The RELAB group is composed of an international and multidisciplinary team of professors, researchers, technicians, PhD students and research fellows. More than 30 graduate specialists from various thematic areas work in the following fields: energy, environment, building construction and applied sciences

The group is made up of:

Mario Motta –

Mario Motta, is Associate Professor at the Energy Department of the Politecnico di Milano; he is (has been) a teacher of HVAC systems for low energy buildings and engineering of solar thermal processes.

He graduated in mechanical engineering from the Politecnico di Milano, he holds a master’s degree (MSc) in “Energy Systems and the Environment” from the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow (United Kingdom) in 1996; a doctorate in Technical Physics from the University of Genoa in 2002; a post-doc position, through a “Marie Curie individual fellowshiop” at the Fraunhofer “Institute for Solar Energy systems” in Freiburg (Germany) between 2002 and 2004. His main research interests are: building physics, HVAC systems for low energy buildings, air-assisted air conditioning and refrigeration systems, solar thermal technologies, thermally activated refrigeration technologies, evaluation of the performance of air conditioning systems in real operating conditions , tele-heating and -cooling. Mario Motta was coordinator of the “solar refrigeration” working group of the European solar thermal technology platform (ESTTP); 2001-2004 he was involved in the activities of Task 25 and 38 on “solar air-conditioning and refrigeration” part of the “Solar Heating and Cooling Program” of the international energy agency (IEA-SHC). Mario Motta was a member of the CNES (National Commission for Solar Energy) created in August 2006 by the Italian Ministry of the Environment and Protection of the Territory and Sea, as a consultancy body for regulatory activities. He has been a member of the board and council of the Italian Association for Urban Heating (AIRU). He shared the coordination of the working table on the Decarbonisation of the Italian economy at the Prime Minister’s Office from October 2015 to December 2016, he was part of the working group that oversaw the drafting of the national energy and climate plan (PNIEC) and long term strategy (LTS). He is a member of scientific or steering committees of research institutes or consortia: Poliedra Consortium since 2015, i-STUTE Advisory Board: interdisciplinary center for Storage, Transformation and Upgrading of Thermal Energy (from July 2013 to today). He was a member of the Italian Thermotechnical Committee (CTI) for the 2016-2018 three-year period, as a representative of the Ministry of the Environment for the protection of the territory and the sea. At the Polytechnic of Milan he coordinates the activities of the Energy Commission, an advisory body of the Directorate-General for Energy, which he has been part of since its establishment in 2012. He has been and is a member of the Department of Energy Committee. Mario coordinates a research group of around 30 people, with a stable funding rate of around € 1 million in the last five years. He is partner and coordinator of several national/international projects concluded and underway since 2004. He is co-author of over 60 articles and book chapters.


Marcello Aprile –

Researcher and Adjunct Professor at the Politecnico di Milano Department of Energy, he holds a Master degree in Mechanical Engineering, a Master of Science degree in Solar Engineering and PhD on Energy Engineering achieved at Politecnico di Milano in 2010. His main research interests are: building physics, HVAC systems for low energy houses, solar assisted air-conditioning and refrigeration, solar thermal technologies, thermally driven heat pumps, performance assessment of heating and cooling systems, district heating and cooling. Co-author of about 50 scientific papers. Since 2006, he has been involved in several EU funded and national projects focusing on the integration of energy efficient heating and cooling systems combined by renewable energy sources (PV, solar thermal) in buildings and district heating and cooling networks.


Alberto Mauro –

Graduated in Environmental Engineering at the Politecnico di Milano, he currently works at the Politecnico, Department of Energy where he is responsible of the Relab laboratory for certification, development and testing of heat pumps, chillers and air conditioners.  At the Politecnico he was involved in applied research in the field of solar thermal technology for heating, cooling and refrigeration, hub generation and energy efficiency projects in particular, following the purchase of materials, the management of the works and the start-up of the plants. Previously he worked for 7 years at an engineering company in the field of oil and gas responsible for the environment division.


Alice Denarie –

Alice Dénarié is a building engineer with a PhD in energy. Her research activity is mainly focused on the analysis of district heating and cooling networks (DH&C) and their integration with renewables, with a particular attention to solar thermal systems. During her PhD she has gained expertise in the dynamic simulation of these systems. She has worked on several national and international projects (UNEP, EU, national institutions and DH companies). She is also involved in dissemination and training activities at AIRU, the Italian District Heating Association.


Jacopo Famiglietti –

Civil Engineer from the University of Pisa. He works from almost 10 years in LCA and sustainability field applied to buildings and industrial sectors. He is an expert of LCA modeling and in the development of tools/software and datasets for calculating the environmental impact of products. He is the scientific coordinator of the LIFE TTGG project and project leader of international and national research projects. Author of scientific publications published in international journals and conferences proceedings.


