In Memoriam: Umberto Cugini 

Umberto Cugini 1941-2021

The Design Society sadly announces the passing of Prof. Umberto Cugini, well-known by many DS members for his active role in the world of engineering design and ICT technologies.

Umberto graduated in mechanical engineering (MSc) at Politecnico di Milano in 1966 and was granted a Master in Management and Business Administration by Bocconi University in 1974.

In 1987, he became Full Professor in Engineering Design, first at the University of Cagliari, then at the University of Parma, and eventually at Politecnico di Milano until 2001.

Umberto was a pioneer in introducing CAD systems in product development since the first introduction of 2D tools, exploring feature-based geometrical modelling and physics-based simulations. Thanks to his visionary skills, he also anticipated the development of Knowledge-Based systems and contributed to exploring Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality, and haptic technologies for Human-Computer Interaction. 

Umberto succeeded in combining his strategic vision of research with his real interest in the industrial world, supporting the transfer into companies of several technologies for virtual and physical prototyping, automation, Business Process Re-Engineering.

Among many others, from 1988 to 1996, he has been the director of the largest Italian project on robotics (Progetto Finalizzato Robotica, worth 34M€), involving about 200 research teams from public and private institutions. He also participated in several European projects since the earliest Framework Programmes and coordinated a few until FP6.

His publication record counts more than 200 articles in Engineering and Computer Science, and his scientific achievements won many awards by Eurographics, TMCE, IMEKO, and CIM Europe. 

He was awarded the title of Emeritus Professor of Politecnico di Milano in 2012. 

Umberto contributed to the organization of ICED in Milan in 2015 and delivered his last speech about business mindset changing at the Industry Business Event 2020 held on the 26th November 2020.

His disciples and colleagues at Politecnico di Milano 


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