Giuseppe Zerbi

Professor emeritus of Politecnico di Milano


  • Year of nomination: 2010
  • Facility: Department of Chemistry, Materials and Chemical Engineering “Giulio Natta”

"Professor Giuseppe Zerbi is an outstanding figure, both nationally and internationally, in the Physical Chemistry of polymers, functional organic materials and nanostructured materials. In particular, he can be considered one of the founding fathers of Vibrational Spectroscopy and one of the world's leading experts in the field. He has achieved this highly prestigious status through an original and wide-ranging approach based on combining experimental analysis with reliable modelling, which together enabled him to extract detailed information on the molecular and electronic structure of materials.

The results of his studies are documented by around five hundred publications in international journals, whose significant impact on the scientific community is demonstrated by their frequent citation and favourable bibliometric indices, such as an H Index of 40, which place Giuseppe Zerbi at the height of Italian scientific research. Added to this are prestigious awards, such as the Coblentz and Max Planck Awards, the Lippincott medal of the Optical Society of America, the Italgas Award, and his appointment as Fellow of the American Physical Society, honorary member of the Rossi'iskaya Akade'miya Nau'k and elected member of the Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei.

As regards his teaching and institutional work, Professor Zerbi has carried out various courses for the University Programmes in Mechanical Engineering and Materials Engineering with commitment, consistency and great passion, as well as playing a leading role in the field of High Level Training as Director of the Graduate School in Polymer Science and of the Doctoral School, which he had a key role in creating.

Beyond a simple, non-exhaustive list of his achievements and awards, it is perhaps even more important to underline the role Professor Zerbi has played in creating of a real scientific school, which has allowed talented young people to undertake a brilliant scientific career at our University in the field of innovative materials. The roots of this commendable success, perhaps the most significant for a university professor, are certainly the curiosity, dedication and above all the enthusiasm that Giuseppe Zerbi has always shown and continues to show towards scientific research.

Overall, this Board therefore unanimously believes that Giuseppe Zerbi’s efforts have greatly contributed to the development, prestige and international scope of our University, and therefore considers him fully worthy to be awarded the title of Professor Emeritus."

[extract from the 2010 nomination statement]