.

The degree in Materials Engineering at the Politecnico di Milano has a tradition dating from the mid-1980s: in the past decade, in particular, it has changed considerably to keep up with the demands of a modern School of Engineering. Based initially on a traditional teaching approach based on the classification of materials into three classes (metals, polymers, and ceramics) and on in-depth study of their specific properties, the Programme was redesigned, when the university education system was reformed starting from academic year 2000-2001, to create two stages offering, alongside a basic Programme, new specific and more professionally qualifying courses in the areas of surface treatment, metal materials and polymers. The latter two Programmes train a new kind of bachelor of science (three-year Programme) ready to enter the working world with a kind of education more oriented towards “know-how”, in which students take a more direct part in the education project by means of laboratories, work placements and group activities using the “learning by doing” method which is widely used in the major European technical universities. With the most recent university reform (academic year 2008-2009) the Degree Programme has been further modified to offer lessons in the area of nanomaterials and nanotechnologies alongside the more traditional subjects of Materials Engineering. In this new version, the model chosen of offering professionally qualifying tracks has been extended to the educational track too; the Degree Programme now offers four new tracks during the third year which train students for design work (laboratory) under the guidance of professors who are experts in the area. These laboratory sessions permit students to prepare theses that will be discussed before a special board as a final examination for their degrees.

The Master’s Degree Programme (Master of Science) is one of the very few offered in Northern Italy; it is therefore a benchmark for all graduates in science and technical subjects who are thinking of specialising in the field of materials. The Programme regulations for the Master’s Degree is divided into specialised areas ranging from production technologies to structural and functional applications of materials in order to encourage students to individually adapt their Programmes to their own personal interests and professional ambitions. This flexibility also permits graduates from other science Degree Programmes to rapidly make up any gaps in their education without excessive burdens of additional credits to be earned. Lastly, for those who wish to complete their education with a view to working in academic or industrial research the Politecnico di Milano also offers a Ph.D. Programme in Materials Engineering, lasting three years.

As from the academic year 2008-2009, as already mentioned, the Degree Programme has taken on the new name of Materials and Nanotechnology Engineering. This important addition to the course subjects offers students the possibility of immediately coming into contact with the most recent advances in the field of materials engineering, which can be applied not only to research but also to numerous industrial products. Graduates are thus offered greater career opportunities sooner and in numerous widely differing sectors. The Programme regulations for the Bachelor of Science degree in Materials and Nanotechnology Engineering are flexible following a model similar to that of the Master’s Degree in Materials Engineering. In the first two years, students learn the rudiments of the scientific and materials engineering subjects in a unified Programme, while from the third year those opting for the vocational Programme can choose between four tracks:

- surface treatment engineering;

- microstructure and nanotechnologies;

- polymer engineering;

- technologies and design.

Whatever their choice, at the end of their Bachelor of Science Degree Programme, students will have a solid grounding in materials technology that will permit them to  deal competently with topics linked to production process management and processing of materials, working professionally as a materials and/or manufactured article “production technologists”.  The centrality of technological and product aspects that distinguish the training during the Materials and Nanotechnology Engineering Bachelor of Science Degree Programme materialises in a design project within the final laboratory classes, in which topics linked to technologies, applications and design will be tackled from a practical point of view too with the aim of ensuring that, through practical experience, students develop a mentality that is closer to that of the working world. Thus, alongside traditional learning methods (lessons and practical sessions), students are also offered laboratory and design activity and work placements,  carried out either individually or in groups working together, often in collaboration with major industrial companies in the sector.  The topics tackled are strongly focussed on applications, they put students into contact with business situations and may even lead to opportunities for employment after graduation.  

The number of students enrolled, which has stabilised over the past few years at between 50 and 100 per year, is ideally suited to teaching that focuses on the specific requests of even small groups of students. The flexible Programme model, that evolves to keep abreast both of advances in knowledge and of the ambitions and demands of  the students, reduces drop-outs and fosters greater interest and commitment to the study of the various subjects offered in the three levels of the university curriculum.   Study activities are quantified by calculation of CFUs (crediti formativi universitari – university education credits) for each course included in the study track; the credits are earned by students by passing the related examination or by other test methods. Sixty credits assigned for each year of the Programme and students must earn at least 180 credits in order to graduate as a Bachelor of Science; a further 120 credits are required for graduation as a Master of Science.  Further and more detailed information can be found in the “Guide to University Engineering Studies”, while details of individual courses with their respective credits are available on the following website:

3. Learning objectives

The purpose of the Degree Programme is to train experts in materials and nanotechnologies with a wide spectrum of skills in the various areas of preparation, processing and application of materials, with particular regard to innovative sectors of which nanotechnologies are one of the most significant. Materials and Nanotechnologies Engineering graduates have a solid scientific and technical/applications grounding which permits them to easily update their knowledge as and when required in the future during the course of their professional work. The skills that distinguish materials and nanotechnologies engineers are those related to the understanding of correlations between the structure and organisation of materials and their properties (materials science, metallurgy, polymer structure and properties, materials characterisation techniques), to manufacturing processes (physical and chemical thermodynamics, fluid mechanics, and processing technologies including those at nanometer scale) and to selection and use of materials in structural applications (solid mechanics and applied mechanics) and functional applications. The Degree Programme also offers professionally qualifying tracks in the polymer and surface treatment areas, developed in close collaboration with national and international industries.

