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Historical roots

In 1951, the Institute of Mechanical Engineering and of Construction of Machinery was established by merging the three sections (group of lecturers), which until that time, had been separate entities. The first of these sections encompassed the lecturers of Meccanica Applicata alle Macchine (Applied Mechanics), whose subjects had been taught to the students of Industrial Engineering during the compulsory course of Meccanica Industriale e Disegno di Macchine (Machine Design and Industrial Mechanics)
 held by Prof. Giuseppe Colombo. As time went by, the name of the subject taught changed several times (in the academic year 1880-81 the subject of thermodynamics was added) together with its position within the course of study. In 1914-15 the lecture course was finally named Meccanica Applicata alle Macchine (Applied Mechanics). Prof. Giuseppe Colombo was Rector of the “Istituto tecnico superiore di Milano” (former name of Politecnico di Milano) from 1897 to 1921. In 1921 the role of Rector was assumed by Prof. Cesare Saldini, who had also been full Professor of Mechanical Technology since 1899 and Emeritus Professor since 1921.

Following the nomination of Prof. Ottorino Sesini to the chair of the Institute of Mechanical Engineering in 1935, the teaching programme was changed. The subject of thermodynamics was eliminated – becoming the subject of other courses – and particular emphasis was placed on the kinematics and dynamics of machinery.


The second group of lecturers were teaching the subjects of machine design. These topics had been initially taught during the lecture course given by Prof. Colombo, but then from 1875-76 the lectures of Elementi delle Macchine (Machine Elements) became the subject of a separate course with the institution of a chair initially tenured by Prof. Giuseppe Ponzio. In 1895, the name of the course was changed to Costruzione delle Macchine (Machine Design).
 On the death of Prof. Ponzio in 1908 the course was taken over first by Prof. Federigo Giordano and subsequently, during the post Second World War period, by
 Prof. Italo Bertolini.


The third group of lecturers were dealing with another subject. In 1870, Prof. Giuseppe Colombo decided that it was worth instituting a lecture course, where first year students could learn the morphology of machine elements together with their graphical representation, before addressing the dimensioning of machine elements and their dynamics in the other courses. The chair of Mechanical Design and Drawing was then so instituted.

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