• Remembering Gennaro De Michele

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A deep sense of emotion, sadness, regret and sorrow overcame me when I learned the news of the death of my dear friend and great teacher Gennaro, even if in the last period our lives have been partly separated: Enel business for me, management  of his new company for him, always active in developing new projects and launching new ideas.

This sad news has spread worldwide with an incredible rapidity, among friends, Research Centers, Universities, business partners, and the sentiment that brought together all those who have met him, known, loved or simply appreciated, was of incredulity and sadness.

I still remember when I met him for the first time: it was a hot June, 35 years ago; I had been just hired by Enel and we were discussing in which area I was supposed to work: he gave me the Hottel and Sarofim book “Radiative Heat Transfer” and said: “studia” (learn) … very effective and constructive. That was the start of my relationship with him, more than 30 years in which he has taught me and all the other researchers that were hired in that period how to face, understand, solve, communicate all the most complex problems that you can find in the process of generating electricity. During this period, he has been able to lift the ENEL Research Center of Pisa from obscurity, to gain an international recognition for the activities and the results we were developing under his direction, to develop advanced technologies in the field of combustion placed into the market by Italian manufacturers, to form new talented researchers, to open new research areas …. this list could be really long!

In those years IFRF has always been a reference point for us, a source of strategic know how, a place where we went to learn new things, where we found new friends facing the  same problems, and this explains why, when the Foundation decided to move from IJmuiden, Gennaro did his best to bring it to Pisa, in our experimental area.    

But I don’t want to list all the excellent things he has been able to make and develop in his life: I believe that his greater achievement has been forming a “school”, a group of researchers and a structure capable of facing in a rigorous way any difficult problem in the field of energy (and not only Energy). His teaching will always be in us and I will always be indebted to him for all the things I’ve learned working with him, that I will always carry with me, and for the time spent outside the work enjoying  his conversations, his passion and also his excellent Neapolitan cuisine.

Sauro Pasini