A Balanced Education: Ferrari dedicates "Mille Chili" lab at local university

Ferrari technical training center pictured above for illustrative purposes

A few years ago, I helped a friend who was graduating engineering school to fill out an application for an internship with Ferrari. He didn't get it (probably my fault), but I was impressed that Ferrari was recruiting straight out of university. That's nothing new, really, but this is: Ferrari has now set up a research laboratory at the University of Modena and Regio Emilia, one of the oldest universities in the world having been founded in 1175. Called the "Mille Chili" lab, the facility bears the same purpose as the concept car by the same name that Ferrari unveiled a couple of years ago: namely, to research new lightweight construction methods.

Part of the college's engineering faculty, the Ferrari-sponsored lab will act as a classroom for undergraduates and a research center for eight select students at the university to discover new breakthroughs in lightweight construction. The facility features all the latest state-of-the-art equipment installed by the engineers at Maranello, who will also help the students in their research along with the school's faculty. Ferrari keeps on getting 'em younger, and no doubt the students will have a foot inside the door at Maranello for a job after graduation. For our part, we'll be wondering why our alma maters didn't have Ferrari labs while we wait for the Italian sportscar-maker to announce the dedication of its own grade school.

[Source: Ferrari] PRESS RELEASE


Maranello, 17th February 2009 – Related to the research and development projects of new models, weight reduction has always been a major goal for Ferrari, which also leads to less fuel consumption and reduced emissions. Numerous technological innovations in this direction have been incorporated in Ferrari models over past years. A project called "MilleChili" was presented recently. The target of this project was the overall weight of the car (mille chili = 1,000 kg), a stimulus for the development of engineering solutions which take advantage of light weight.

Today the project takes a step forward in its development, thanks to collaboration with the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, especially with its Engineering department. Today the "Mille Chili" Laboratory has been inaugurated at the department. It is a lecture room equipped with hardware, software and chassis from Ferrari to study research projects developed by the faculty's undergraduates, aiming at a weight reduction. Eight undergraduates will work at the "Mille Chili" laboratory. They can rely on the support of their teaching staff and some Ferrari engineers.
The inauguration was held in the presence of the students, the teaching staff and the President of the faculty Professor Giuseppe Cantore, while for Ferrari CEO Amedeo Felisa and Mario Mairano, Head of Human Resources and General Secretariat, were present.

Engineer Felisa said: "It is a great pleasure to inaugurate this laboratory, which will work on a very important issue for the future. The experience confirms that constant collaboration between private industry and University is a fundamental part, and contributes to growth for both parties: the University has to work with not exclusively theoretical issues, while the industry can confront itself with new ideas."

On the subject of University and innovation Amedeo Felisa reminded that "Ferrari will finance six scholarships in the area of research by young graduates/undergraduates in Engineering, Physics, Architecture and Human Studies at Italian and international Universities. This shows the attention our Company has for the young to increase the value of creativity and competence."

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