It's been a day of learning. We traveled to the Politechnico Milan and got a lecture from Professor Ballarini on beam theory. We all learned a lesson, as he emphasized the importance of mastering the derivation, to use as a universal tool for solving any problem. Next we got a tour of the structures lab at the University and looked at composite glass beams. They were also developing a biaxial tension machine to test the strength fabric panels. The campus was refreshing as it provided a serene escape from the hustle and bustle of the city, as there was a lot of green space and exquisite structures. For lunch we went to the Cafeteria and sat amongst the Italian engineering students. I finally almost felt like I was one of the crowd, as I ordered an espresso (or three) and a croissant!
Next we toured the Porta Nuova building site and model. We had fun playing "construction worker", wearing helmits and steel-toed boots and getting a tour from the brawny Milanese construction workers. The building we toured was one in a new urban development called Porta Nuova that is going to redefine and revive the city of Milan. We got a personal tour of the tallest building in Italy (tower A), and were lucky to ask questions about up and coming construction techniques like solar panels and spire installation by helicopter!
Tomorrow, we will be visiting the Santa Maria del Grazie, where the famous painting, The Last Supper, is located.