Orazio Svelto

Professor emeritus of Politecnico di Milano


"Professor Svelto fully deserves this recognition from the University for his role as scientist and lecturer which he has held as a professor at Politecnico since 1976.

Indeed, Professor Svelto is one of the most eminent figures at international level in the fields of Quantum Electronics and Photonics, in which he has been one of the pioneers for the development of lasers and their applications since 1962. The prestige of his work is evidenced by numerous national and international awards, as well as publications in international scientific journals. He was also the initiator of laser research at Politecnico and over the years he has contributed  to the development of this activity, which now involves a significant number of professors and researchers and constitutes one of the qualifying areas of research of the Department of Physics.

He was the founder of the Centre for Quantum Electronics and Electronic Instrumentation of the CNR, which he has directed since its foundation in 1975. This Centre subsequently became a section of the Institute of Photonics and Nanotechnology of the CNR and has recently moved its management and administrative headquarters to Politecnico di Milano, testifying to the prestige that the Milan campus enjoys in the sector.

As a teacher, he has contributed to the training of engineering students in the field of lasers through both specific courses and in writing his book Principles of Lasers, a teaching text adopted by at least 50 universities around the world and translated into numerous languages.

He was also one of the promoters of the recently established programme in Engineering Physics. In all these years, he has contributed to the development of experimental research at the University from both a didactic and organisational point of view, and for those of us who have had the pleasure of knowing him closely and collaborating with him, Professor Svelto has been a constant stimulus to research through his ideas, his enthusiasm and his scientific rigour, also showing the highest level of human and moral qualities."

[extract from the 2010 nomination statement]