SUPSI and FHNW strengthen their collaboration for mobility programmes

Academic staff mobility is an important aspect that contributes to the quality of the academic system. Thanks to the collaboration and interaction between the different Swiss University of Applied Sciences, students, researchers, and professors may benefit from an exchange experience, which enhances their professional and personal growth. At the same time, the exchange allows for both universities to expand their technical and scientific network for future project cooperation.

To this regard, the strong collaboration between the University of Applied Sciences and Arts of Southern Switzerland (SUPSI) and the University of Applied Sciences and Arts of Northwestern Switzerland (FHNW) allowed the two institutions to develop a joint mobility programme designed for Marco Spaggiari , Researcher at the Department of Innovative Technologies of SUPSI. From 1 August 2021, Marco has been working at the Institute of Polymer Engineering (IKT) at the FHNW School of Engineering headed by Prof. Markus Grob.

"Thanks to the education activity conducted within the Master of Science in Engineering programme, we developed a positive collaboration with Prof. Grob" explained Prof. Andrea Castrovinci , Head of the Polymer Engineering Lab at the Institute of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Technology (MEMTi) of SUPSI. "Our goal is to provide Marco with the opportunity to live a unique experience from a professional and personal point of view outside SUPSI, developing new skills and capabilities that will strengthen his personal scientific know-how, making new contacts and discovering a new environment. At the end of his stay at FHNW, Marco will come back to SUPSI bringing added professional value and new contacts to our institution".

"With this exchange, we hope to not only strengthen the ties between our research teams, but to also enable future cooperation in research projects, where both parties can join their strengths", said Prof. Grob. "Our two labs complementing each other gives room for exciting new opportunities." Another goal is for both teams to expand their reach for project partners: While SUPSI often collaborates with companies from Ticino and Northern Italy, FHNW has their main network in the German speaking part of Switzerland. Working together could enable broader collaborations across both regions.

New skills and a bigger network

After completing a Bachelor and Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering, Marco Spaggiari started his professional career asá a research assistant at SUPSI, working closely with Prof. Castrovinci and his team. In 2016, he became researcher and started working at the Polymer Engineering Lab on applied research projects in the field of polymers where he developed various collaborations with small and medium enterprises. The mobility experience at FHNW represents a new and important step of his professional career. "I am excited to share my expertise and at the same time broaden my professional contacts", said Marco Spaggiari.

At SUPSI, Spaggiari has mainly worked with thermoplastics, which are polymer materials that become mouldable at elevated temperatures and solidify upon cooling. He will now have the opportunity to gain hands-on experience with thermoset polymers, which are formed and then irreversibly set by curing mechanisms. Spaggiari will get the chance to apply the technologies in two projects: The development of novel isolating systems in the energy sector and in the development of advanced material and process technologies for high performance fibre-reinforced composite belts, which will be used in highly dynamic applications. "It is an opportunity to deepen and expand my knowledge and also to get in contact with a different environment, people and language", explained Marco Spaggiari.

Further to this agreement, SUPSI and FHNW developed an additional mobility program involving Prof. Alexander Repenning, Professor and Chair of Computer Science Education at FHNW. From 15 September 2021, Prof. Repenning will be active at the Institute of Information Systems and Networking of SUPSI in Lugano and will contribute to applied research projects conducted by Prof. Sandro Pedrazzini.

Department of Innovative Technologies
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