The Microwave Application Group (MAG) at Modena University
The idea of applying microwave heating to inorganic materials was initially developed in Modena by the group of Applied Chemistry in 1995. At that time the group was guided by Prof. Gian Carlo Pellacani (Faculty of Engineering), who strongly supported this research both at local and national level. This was the beginning of a first nation-wide research program funded by CNR (National Research Center) and co-ordinated by Prof. Pellacani himself and his staff in Modena. "Industrial application of the microwave technology" - this was the program title- seemed to open new and interesting perspectives on materials processing, involving many different fields. The activity of the Modena research group mainly focused on providing high temperature treatment of ceramics and oxides to be employed in structural applications and glazing.
The base research has been accompanied by a plethora of short-time research programs focused on finding new and potential microwave industrial applications. Many industrial partners joined the group activities and proposed new research fields. Thanks to these new inputs, the Microwave Application Group interest evolved towards the design of specific microwave systems and the optimisation of manufacturing cycles.
(An extended version of this description was published on the AMPERE NEWSLETTER n°27,, Dec 2000)
After the retirement of Prof. Pellacani, the group leadership of the group passed to Prof Cristina Leonelli, who inspired also the foundation of the GIMAMP (Italian Group of Microwaves Applied to Materials and Processes), whose activities led to the publication of an Italian textbook on "Il riscaldamento a microonde. Principi ed applicazioni", Pitagora editrice. Prof Leonelli intensified the group activities focusing on microwave assisted synthesis and investigating possible specific effects related to EM field or temperature fields on reactions selectivity and yields. Since 2009 she has been elected President of AMPERE, and the leadership of the group passed to Prof Eng Paolo Veronesi, who extended the group activities towards modeling of electromagnetic processing of materials, equipment design and a specific research line on microwave-assisted metallurgy (MAM), coupling powder metallurgy with electroheat techniques to synthesize nanoparticles, intermetallics, coatings and high entropy alloys. During the years many visiting researchers joined the group, enlarging its networking capabilities and bringing new expertise in solid state generators, hybrid heating, waste treatment.