University of Catania
Follow us

Rector Francesco Priolo

Rector’s welcomeFrancesco Priolo

Dear Students,

It is with great pleasure that I welcome all of you to our university. Thank you very much for choosing UNICT, I do hope you will have a pleasant time with us in Catania. Some of the activities that can be done have been designed for your complete enjoyment whereas some others aim to promote and achieve a higher degree of cross-cultural experience and educational growth if you include our language.

You might want to look at our website to learn about our extensive programmes of cultural activities. Your integration into the general academic life at UNICT is key to us, but before you leave your own country, please make sure you have a thorough understanding of where your heart and your work are going to be. Some of the information provided will direct you to the people in charge of your arrival. Do not hesitate to express to them whatever need you may have, whatever requirement of yours for sports facilities, accommodation and public transport. All lines of inquiry are open to you about our social life, your well-being and the stunning natural environment with which we are blessed and surrounded by in Catania.

Based at the heart of the Mediterranean, our university is a strong, public institution with an ever-growing international profile in terms of cooperation, mutuality, exchange, equality and most certainly in terms of cultural dedication and promotion.

As to the outbreak of covid-19, please be always aware of the current situation that is still affecting hundreds of countries and territories around the world and whichever place you may need to travel to. Read through the guidelines from start to finish and let us know if you have any doubt or require any further information.

Best wishes to all of you.


Francesco Priolo, the Head of Physics & Astronomy Department "Ettore Majorana" of the University of Catania where he teaches Physics of Matter, is the newly elected Rector at the University of Catania for a six-year term starting from 2019 to 2025. 

From 2013 up until 2018, he was appointed to the role of President for the School of Excellence within the University (the so-called Scuola Superiore di Catania) alongside the Sicilian District for Micro- and Nanotechnology, with an official Fellowship at the European Academy of Sciences (EURASC). 

From 2009 to 2011, Francesco Priolo was the then President of the European Materials Research Society (E-MRS), in addition to being the actual founder of the Research Community Center MATIS (for Materials, Technologies, Information, Communication and Solar Energy), which then merged into CNR, an independent research body stemming from the IMM Institute.

On August 23, 2019 Francesco Priolo was elected as the new Rector of the University of Catania for the academic term 2019/2025.

Scientific and professional profile

His primary research interests include nanotechnologies for electronics, photonics, photovoltaics and sensing. Francesco Priolo is the author of 1 book, of over 400 papers and reviews on international journals, and the editor of 10 books. He is also the patent holder of 3 research studies and is frequently invited as a speaker at international conferences.

Other Assignments

  • Member of the European Research Council Panel for ERC Advanced Grant - 2016 & 2018
  • Member of the Materials Science & Engineering Expert Committee (MatSEEC) of the European Science Foundation ( ) – 2010-2014
  • Expert of the European Commission for the MicroElectronic Advanced Research Initiative (MEL-ARI) within Esprit and IST (1998-2000)
  • Editor of the international journal Applied Physics A: Materials Science and Processing (Springer-Nature) from 2001 to 2016.
  • Member of the Editorial Board of the journal Applied Physics Reviews, (American Institute of Physics) – since 2011
  • Member of the Editorial Board of the journal npj 2D Materials and Applications  (Nature Publishing Group)– since 2017
  • Member of the Editorial Board of the journal Nanomaterials (MDPI, Basel) – since 2018
  • Member of the Editorial Board of the journal Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research B, Elsevier (2001-2006)
  • Member of the “ISOLDE and Neutron Time-of-Flight Experiments Committee” (INTC) at CERN (2003-2006).
  • Member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the Institute of Ion Beam and Materials Research ( within the  Forschungszentrum Dresden(Germany) (2007-2010).
  • Member of the  Scientific Council of the European Laboratory for Non-Linear Spectroscopy (LENS – in Florence
  • Member of the Scientific Council of the Laboratory NEXT in Toulouse, France (Nano, mesures EXtrêmes & Théorie) comprehending 6 Istitutes of CNRS (CEMES, LCAR, LPCNO, LCPQ, LPT, LNCMI-T) – since 2011
  • Member  of the Group of Evaluation Experts (GEV) in Physics established by ANVUR to evaluate research performace in Italy (VQR) – 2012
  • Coordinator of the PhD course in Materials Science at the University of Catania (2000-2005).
  • President of the Research Committee of the University  (University of Catania, 2009-2012) .
  • Rector Delegate for International Relationships (University of Catania, 2009-2012)
  • Member of the  Academic Senate  (University of Catania, 2010-2012)


  • Graduate Student Award of the Materials Research Society (1988 -Boston)
  • Campisano Prize of the National Institute for Matter Physics (INFM) - (2001 – Rome)
  • Cavaliere della Repubblica for scientific merits (given by the President of the Republic Carlo Azeglio Ciampi on  June 2nd 2001).
Last updated: 
11/11/2020 - 11:42