Università degli Studi di Firenze (UNIFI)
Department of Mechanichs and Industrial Technology
Via Santa Marta, 3 50139 Florence Italy
Università degli Studi di Firenze (UNIFI) is a higher study institute in Florence, central Italy. The origins of the University of Florence go back to the Studium Generale which was set up by the Florentine Republic in 1321. Civil and Canon Law, Literature and Medicine were taught. In 1364 the Studium became an imperial university. When the Medici came to power in Tuscany it was exiled to Pisa. Since the sixteenth century, research and teaching have proceeded in the numerous Academies that came to flourish in the interim. In 1859 a unified structure re-emerged in the shape of the Istituto Superiore di Studi Pratici e di Perfezionamento, the university status of which was then recognised by the Italian State. In 1923 the Istituto was officially granted the title of university. It is now one of the largest organizations for research and higher training in Italy, with 2,300 lecturers and internal research staff, as well as 1,400 postgraduate researchers, 750 research assistants, almost a hundred temporary research assistants, 1,700 technicians and administrative staff and 60,000 students. The University of Florence is a large institution with a very wide ranging educational offer extending over all disciplinary areas.
The University of Florence is one of the largest and most productive public research systems in Italy. This result is related to the number of permanent and temporary researchers working in a wide range of disciplinary and scientific fields, and the numerous junior scientists in training. It is also due to an intensive participation in research programmes of national and international relevance, the significant scientific results achieved, and the financial flow from outside supporting activities of research and knowledge transfer. This combination of factors qualifies the Florentine institution as a modern research university, and accounts for its excellent ranking in national and international classifications.
The researchers of the University of Florence belong to 70 different departments and have at their disposal approximately 60 research structures comprising interdepartmental and inter-university centres as well as 10 centres for research, knowledge transfer and higher education. Inside the University work the DMTI (Dipartimento di Meccanica e Tecnologie Industriali) that is composed of professors, researchers, engineers and technical staff who perform researches in the fields of machine design, machine construction, mechanical design, industrial engineering methods, environmental acoustics, industrial acoustics, vibroacoustics, vehicle design, design and development of textile machines, CAD, image processing, computer vision, applied Artificial Intelligence and Virtual Restoration. With reference to this project, in the last few years the DMTI has devoted its research work to the development of Knowledge-Based classification systems, Artificial Vision (AV) systems (2D and 3D) and Artificial Intelligence algorithms applied to the cultural heritage field with particular reference to the development of techniques for the virtual restoration of ancient paints, manuscripts and textiles.
DMTI managed several National and European Projects. UNIFI-DMTI staff is author of a number of scientific publications on several relevant scientific journals and conference proceedings. Another important department working at the University of Florence is the Department of Engineering and Science for Conservation of Cultural Heritage that deals with research issues such as optical spectroscopy and imaging methods for diagnosis of cultural heritage, investigations of the elemental art materials by high-energy radiation, chemical methods for the protection and restoration of cultural heritage, characterization, conservation and restoration of stone materials, metals and alloys, chemical methods, physical, mineralogical and geo-biological Archaeometry and biological and biochemical methods for cultural heritage.