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Francesco Leali

Full Professor

Alma Mater Studiorum - Università di Bologna

Curriculum vitae

Francesco Leali was born in Mantua (Italy) in 1977.

Full Professor at the “Enzo Ferrari” Engineering Department - Università degli Studi di Modena e Reggio Emilia (University of Modena and Reggio Emilia - UNIMORE), in the Academic Discipline ING-IND/15 “Design Methods for Industrial Engineering” since 2018.

Past professional experience

He was Associate Professor (2015-2018) and University Researcher (2005-2015) for ING-IND/15 at the Department of Mechanical and Civil Engineering (“Enzo Ferrari” Engineering Department since 2012) of UNIMORE.

From 2002 to 2005 he was the holder of research grants in ING-IND/15 ("Design and Development of Integrated Innovative Methods for the Advanced Mechanics Sector (Industrial Robotics), aimed at Small and Medium Enterprises", 2005) and for the Academic Discipline ING-IND/16 "Manufacturing technology and Systems", developing an innovative entrepreneurship project (2004) and, before, a technology transfer project (2003) relating to Reverse Engineering and Rapid Prototyping (Additive Manufacturing) technologies .


He received his Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering in 2008, defending the thesis "Design Methodologies for Robotic Manufacturing (Robofacturing) for the design, integrated design and simulation of robotic systems", at UNIMORE. He graduated in Mechanical Engineering in 2002 at the same University with a thesis on the "Application of Reverse Engineering techniques to product development in the furniture sector". He graduated in 1996 from the “Belfiore” Scientific High School in Mantua.

Scientific research

Current scientific research on the following topics:

  • Mechanical Computer Aided Design for Automotive: integrated development of industrial products and processes, design by simulation of mechanical systems, knowledge based engineering.
  • Model Base Design: Geometrical Product Specification (GPS), Geometric Dimensioning and Tolerancing (GD&T), computer-aided tolerance and dimensional control, virtual prototyping.
  • Automation and industrial robotics: design by simulation of robotic lines and cells for manufacturing and assembly operations.

    He is the coordinator of the IDEA (Integrated Design and Engineering Application) research laboratory at DIEF, scientific coordinator of research units in European, national and regional competitive (peer-reviewed) projects.

    He is the author of international scientific publications in scientific journals and international conferences, for which he has also received various prizes and awards (

    He is qualified to the role of ASN Commissioner (National Scientific Qualification) for the Academic Recruitment Field 09/A3 - INDUSTRIAL DESIGN, MECHANICAL CONSTRUCTION AND METALLURGY.

    He is expert registered to REPRISE - Register of Expert Peer Reviewers for Italian Scientific Evaluation for the sections “Basic Research” and “Dissemination of the scientific culture”.

    It carries out international activities, also participating in the Editorial Board of the scientific journals "IJIDeM International Journal on Interactive Design and Manufacturing (Springer)" and "Human-Intelligent Systems Integration (Springer)".

    He contributes as a reviewer to numerous international scientific journals and to the organization of international conferences of scientific interest.

    He periodically participates, also as a speaker, in international conferences of scientific interest.

    Participates in the training and supervision activities of the Research Doctorate in "Industrial and territorial engineering" Enzo Ferrari "" (previously Ph.D. in Advanced Mechanics and Vehicle Technical) of UNIMORE and of the Research Doctorate in "Automotive Engineering for Intelligent Mobility" of the University of Bologna.

    Over the years he has been supervisor of dozens of research grants and scholarships in the technical and scientific fields and supervisor of Ph.D. students.


    He teaches for the Master's Degree Course in Vehicle Engineering, for the Inter-University International Degree Course in Advanced Automotive Engineering, for the Inter-University International Degree Course in Electric Vehicle Engineering, as well as for the Bachelor Degree courses in Vehicle Engineering, Mechanical Engineering and Computer Engineering of UNIMORE.

    He taught for the II level University Master in “Vehicle Engineering” at UNIMORE.

    In the last five years he has been supervisor of over 150 degree and doctoral theses (source:

    Third mission

    He is co-founder of the university spin-off IDEATIVA (, which deals with the design, production of equipment for biomedical research laboratories, industrial robotics, automotive model base design.

    He holds industrial patents in the automotive and biomedical fields.

    He is the scientific director of dozens of research contracts, technical advising and Long Life Learning initiatives for SMEs and industries in the Automotive, Aerospace, Manufacturing, Automation and Industrial Robotics and Engineering Design Services sectors.

    He is registered with the Order of Engineers of the province of Modena, no. 2561, registered since October 2006. He has worked as CTU (Technical Consultant of the Office) appointed by the Court of Modena.

    Institutional positions

    He currently holds the roles of:

  • Member of the Scientific Council for the National Technology Cluster for Transport Italy 2020 (
  • Member of the Technical Committee 2.4 PIARC Italia (World Road Association) - 2020-2023 (
  • Expert for “Ministry of Education, University and Research” for the drawing of the guidelines for the 2020/2027 Research National Plan (PNR), sub-area Sustainable Mobility, April 2019 - July 2021.
  • Expert for the “National Institute for Public Policy Analysis (INAPP), for the drawing of the report “2020 - Anticipation of professional needs for the automotive manufacturing sector”, January 2020 - January 2021.
  • Member of the Board of the MUNER - Motorvehicle University of Emilia-Romagna Association ( ).
  • Chair of the International Inter-University Master’s Degree programme in “Advanced Automotive Engineering” at MUNER ( ).
  • Coordinator of the Inter-University Coordination Committee with the University of Bologna, University of Ferrara, University of Parma and representatives of the Motorvehicle University of Emilia-Romagna - MUNER Association.
  • Member of the Inter-University Doctoral Board in “Automotive for Smart Mobility” ( ).
  • Chair of the Value Chain working group “Efficient, sustainable, smart and safe Engines and Vehicles”, Emilia-Romagna Region Mechatronics and Motoristics Clust-ER of the High Technology Network - SMART SPECIALISATION STRATEGY S3 EMILIA-ROMAGNA - ( ), May 2017 - October 2020.
  • Evaluator of research and professional activities of the "Czech Academy of Science", for the years 2015-2019.

    At the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia he is:

  • Scientific coordinator of the strategic project of the University "Automotive Academy UNIMORE - International Automotive Academy UNIMORE for Advanced Technologies in High-performance Vehicles and Engines", funded starting from art. 11 of DM 8/6/2015 n. 335, “Criteria for the distribution of the Ordinary Financing Fund (FFO), recognized as an extraordinary intervention of strategic value in the context of the University's programming with connection to the areas of research, teaching and internationalization ( ).
  • Scientific coordinator of the multidisciplinary project of MASA - Modena Automotive Smart Area, in collaboration with the Municipality of Modena and with private companies and public bodies, with the support of the Ministry of Infrastructures and Transport and the Ministry for Technological Innovation and Digitalization, aimed at testing advanced technologies for vehicle connectivity and assisted and autonomous driving - MIT Decree 70/2018 "Smart Road Decree" - ( ).
  • Member of the DIEF Board with delegation for relations with the stakeholders.

He was a member of the working group for the study of the methods for allocating University resources coordinated by the Rector and member of the University Research Commission for the 2013-2019 sexennium.

Modena, lì 18/05/2021

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