Prof. Amalia Ercoli Finzi
Recipient of Frank J. Malina Astronautics Medal 2012
Prof. Amalia Finzi was born to be a teacher, and a teacher she has been her entire life.
She has been giving courses in the dynamics of spaceflight and orbital mechanics at the Aerospace Department of the Politecnico di Milano for almost fifty years. Several hundred students have benefited from her exceptional ability to capture their attention and for her valuable advice, not solely on engineering matters but on personal problems.
Finzi’s scientific publications exceed one hundred and fifty, as do the graduation thesis she has supervised. She has held leading positions in several ASI and ESA boards and committees, including the Mars Exploration Task Force (NASA-ASI), the Human Spaceflight Vision Group (ESA) and the Exploration Advisory Committee (ESA). She has also participated in a large number of international meetings dealing with space exploration, providing valuable input.
Finzi has been Director of the Aerospace Department of the Politecnico of Milano, member of the Scientific Committee of the Italian Space Agency, President of AIDDA (the Italian Association of Aeronautics and Astronautics), and President of the Association of Engineers of the Provincia di Milano. She is also member of the International Academy of Astronautics (IAA), the American Astronautical Society (AAS) and the British Interplanetary Society (BIS).
She has been involved in several past missions of ASI and of ESA. Recently she became the Principal Investigator of the SD2 instrument of the Rosetta spacecraft designed to perforate the Martian soil and collect samples.
The many conferences she spoke at have always received a very enthusiastic audience response thanks to her clear and easy way of explaining complex problems.