Winston Churchill said that the pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity, the optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty. Giacomo Goli, professor of Principles of wood and wood-based materials processing at the University of Florence, looks ahead into 2021, when the first student will graduate in the wood subject, and makes preparations for 2023, when Florence will host the 26th edition of IWMS, International Wood Machining Seminar.
“This will be the first time not only for Florence, but for Italy. We are hosting the event for the first time and it will be a great opportunity.”
The first Italian edition will leverage the desire to interconnect all the different “souls” of the industry.
“Our ambitious goal is to match research and manufacturing. That’s why we would like to see massive participation by Italian companies in 2023, to build a bridge and show that this industry is an endless flow from design to processing. We would like to involve as many players as possible.”
“In these years, some districts are gaining importance, and Florence is one of them. We have constant interactions with the bioeconomy institute of the Italian Research Council (CNR), our university closely collaborates with them, and next year we are completing the first three-year graduation course in wood technology. The seminar and this course prove that Italy is making progress and that Florence is becoming a more and more important district.”
The first round of students will graduate after facing the unexpected challenge of remote lessons due to Covid-19.
“We cannot really say that we were ready for such an emergency, but actually the University of Florence had already implemented effective tools to face this chaos. The online platform we normally used to upload materials, such as booklets or exercise books, has turned out to be very effective and enabled us to keep delivering classes with no big issues. It’s not the same, of course, but you also have benefits: students can “rewind the tape” and set their own pace.”
What kind of professional figure is a graduate from your department?
“Our graduates will be able to speak an advanced language, they will have all-round education ranging from technical knowledge, including all different types of machinery, to theory, such as chemistry and mathematics. They will be able to interact with all industry players, from cabinet makers to engineers. We are raising flexible and versatile figures for the woodworking industry.”
Synergy, cooperation and building bridges. “Matching business and research is the best we can do and that’s our daily mission. We have been doing that in these years, we will keep doing so in the coming years. Until the seminar in 2023, and beyond”.