The Degree Programme uses teaching methods in accordance with the Dublin Programme descriptors adopted in Europe. Students’ comprehension and independent judgement skills will be assessed by written and oral examinations and preparation of individual or group papers. Their ability to apply their knowledge and comprehension will be assessed by asking them to write reports after taking part in experimental laboratories and design activities included in the course work. Periodic presentations of work carried out are foreseen to check communication skills. Their learning capacity will be checked during the individual activities foreseen for preparation of the final examination.   At the end of the Degree Programme, graduates will be able to make choices regarding the material and production process for a given component, bearing in mind the impact that transformation and subsequent processing may have on the structure and properties of the material itself. They will be able to use methodological and technical instruments to deal with problems regarding: development of traditional and innovative materials, material production and transformation processes, design with materials and component handling in normal or aggressive working conditions, the remaining life of products.

4. Organization of the study programme and further studies

4.1 Structure of the study programme and Qualifications

The overall outline of the Materials and Nanotechnologies Engineering Degree Programme and of the related qualifications obtained are shown in the following diagram:

4.2 Further Studies

The qualification grants access to "Laurea Magistrale" (2nd degree), "Corso di Specializzazione di primo livello" (1st level Specialization Course) and "Master Universitario di primo livello" (1st level University Master)

Due to kind of training it provides and the wide range of skills that it guarantees, the Materials and Nanotechnologies Engineering Degree Programme permits access to the Master’s Degree Programme in Materials Engineering with full recognition of the credits earned, and to the majority of Master’s Degree Programmes in the area of Industrial Engineering. Students may choose the Programme modules they need to study to complete their track and they may be guided in this choice by the Master’s Programme they intend to take to continue their studies.

5. Professional opportunities and work market

5.1 Professional status of the degree

The student helding a degree in Materials and Nanotechnology Engineering is recognized as a junior engineer in the class of industrial engineering. After approval by the Government Commission (Esame di Stato), he/she can enroll in section B of the Order of Engineers for the hometown region.

5.2 Careers options and profiles

Materials and Nanotechnologies Engineers who have studied the general Programme will find work in industrial companies manufacturing, processing and recycling materials in the chemical, mechanical, electrical, electronic, telecommunications, power, construction, transport, biomedical, environmental and cultural heritage fields. Materials and Nanotechnologies Engineers who have taken a vocational Programme will find work, depending upon their chosen track, in the surface treatment industry, where there is a growing demand for engineers who are able to develop integrated designs or in the polymer industry, where the demand for engineers expert in development and manufacture of raw materials, in the production of processing machinery as well as in design and manufacture of polymer products.

Graduates with Master’s degrees in Materials and Nanotechnologies Engineering will find work in medium – large-sized companies and in industrial research centres in the same sectors. Their interdisciplinary education will permit them to handle projects, including complex ones,  individually or as part of a team, for process and product innovation.

Surveys of University Assessment Commission

6. Enrolment

6.1 Access requirements

Italian secondary school leaving qualification or other comparable foreign qualification (level 4 EQF)


Admission to the Materials and Nanotechnologies Engineering Degree Programme is subject to passing an admissions test, designed to assess whether candidates’ knowledge is sufficient to permit them to successfully embark upon an engineering study Programme.

For further details on the admissions test visit:


Admission to the Master degree in Materials Enginering and Nanotechnology requires a Laurea or a foreign comparable title (Bachelor degree). Moreover, an adequate background in fundamental sciences (mathematics, physics, chemistry), materials engineering, nanotechnology, structural and industrial engineering is also required. Based on the above considerations, the following two categories have been identified for admittance:

A. candidates having the Laurea in Materials Engineering and Nanotechnology at the Politecnico di Milano and who graduated in 3 years with a minimum graduation mark of 85/110 or in 4 years with a minimum graduation mark of 90/110;

B. candidates having the Laurea in Materials Engineering and Nanotechnology at the Politecnico di Milano but not meeting the above requirements or having a different comparable title (Italian or foreigner).

