Foto del docente

Gianfranco Ulian

Junior assistant professor (fixed-term)

Department of Biological, Geological, and Environmental Sciences

Academic discipline: GEO/06 Mineralogy

Curriculum vitae

The activity of Dr. Gianfranco Ulian is focused on the theoretical investigation of the structure and crystal-chemical/minero-physic properties of both natural and synthetic minerals, ceramics and nano-crystalline materials. These materials show fundamental mechanical and surface properties that are interesting for specific applications. The research is carried out on both the bulk and surface properties by means of quantum-mechanical approaches at the atomic scale, in particular Density Functional Theory (DFT). Dr. Gianfranco Ulian studied, also abroad, several quantum mechanical methods for the characterization of solid phases and their interaction with molecules of biological interest (amino acids, nucleotides, etc.).


Education and training

  • Training and collaboration (Visiting Scientist) from 01 April 2012 to 31 August 2012 at the Departament de Quìmica Fisica, Universitat de Barcelona on the DFT simulations of phyllosilicates, in particular on the treatment of the dispersive forces.
  • PhD in Earth Sciences (2014), University of Bologna, Italy, grade “Excellent”. Thesis in Mineralogy: “Ab initio Quantum Mechanical Investigation of Structural and Chemical-Physical Properties of selected minerals for Minero-petrological, Structural Ceramic and Biomaterial Applications”.
  • Master Degree in Chemistry (2010), University of Torino, grade 109/110. Thesis: “DFT study of carbonation defects in hydroxylapatite”.
  • Bachelor’s Degree in Chemistry (2006), University of Torino, grade 110/110 cum laude. Thesis: “Employment of the Stokes-Einstein equation in a reactivity model for bimolecular processes in liquid phase”.


Academic career

From 2014 to 2018 he was a Temporary Research Fellow at the University of Bologna, Dept. Biological, Geological and Environmental Sciences (Geology section).


Teaching activities

  • Since 2019 he is Adjunct Professor of a module of the course “Mineral Science” for the degree course of “Raw Material Exploration and Sustainability”, University of Bologna, Italy.
  • Since 2016 he is Adjunct Professor of a module of the course “Mineralogy” for the degree course of “Conservation and Restoration of Cultural Heritage”, University of Bologna, Italy.


Scientific activity

Dr. Gianfranco Ulian participated in several national and international research projects, among which:

  • “New mineralogical-crystallographic method for the analysis of the stress tensor in hydroxylapatite at the nanometre scale: osteoporosis revised in knowledge, prevention and therapy” (University of Bologna project);
  • “Quantum Mechanics simulation of N-glycosidic bond formation catalyzed by minerals” (project code HPC08Y93G5), presented and coordinated by G. Ulian and awarded with computing time at the Barcelona Supercomputing Centre (BSC "Mare Nostrum")



2016 - Best presentation at the congress "BigeaDay - I ricercatori raccontano il BiGeA"


Editorial activity

2019 - today: Editorial Board member of the journal Minerals (ISSN 2075-163X).


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