Ingegneria dell'Automazione

Presentation of the welcome meeting for international students

Prospective and current students can find all information related to programmes taught at Politecnico di Milano as well as other practical information in the POLINTERNATIONAL website.

Politecnico di Milano offers a complete programme in Automation Engineering, articulated in a three-year Bachelor of Science programme and a two-year Master of Science programme, called Automation and Control Engineering.

Flow diagram of the programme

 

AUTOMATION ENGINEERING BSc PROGRAMME

The three-year Bachelor of Science programme in Automation Engineering is entirely taught in Italian. An English version of the study plan is available at the website of the School of Industrial and Information Engineering.

AUTOMATION AND CONTROL ENGINEERING MSc PROGRAMME

The Master of Science Programme was launched at Politecnico di Milano in the Academic Year 2004/05, with the objective of training highly skilled technicians in the field of Automation, to meet the needs of a local context characterized by an extraordinary concentration of companies operating in the process industry, manufacturing systems, and services. Since then, the programme has been successful in terms of enrollment of both students from all Italian regions, and of foreign students. Graduates have easily found job opportunities in all sectors of production and services, research centers, engineering companies, both in Italy and abroad.

Since the Academic Year 2010/11 a track entirely taught in English has been available for foreign students. Starting from the Academic Year 2014/15 the Master takes the name "Automation and Control Engineering" and is offered in English only.

MISSION AND GOALS

The role of Automation Engineering is to design, develop, and manage, equipment that make the operation of machines, processes, plants, and networks for the distribution of goods and the deployment of services, independent, as far as possible, from the direct intervention of the human. Automation Engineering allows to both increase functionality and value of equipment and machinery, and to design systems able to perform strenuous and repetitive tasks, sometimes in hostile environments. The increasing adoption of automation in industry and society is due to the technological development in the traditional engineering areas (mechanics, electrical engineering, energy, aerospace) and to their integration with the more advanced information technologies (control and automation, electronics, computer science, and telecommunications). The MSc programme in Automation and Control Engineering aims at training specialists in the design, implementation, and operation, of automation systems characterized by a strong technological content. Graduate's education is characterized by a solid background on fundamentals as well as by high interdisciplinary skills. Furthermore, in the MSc programme specific topics of growing interest are addressed, including:

  • the automation of systems for energy production, both traditional (power plants, hydroelectric plants, ...) and based on renewable sources (wind, solar, biomasses,...);
  • automation of vehicles (cars, motorcycles, high-performance trains, ...);
  • robotic systems, both employed in the industrial sector (automated production lines) and in special applications, such as autonomous agents that operate in contexts that are potentially dangerous to humans.
LEARNING OBJECTIVES

The MSc programme is characterized by a strong scientific and technological nature. The goal is to train experts who understand and contribute to the technological evolution, using the results of the research for the design of innovative automation systems in inherently multidisciplinary contexts and in highly competitive industries.

The MSc graduate should then: a) have gained a good grasp of the mathematical tools necessary for the analysis and design of complex automation systems; b) have gained a thorough understanding of the technologies and processes typical of some of the major industrial sectors where automation plays an increasingly important role; c) have developed the ability to explore and evaluate the offer and market trends in the field of instrumentation and system components, in view of innovative applications; d) have gained familiarity with the most advanced techniques for the identification, analysis, simulation, optimization, and control, of dynamical systems of all kinds, as well as the ability to merge them in an effective and creative manner, tailored to the specific characteristics of the problems to be solved; e) have grown aptitude for teamwork and the ability to embrace the principles and methods of organization.

FURTHER STUDIES

The MSc degree grants access to "Dottorato di Ricerca" (Research Doctorate), "Corso di Specializzazione di secondo livello" (2nd level Specialization Course) and "Master Universitario di secondo livello" (2nd level University Master).

ACCESS TO PROFESSIONAL REGISTERS

The graduate in Automation and Control Engineering can take an examination to get an engineering license and join the Italian professional register of industrial or information engineers. There exist different registers for graduates holding a Bachelor of Science degree and graduates holding a Master of Science degree. However, in Italy it is not usually necessary to belong to the national register of engineers in order to practice, either in industry or in public administration.