Candidates in category A are granted direct access. Candidates in category B are required to submit their curriculum to the Admission Commission. The Commission should then propose one of the following options:

  1. the candidate has a sufficient background (in term of topics, number of credits and final mark): he's therefore granted access to the course;
  2. the candidate has to fill some educational gaps: an oral examination will be required (to take place either in person or via teleconference) in order to check the candidate motivations as well as to better identify supplementary subjects to be studied before admission and how to assess their achievement;
  3. the candidate cannot fill its educational gaps within a reasonable amount of time (credits) compared to the duration of the Master course: the admission is not granted.

6.2 Requested knowledge

To be admitted to the Bachelor Degree Programme, a sufficient preparation is required (in mathematics, the sciences and verbal comprehension) and a sufficient level of English; these requirements are assessed by an admissions test to the Faculty of Engineering at the Politecnico di Milano.

The website gives examples of typical questions set for the admissions test.

The educational offer at the Politecnico di Milano

6.3 Deadlines for admission and number of places available

The deadlines for admission to the Materials and Nanotechnologies Engineering Degree Programme are stated in the guide to enrolment at the Politecnico di Milano, which is updated each year and is available on the Politecnico di Milano website ( 

The number of places available is 228

How to become a student at Politecnico di Milano

6.4 Tutoring and students support

Guidance and tutoring services for students are coordinated by the office of the Dean of the School of Industrial and Information Engineering.

The manner in which the services are provided and the calendar are periodically updated and are available on the School’s website (


7. Contents of the study Program

7.1 Programme requirements

As required by the Italian Law, 180 credits are needed for graduation, as specified in the degree program (regolamento didattico). During the first year, 55 credits are devoted to basic disciplines (mathematics, physics and chemistry) and 5 credits to basic materials engineering subjects. During the second year, engineering (30 credits), materials (20 credits) and nanotechnology (10 credits) disciplines will provide the student with a basic engineering profile. During the final year, the engineering background is completed with courses dealing with the technological and practical aspects of materials production and characterization. Free courses give the student the opportunity to specialize in the microstructural or the mechanical design approach to materials enginering and nanotechnology.

The three-year Bachelor Degree Programme has three terms with common Programme modules, to permit students to acquire a grounding in Materials and Nanotechnologies science and engineering. After the fourth term, students must choose between four tracks propaedeutic to the Master’s Degree Programme, which consist of more in-depth study of the basic science, technology and application subjects. These tracks are:

- Surface Treatment Engineering
- Microstructure and Nanotechnologies
- Polymer Engineering
- Technologies and Design.

7.2 Mode of study

This Course requires a full time attendance and involves classroom, conferences about specific arguments with experts and laboratory activities. There are also visits to the plants.

7.3 Detailed learning objectives

The educational aims of the Bachelor Degree Programme are pursued by a technological/design approach: in addition to the grounding provided by studying basic engineering materials and the fundamentals of material and nanotechnologies science, the Programme includes lessons on materials technology and engineering design. Graduates of the Bachelor of Science degree therefore receive an education that permit them to work in management of production, processing and transformation plants and processes and in the development of new applications for materials.

After obtaining a solid education in basic scientific subjects and in those specific to engineering, in particular materials and nanotechnologies engineering, students who decide to attend the basic Degree Programme may choose between the four tracks described below:  

- Surface Treatment Engineering: this track originates from contacts with numerous companies that work in surface technologies and who have requested graduates with a very specific professional training. It is developed with contributions of resources and suggestions from the outside, such as specific application laboratories with custom-made production plant, work placements and training periods connected with industrial application. Engineers graduating with this track will be able to develop technologies for the companies in the sector, choose the most suitable surface techniques with regard to both the final result and the system, develop applications at process, production and management level.

- Microstructure and nanotechnologies: this track provides training in materials science and engineering oriented towards materials chemistry and physics with in-depth study of microscopic and atomic/molecular aspects of materials and of the structure-property structure.

Polymer engineering: alongside a good grounding in basic materials science and engineering subjects, this track aims to provide specialised knowledge of the physical-mechanical  behaviour of polymers, as well as on design of the related  production processes and related products. This track has been conceived with a strong orientation towards operating skills: by working individually or in teams, students master the design techniques and methods that will permit them to easily acquire new knowledge during the their professional lives, developing an aptitude for finding innovative solutions to problems. Engineers graduating with this track will be able to work in the polymer industry, where there is a high demand for engineers expert in raw material development and production, in machinery for transformation as well as in design and manufacture of polymer products.  

- Technologies and design: this track includes in-depth study of the macroscopic behaviour of materials, structures and complex engineering systems, to permit students to deal with technological and design problems typical of materials applications.