Lorenzo Pistocchini –

Research fellow at the Department of Energy of Politecnico di Milano since 2008, after some years’ experience in the metalworking industry and international cooperation. He holds a Master degree in Mechanical Engineering (Polimi, 1999), a Master of Science degree in Renewable Energy Systems Technology (Loughborough University, 2007) and a PhD on Energy Engineering (Polimi, 2015). His research has been on thermally driven air conditioning and concentrated solar power, and is presently focused on the development of Gas Absorption Heat Pumps for domestic heating.

Rossano Scoccia

Building engineer and PhD in energy and nuclear science from Politecnico di Milano. He works from more than 10 years in the HVAC and RES sectors. He is an expert of dynamic energy simulations. He is work package leader of the Heat4Cool H2020 project and project leader of international and national research and innovation project. He was teaching assistant of many university courses dealing with building services and he is adjunct professor of Building Services Energy modelling course at Politecnico di Milano.



Tommaso Toppi –

Researcher and Adjunct Professor of Thermodynamics and Heat Transfer at the Department of Energy of Politecnico di Milano, he holds a Master degree in Energy Engineering, a Master of Science degree in Energy Efficiency, Decentralized and Renewable Energy Generation and a PhD in Energy Engineering achieved at Politecnico di Milano in 2011. His main research interest is renewable heating and cooling in buildings, with a focus on sorption technologies. He coordinates the research at the ReLAB laboratory and, since 2011, he has been involved in national and international projects focusing on the development and performances assessment of efficient and renewable heating and cooling systems.


Patrizia Melograno –

Management engineer with energy specialization and PhD in “Environmental and Energy Technology” at University of Studies of Bergamo. Presently she is the responsible for the accredited tests and for the quality management at RELAB, the accredited laboratory of Politecnico di Milano operating in HVAC sector. Thanks to the experience acquired through the years, she is an expert in the performance assessment of electrically and thermally driven heat pumps and HVAC systems according to the current reference standards, for which she is in the technical committees for their reviewing, and according to the main certification programs.  She is currently involved in international projects focusing on seasonal performances of the new generation heating and cooling systems, trough stationary and dynamic test procedures, and on the interaction between their performances in terms of internal comfort and produced noise.


Paolo Zancanella –

BA in European Studies, MA in International Relations from the University of Reading, UK. He worked 6 years as project manager in the Energy, Transport and Climate department at the European Commission Joint Research Centre in Ispra. He is an energy efficiency policy support expert. His research focuses on the impact and evaluation of policies and measures implemented by EU Member States (evaluation of SEAPs, NEEAPs. NECPs, LTRs). Since 2017 he has been working at the Politecnico di Milano as Project Manager on EU-funded projects: Heat4Cool (H2020), Merezzate + (EIT Climate-KIC) for which he is work package leader. He is the author and co-author of 11 European Commission JRC Science for Policy reports.


Samuele Belli

Environmental Engineer from the University of Florence. Since 2008 he carried out various work experiences in Milan, starting as consultant in certification of Pressure Equipment following PED, expert in integrated management System (Quality 9001, Environmental 14001, Safety 18001,  Energy 50001), LCA in the field of waste management. Since 2017 he works at Politecnico of Milan as laboratory technician in ReLab, following performance tests on heating, electrically powered and condition systems. He contributes to the maintenance and update of the laboratory management system and ISO 17025 accreditation.



Roberto Fumagalli –

Graduated in building engineering, he carried out his first job in the acoustics laboratory in 2006-2007 for a psychoacoustics project for household appliances. In 2008-2009 he works outside Politecnico for a service study, dealing with environmental acoustics, building acoustics, noise and vibration risk assessments, becoming a “technician competent in environmental acoustics”. From 2010 he takes care of the measurement activities at the acoustics laboratory of the Energy Department. From the end of 2017 he joined the ReLAB staff, taking care of the test activities as a test technician and responsible for the acoustic tests.


Andrea Storoni –

Research fellow at the Department of Energy of Politecnico di Milano, he holds a Bachelor of Science in Energy Engineering and a Master of Science in Energy Engineering.

He is presently working on the i-Gap project, developing Gas Absorption Heat Pumps for domestic heating.




Giorgio Villa –

Energy engineer and PhD student in Energy and Nuclear Science and Technology at Politecnico di Milano.

His collaboration with RELAB research group started with the Master of Science thesis about energy and economic evaluation of absorption heat pumps for residential applications. The topic of the PhD is the developing of a fuel driven heat pump for residential applications. He is teaching assistant of Thermodynamic and Heat transfer course.


