Sandro De Silvestri

Professor emeritus of Politecnico di Milano


"Sandro De Silvestri was a full professor of Experimental Physics at the Politecnico di Milano. After working as a researcher for the National Research Council (CNR) and later at the MIT (Cambridge, USA), he was appointed professor at the Politecnico di Milano, where he has worked intensively as researcher and teacher in the Department of Physics.

He is a former director of the Department of Physics and current director of the Centre for Ultrafast Science and Biomedical Optics (CUSBO) in the department. The CUSBO provides access to European research groups to carry out research in a wide field of laser applications and is part of the network of European Facilities known as LASERLAB-Europe.

Sandro De Silvestri's research focuses on the development of laser sources to generate ultra-short pulses with applications in the fields of materials science, photonics and high-intensity radiation-matter interaction. In this field, Sandro De Silvestri has made a number of pioneering contributions, starting with the very first femtosecond laser spectroscopy in the 1980s. His research led to the development of new methods for generating ultra-short light pulses and their application to the study of photo-induced processes in matter. His main research topics have been: coherent vibrational spectroscopy; the development of techniques for generating both high-energy and tunable few-optical-cycle pulses from the near-infrared to the visible; the study of ultrafast dynamics in confined organic and quantum systems; absolute phase effects in strong-field photoionisation and the generation of high-order harmonics; and the generation of attosecond pulses.

He has been part of numerous scientific collaborations at both national and international level. Sandro De Silvestri's scientific output has been prolific and his work is highly valued. He is a member of numerous international conference committees in the field of photonics and ultrashort phenomena. He is a Fellow of the Optical Society of America and the European Physical Society and, in 2020, he received the Enrico Fermi Prize from the Italian Physical Society."

[extract from the 2022 nomination statement]