1 Year courses - Track: U1L - 1 liv mat e nano

Code Educational activities SSD Course Title Language Sem CFU CFU Group

2 Year courses - Track: U1L - 1 liv mat e nano

Code Educational activities SSD Course Title Language Sem CFU CFU Group

3 Year courses - Track: U1L - 1 liv mat e nano

Code Educational activities SSD Course Title Language Sem CFU CFU Group
073215----FINAL DEGREE TEST--15.05.0
073215----FINAL DEGREE TEST--25.0

Master’s Degree

The Master’s Degree Programme is intended as a continuation and more in-depth study of the subjects studied for the Bachelor Degree Programme, with the aim of training professionals expert in materials who are able to actively and independently work towards development and innovation with regard to materials and processes and to their use in specific applications. Such professionals must have full knowledge of the fundamental characteristics and properties and of the use of the various classes of materials, as well as of the most widely differing and innovative manufacturing technologies on both a macroscopic and nanometric scale and of their influence on the final properties of the products. The study Programme has a flexible and interdisciplinary structure which forms the natural continuation and development of the tracks offered in the Bachelor Degree Programme. The Programmes offered supplement and provide greater detail on the subjects studied for the Bachelor degree  since they centre on production technologies and structural and functional applications of materials. Within this general formulation, however, students may access a high number of optional courses which will permit them to acquire specific knowledge in various areas of study according to their own personal aptitudes and interests.    

Ph. D.

The Ph.D. in Materials Engineering, lasting three years (180 credits including periods of study abroad and work placements at public and private bodies) offers  basic and specialised training courses designed to provide students with the means to undertake research work with a high level of independence. The Ph.D. is also an opportunity for in-depth study of the research projects that are currently underway in the various Departments of the Politecnico di Milano in the materials sector. The Programmes aim to teach the necessary skills to carry out highly qualified research work in industrial and service companies, public and private bodies and Universities.

7.4 Foreign language

Knowledge of English is a pre-requisite for enrolment at the Politecnico di Milano and is assessed by the admissions test.

Language courses

7.5 Degree examination

The degree examination is closely related to the activities of the course of practical activities in technology and design (laboratory) of the third year, during which various activities will be conducted both individually and in group and evaluated by writing written reports. At the end of these activities, the individual tutor of the laboratory will give the student a topic of study which will be the subject of the oral degree examination.

The candidate must deliver to the Secretary's office within 5 working days from the date of the degree examination both the lab report (individual and/or group) and a presentation of up to 5 slides which will be used to introduce the assigned topic during the examination.

The final grade is based on the average of the exams plus an increase which will be awarded according to the following scheme:

- an increase of up to 4/110 based on the final grade of the examination of laboratory technology / engineering

- an increase of up to 3/110 based on the outcome of the degree examination

- an increase of up to 1/110 for extraordinary merits

Information concerning general rules and regulations, session calendars, registration and consignment of theses is available at

8. Academic calendar

The calendar of lessons for Engineering courses is available on the website of the Politecnico di Milano.

Academic calendar

9. Faculty

The names of professors for each Course, together with their subject, will be available on the degree programme starting from the month of September.
The degree programme is annually published on the website of Politecnico di Milano.

10. Infrastructures and laboratories

Throughout the Degree Programme, teaching activity involves access to the teaching laboratories at the Politecnico di Milano to conduct laboratory experiments in chemistry, physics and mechanical and micro-structural characterisation of materials.

During the whole Programme, study activity is supplemented by seminars by experts from the industrial world and visits to companies and to the research laboratories of the Politecnico di Milano for practical demonstrations and practice sessions.

At the end of the Programme, students must write a dissertation on highly topical problems under the direct guidance of professors and researchers at the Politecnico di Milano, personally conducting research work both in the facilities of the Politecnico di Milano and at industrial production sites and laboratories.

11. International context

12. Internationalization

The Master’s Degree Programme is taught in English. Enrolment for the Programme is open to suitably qualified Italian and international students.

Applications for admission in AY 2010-2011 were received from over 110 candidates from more than 20 countries throughout the world

Information on exchange programmes, double degree projects and international internships, European research and international relations projects are available at

Information on exchange programmes, double degree projects and international internships, European research and international relations projects are available at

13. Quantitative data

14. Further information

The Bachelor of Science in Materials and Nanotechnologies Engineering permits enrolment for the following Master’s Degree Programmes at the School of Industrial Process Engineering:


- Materials Engineering and Nanotechnology (in English)

- Chemical Engineering (in Italian)

- Nuclear Engineering (in Italian)


It also permits, due to an interfaculty agreement, enrolment for the Master’s degree in “Design and Engineering” (in Italian) at the Design School of the Politecnico di Milano.

The Degree also permits access, with supplements to track, to most of the Master’s Degree Programme in the Industrial Engineering class. Procedures for admission are established by the Admissions Boards for the related Degree Programmes.

The enrolment procedures for other specialised Degree Programmes at the Politecnico di Milano or other Italian and international universities must be checked with the appropriate admissions boards.

15. Errata corrige