Alumna of the year: Arianna Minoretti
“The superbridge engineer”: Arianna, receiving her award from the rector for her part in the motorway project that will change Norway
AIt currently takes 21 hours to cross Norway. The Norwegian government aims to cut the journey time to 11 hours and to do so has turned to an Italian engineer: our alumna Arianna Minoretti, who graduated in Civil Engineering in 2004, to head the project that is set to change a nation.
Both the Italian and international media have been talking about her for several months (Rai, Forbes, Corriere della Sera, Il Giorno, La Provincia di Como, Wired.com, Huffington Post, to name just a few). Last October the Politecnico di Milano presented her with the title of Alumna of the Year for its AlumniPolimi Awards as part of the sixth yearly AlumniPolimi Convention attended by over a thousand former students of the university and streamed live by almost 12,000. During the prize-giving ceremony (which can be viewed at this link), Arianna talks about how this revolutionary project came into being.
The proposed new infrastructure will be immersed within the landscape: floating bridges and undersea tunnels that combine innovation with ancient techniques such as the Archimedes bridge, which is feasible today thanks to the latest technologies. “I’ve been in Norway since 2014. The Norwegian government was looking for a person interested in working on this major project for the E39. It had to be someone with experience in designing concrete bridges and I sent in my application. My current boss called me to ask me if I could come for the interview in a week’s time and, as it happened, I’d already booked a flight so I could be there during those few days. The interview lasted two hours and when it ended he told me: “Look, today I’m going to stop the interviews because I believe you’re the person we’re looking for. We’ll send you an offer and if you agree you can move here and start in January.” Right there and then I thought he was crazy. I didn’t speak Norwegian, my colleagues would all be Norwegian, and he was taking me on sight unseen. Now I think he was far-sighted, as they say. He certainly saw a person with experience, which was what he was looking for, but also a person with enthusiasm and an international outlook, which has enabled much of our work to be published not just in conferences in the sector but also in magazines such as Wired and Forbes. During these years spent in Norway, and abroad in general, I’ve come across other Italian graduates from the Politecnico. I can vouch for the fact that it’s always a guarantee of a solid background, which is what we’re known for the world over.”
I don’t feel like an engineer just when I’m at work. Being an engineer is a way of life. The Politecnico more than anything teaches you a mindset that stays with you all your life