Marica Fumagalli –

MSc graduate in Building Engineering from Politecnico di Milano. She is involved in several projects of monitoring of HVAC systems in real applications and development of informatics tools, to assess the performance on-field of the systems and detect faults which prevent them to work under optimal operating conditions.






Paola Colombo –

Building Engineer, she joined the RELab group in 2018 as research fellow and then as PhD candidate in Energy Science and Technology. She works on buildings and HVAC systems modelling and dynamic energy simulations, in the context of national and international research projects. She is teaching assistant of course “Building Services and Building Services Energy Modelling”, held by Prof. Motta and Prof. Scoccia at Politecnico di Milano.




Giulia Filippini –

Graduated in Building Engineering in April 2018, Giulia Filippini is research fellow at the Department of Energy of Politecnico di Milano. She started working with the research group RELAB thanks to her thesis on the European project “Heat4Cool”, regarding HVAC refurbishment. She is now working on projects which request knowledge on building energy modelling, in particular the use of software for dynamic simulations. In January 2020 she obtained the admission to practice the Engineering profession.


Ettore Zanetti –

Energy engineer and PhD student in energy and nuclear sciences at Politecnico di Milano. He is working on several projects involving HVAC systems modelling and control optimization. The topic of the PhD is Model Predictive Control for building management systems. He is teaching assistant of the master in Energy engineering class “Solar Thermal Processes”.




Fabrizio Fattori –

Graduated in Environmental Engineering, he holds a Ph.D. in Energy System Modeling achieved at the University of Pavia. As Post Doc in the same institute, the main focus of his research was on including short-term dynamics into long-term models in order to study scenarios with high penetrations of electric vehicles and photovoltaic. He is the main author of MELiSsa, the Lombardy Region’s energy system model. In 2018 he joined the RELAB Group and he is mainly working on the simulation of future Italian energy system.


Pieter Ravaglia –

Bachelor Degree in Agricultural science, he holds a PhD in the agro-food system on LCA and product environmental footprint modelling achieved at the Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore. He worked for 5 years as policy support officer in the field of environmental sustainability and Life Cycle Assessment at the Department of sustainable development of the Italian Ministry for the Environment, Land and Sea. Since 2017 he works at the Politecnico di Milano as technical coordinator of the LIFE TTGG project.



Giulia Spirito –

Energy engineer, Giulia started collaborating with the RELab group in 2020 thanks to her MSc thesis about the assessment of district heating potential in Milan, with a focus on renewable energy integration and excess heat recovery.
She is now a research fellow and she is involved in several projects on the evaluation of technical and economic potential of low-temperature district heating, through the analysis and the geolocation of renewable and excess heat sources to be matched with heat demands and through the modeling of distribution networks. To this end she manages geo-referenced data through GIS software and Python, from the local level to the national scale.



 Samuel Macchi –

Graduated in Environmental and Geomatic engineering in 2019, he deals with the analysis of spatial data for the characterization of energy systems by means of GIS (Geographic Information System) software. In particular, Samuel is involved in the development of the simulation model of the national energy system, for which he details the market zones, and in studies assessing the development potential of district heating, for which he maps sources and demands of energy and simulates the topology of networks.



Rossella Alesci –

Research fellow at the Department of Energy of Politecnico di Milano, she has graduated in Building Engineering in 2020. She started to collaborate with the RELAB group thanks to her master thesis, related to the definition and validation of a thermal zone model in Modelica language. At the moment she works on the development and validation of building and plant systems models able to perform dynamic simulations, in Modelica language.



Letebrhan Alemayoh Siyum –

MSc. holder in Computer Engineering from the University of Pavia in July 2019. She is working as a computer Scientist and web-developer at the Energy Department of Politecnico di Milano in the HVAC and renewable energy systems sectors. She is currently developing a web-application to visualize time series data collected from systems on the field.  She worked for 5 months as a research trainee in the Text and Data Mining department at the European Commission Joint Research Centre in Ispra.



 Francesco Mezzera –

Francesco graduated in Energy Engineering in 2020 at Politecnico di Milano. He started his collaboration with the ReLab Group with his master’s thesis work on the development of a model of the Italian energy system with a high detail level on the hydrogen supply chain, in order to evaluate its role in decarbonisation scenarios. Currently his research interests concern the study of new technologies for the production, storage, transportation and use of hydrogen and their application in the context of the simulation of future Italian energy system.



  Marianna Pozzi –

Marianna Pozzi graduated in 2020 in Energy Engineering at Politecnico di Milano. Her collaboration with RELAB group started with the master’s thesis work on the georeferenced estimation of heating demand and on the simulation of retrofit scenarios for the city of Milan starting from open data. Currently, she is working on the definition of the spatial distribution of civil thermal demand in projects focused on the decarbonisation of the sector, from the local level to the national scale.