Stefano Zapperi, professor of theoretical physics at the University of Milan wins the Humboldt Research Award, a prestigious prize granted by the german foundation named after the naturalist and explorer Alexander von Humboldt to non-german scientists whose discoveries and innovations had - and will have - significant impact on their discipline.
After graduating in Physics at the Università "La Sapienza" in Rome, Stefano Zapperi obtained a Ph. D. in physics at Boston University, followed by research stays abroad as a visiting professor in prestigious universities and research institutions like Cornell University, Aalto University, Ecole Normale Superieure, Boston College, Rice University and the Weizmann Institue of Science. Already the recipient of the Marie Curie Excellence Award and of an ERC Advanced Grant, professor Zapperi is author of over 200 scientific publications and of the Book Physics of Cancer, co-authored with Caterina La Porta. He is a fellow of the American Physical Society and member of the Complex Systems Society.
Stefano Zapperi works on the emergent properties of disordered complex systems and in particular on disordered materials: crystals with defects, amorphous and glassy materials, soft materials such colloids and polymer networks, and active biological matter such as cells and tissues. He is trying to understand what happens to these structure at the microscopic level when they deform and break, in order to identify universal features that are independent of specific details of each materials. A current interest of professor Zapperi lies in metamaterials, a field of study with many interactions with other disciplines, from chemistry to materials science, from engineering to nanotechnology. He pursues this research at the Center for Complexity and Biosystems that he coordinates and is a co-founder of COMPLEXDATA, a spin-off that offers innovative solutions in the analysis, optimisation and visualisation of Big data.
Thanks to the Humboldt Research Award, professor Zapperi will spend a year in Germany to collaborate with german academics on a research project, while the Award will be officially granted at the end of March in Bamberg, at the Symposium organised by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation to celebrate the award winners.