CAREER OPPORTUNITIES AND PROFILES

The Automation Engineer can find job opportunities in all the companies that produce, or incorporate in their products, tools and systems for the automation, as well as in those characterized by flexible production processes at high levels of automation. The automation market covers, increasingly, all sectors of industrial production and services: process industries (chemical, petrochemical, energy, etc.); companies and institutions working in the field of transport (land, sea and air); the manufacturing industry of consumer goods (food, appliances, games, etc. . ); the public utility networks (water, gas , energy, transport , etc.); manufacturers of automatic machines, robots, and more in general of mechatronic systems, deriving from the integrated design of the mechanics and of the measuring and control electronics; bodies that oversee or participate in the management of resources (material, natural and human ones) of relevant economic and social interest.

In all these areas, the automation engineer typically operates in:

  • companies producing and selling automation systems (both hardware and software);
  • companies that use automated production plants or that manage highly complex services;
  • companies producing systems with high technological content, due to the inclusion of sophisticated automation and control elements;

engineering and consulting firms that design and project complex, economically challenging and technologically advanced plants and systems.

ADMISSION REQUIREMENTS

The access to the Master of Science programme is subjected to an examination. The selection is based on evaluation of previous career and on the assessment of the adequacy of personal preparation. Admission to the programme does not imply the validation of all the credits that the students have earned in their former career. The obligations to be satisfied by the candidates in order to get the MSc Degree are determined on an individual basis by the Committee, based on the number and type of credits earned in the student’s former career.

QUALIFICATION FOR ADMISSION

A solid background in the fundamentals of engineering is requested to be admitted in the MSc programme of Automation and Control Engineering, i.e. in Mathematics, Computer Science, Physics. Adequate skills are also requested in the core disciplines of the Master programme, i.e. Automatic Control, Applied Mechanics, Electrical Machines and Drives. Finally, it is advisable to have some background in the typical subjects of the Information Technology, like computer science, electronics and telecommunications.

A detailed document with the prerequisites is available.

Students who do not have the necessary background can be admitted to the MSc programme, but they may be assigned one or more mandatory “alignment courses” (on fundamental of automatic control, of mechanics, and of electrical machines), that will be activated starting from the academic year 2014/15.

TUTORING AND STUDENTS SUPPORT

The School of Industrial and Information Engineering offers a range of activities aimed at making university studies more efficient and productive, with the help of both faculty mentors, and student tutors, the latter selected through specific calls that University publishes annually. For more information on activities please refer to the website of the School of Industrial and Information Engineering.

PROGRAMME BREAKDOWN

An English version of the detailed study plan is available at the website of the School of Industrial and Information Engineering.

As specified by the syllabus, 120 credits are required to obtain the Master of Science degree. More specifically, out of the overall 120 credits, a minimum of 45 must be taken on qualifying subjects (systems and control; converters, electrical machines and drives; applied mechanics) and 15 credits or more on subsidiary subjects (computer science, industrial production technologies, ...).

The 120 credits to be earned are divided as follows:

  • mandatory courses in English language for 60 credits;
  • complementary courses, prevailingly taught in English language, for at least 40 credits;
  • a final thesis, to which 20 credits are reserved.

The mandatory courses in English consist of 5 courses of 10 credits in the first year:

  • Computer aided manufacturing
  • Dynamics of mechanical systems
  • Model identification and data analysis
  • Advanced and multivariable control
  • Dynamics of electrical machines and drives

and 2 courses of 5 credits in the second year:

  • Software engineering (for automation)
  • Automation and control laboratory

The course "Automation and control laboratory" is prevailingly oriented towards an experimental activity where knowledge acquired in various courses is integrated.

Each of the two years of the MSc programme is divided into two semesters. To allow access to the Master of Science programme at the beginning of each semester, the first and second semester of each year are interchangeable; classes scheduled in each semester can therefore be attended without appreciable harm both in the natural order (1st semester, 2nd semester) and in the reverse order (2nd semester, 1st semester). In any case, it is preferable to enrol in the 1st semester.

