Ennio Macchi

Professor emeritus of Politecnico di Milano


"Ennio Macchi was a professor of Energy Conversion. He graduated in Mechanical Engineering from Politecnico di Milano, where he pursued his entire academic career, which began in the then Institute of Machines, later to become part of the Department of Energetics.

Strongly believing in the need to coordinate the university’s many multidisciplinary proficiencies in the field of energy, he promoted the launch of the 'Energy' Strategic Area, encouraging scientific collaborations between researchers and professors belonging to the university’s different faculties. Subsequently, at the request of the then chancellor Giulio Ballio and the pro-chancellor Giovanni Azzone, he coordinated the drafting of the strategic plan of the future Energy department, which around 100 researchers and professors belonging to various faculties joined. Thus the current Department of Energy was born, of which he was the first director for two terms. It was the first example in Italy of a university department that brought together, in a single faculty, very diverse disciplinary areas: from technical physics to machines, electrical engineering to chemistry, materials to energy systems, nuclear energy to environmental sciences.

In addition to directing the Energy Department, he has taken on important institutional roles at the Politecnico di Milano, including president of the Laurea (Bachelor’s degree) in Mechanical Engineering at the Piacenza campus, elected member of the Academic Senate, coordinator of the Energy Commission, and at the national level, where he was the national coordinator of tenured professors of Fluid Machines and Systems for Energy and the Environment, as well as a member of several Ministerial Commissions.

He set up the GECoS (Group of Energy COnversion Systems) research group, which coordinates the research activities of around fifty Politecnico di Milano lecturers and researchers working in various fields of energy conversion and the environmental impact of energy systems. The group's research activity has been recognised as being of international excellence by the peer review promoted by the University, and the SSD ING-IND 09 of the Politecnico di Milano (which coincides entirely with the research group) came first in the VQR between 2004-2010.

Ennio Macchi's most significant contributions to research in the sector include his pioneering work on organic fluid engines (which contributed to the emergence of industries developing Italian technology of worldwide excellence); gas turbines and combined cycles, which received significant international recognition; advanced technologies for producing electricity from renewable sources (solar, geothermal, biomass); cogeneration; fuel cells; and on the hydrogen vector.

He has been the scientific head of numerous research programmes funded by the EEC, CNR, MPI, ENEA, ENEL, ENI, etc. on various topics in the field of energy conversion, geothermal and solar energy, biomass, heat recovery, combined gas-steam cycles, clean coal, carbon dioxide capture and sequestration, micro and trigeneration, etc. He is the author of more than 200 papers, including numerous books and articles published in the most prestigious journals of several fields, including: applied thermodynamics, fluid dynamics, turbomachinery, heat exchangers, heat pumps, power cycles, thermoelectric power plants, use of renewable energy, energy savings, energy storage, cogeneration, gas turbines and combined gas/steam cycles, waste-to-energy, environmental impact of energy systems.   

He has acted as a scientific consultant for numerous Italian and foreign industries and organisations in the fields of energy conversion, turbomachinery, heat exchangers, energy saving, cogeneration and self-generation, waste-to-energy, environmental impact of energy systems, and clean and sustainable coal technologies."

[career highlights kindly provided by professor Macchi in 2023]