FOREIGN LANGUAGE

For the admission to the Master programme, an essential prerequisite is an adequate knowledge of the English language. The level of knowledge of the English language must be certified at the time of application for admission, through the achievement of minimum levels of test scores recognized by the University. These are available at the website of the University and of the School. Candidates for admission are therefore advised to read carefully the document "Guide on English language requirements".

GRADUATION EXAM

The final examination consists in the discussion of a Thesis. The preparation of the thesis is worth 20 credits, one of which is specifically dedicated to the acquisition of additional language skills, certified by the presence of an extended summary of the Thesis in English language. The Thesis will be written in Italian or in English, however it must contain the extended summary written in English.

In the website of the School of Industrial and Information Engineering the rules for the final exam of the BSc and of the MSc Programmes are published, along with the special rules for the Automation and Control Engineering Programme.

ACADEMIC CALENDAR

The academic calendar is published in the website of Politecnico di Milano.

FACULTY

The names of professors for each course, together with their subject, will be available on the degree programme, which is annually published on the website of Politecnico di Milano.

INFRASTRUCTURES AND LABORATORIES

Automation and Control Engineering students will have access to all of the Politecnico di Milano facilities (computer-equipped rooms, libraries, studios, canteens, sports facilities). Several courses include laboratory activities that will be carried out in computer-equipped rooms or experimental laboratories. The laboratory activities, computer based or experimental ones, aim at integrating the knowledge acquired in the lectures and allow the students to apply them in solving specific problems of automation.

A specific course of 5 credits, called "Automation and Control Laboratory", is completely carried out in a laboratory, specially equipped to allow the students to perform an experiment in which they integrate the knowledge acquired in the previous courses.

Graduating students can work at their Thesis in the research labs of the Departments.

INTERNATIONAL CONTEXT

Research in the Politecnico di Milano proceeds alongside the extensive network of cooperative relationships and connections with other Italian and foreign universities, with public and private research centres and with the industrial system. The quality and effect of research carried out at the Politecnico have been confirmed in recent years by the increase in connections with the international scientific community. Testimony to this is the large number of research projects and programmes that have recently been undertaken with the best European and worldwide universities, from North America to South-East Asia.

In 2007, the university departments submitted their research activities to an international assessment process (peer review). In order to ensure impartiality of the assessment, the coordinators of the assessment panels have been chosen by the Chancellors from European technical universities (for the most part chosen amongst those that are higher than the Politecnico in international rankings), and in turn, the coordinators chosen have decided the composition of their groups. In total, the process has seen participation by 81 experts (not one Italian) from 52 universities and international research centres.

The university obtained a total score of 3 (good at International level) on a scale of 1 to 4 (excellent). Out of the 1270 professors involved in the peer review process, 39% were valued “excellent at International level” and 21% were valued “good at International level”.

Various research groups concerning the Automation and Control Engineering Master of Science were rated "excellent at international level".

In the 2013 QS Ranking, in the Engineering and Technology category, Politecnico di Milano ranked 28th among the Universities at the world level, 9th at European level, and 1st at Italian level. In particular, Politecnico di Milano ranks within the first 10 European Universities for the areas Computer Science & Information Systems, Electrical & Electronic Engineering, Mechanical Aeronautical & Manufacturing Engineering, all of which of interest for the BSc Programme in Automation Engineering.

INTERNATIONALIZATION

Students on the Automation and Control Engineering programme can access international study programmes, based on the agreements held with numerous foreign institutions. Every year various students, both Italian and foreign, take part in international exchanges. Students chosen for a specific programme can enrich their profiles by studying abroad and earning credits that are fully acknowledged by the Politecnico di Milano.

There are multiple opportunities on offer. Amongst them are the following:

  • study periods abroad with the Erasmus programme, or other non-EU special programmes;
  • double degree programmes (that foresee awarding of a double master of science degree over a 3 year period, of which two are spent in a partner institution abroad);
  • traineeship in companies or foreign university laboratories; writing the final thesis abroad.
QUANTITATIVE DATA

The Evaluation Unit regularly reports on programs final results, including input indicators, performances and quality didactic features, graduates' employability. Reports are available on the University website.