Person: Puppini, Umberto
Umberto Puppini was an Italian mathematical physicist who worked in hydraulics and became a member of the fascist govermant in the 1920s and 1930s.
Mathematical Profile (Excerpt):
- After graduating from high school, Puppini spent two years, 1903-05, attending preparatory courses in the Faculty of Mathematical Sciences of the University of Bologna then, in 1905, he entered the Royal Application School for Engineers in Bologna.
- Puppini graduated from the Royal Application School for Engineers in July 1908 with distinction.
- Luigi Donati had been very impressed with his student so, after Puppini graduated, Donati appointed him as an assistant of technical physics and electrical engineering at the Institute of the University of Bologna.
- After four years at the Institute, Puppini was appointed in 1912 as an assistant in hydraulics working for Giovanni Cicali (1875-1952).
- Puppini became a docent in hydraulics in 1912 and, starting in the following year, he was in charge of hydraulics teaching.
- In 1913 Puppini published Sui fondamenti scientici dell'Idraulica Ⓣ(On the scientific foundations of hydraulics) where a reciprocity theorem for water flow in permeable rock is formulated, formally analogous to results in other areas of physics.
- The report to the Academy putting forward the case for Puppini being awarded the prize was written by Joseph Valentin Boussinesq.
- Puppini served as an artillery lieutenant.
- Puppini served for ten months in 1916-17 involved in the construction of fighting tunnels which, as well as providing cover, led to better logistics support.
- After the war ended, Puppini returned to the University of Bologna where, in 1920, he became an extraordinary professor of hydraulic engineering, being made a full professor in 1924.
- As mayor, Puppini was able to allocate funds for projects which were close to his heart.
- We will return to Puppini's work supporting the University of Bologna as mayor but Puppini was still actively working on fluid dynamics.
- Puppini attended the Congress, giving his affiliation as R Scuola di Ingegneria di Bologna, and representing the Associazione Elettrotecnica Italiana.
- Returning to Puppini's time as mayor of Bologna, he wanted to support the University by awarding them a special 25 year grant.
- Mussolini was in Bologna and, of course, was being looked after by Mayor Puppini.
- Mussolini inaugurated the new sports stadium in the city, gave a speech to the Italian Society for the Progress of Science, and then after addressing a medical conference was driving down via Rizzoli in an Alfa Romeo with Puppini when a gunshot rang out.
- The bullet missed Mussolini and passed through Puppini's top hat which he was holding on his knees.
- The office of mayor was abolished and, on 26 December 1926, Puppini ceased to be mayor of Bologna; Leandro Arpinati assumed the office of podestà at this time.
- Puppini returned to teaching hydraulics at the Application School for Engineers and, in November 1927, he was appointed as director of the School for Engineers when Attilio Muggia ended his time in that role.
- Puppini continued as director until 1932 and during that time he played an important role in getting the agreement for the renovation of the University of Bologna, which he had worked on as Mayor, put into law which happened on 11 April 1930.
- Puppini, who gave his affiliation as Director of the Royal School of Engineering of Bologna, was an organiser and a plenary speaker at the Congress giving the lecture Le bonifiche in Italia Ⓣ(Renovation in Italy).
- Puppini was a member of the Ordinary Committee and a member of the Executive Commission.
- At the Congress, Puppini led the trip to Ferrara on Friday 7 September.
- Professor U Puppini replied on behalf of the members of the Congress.
- In 1934, on the occasion of the elections for the 29th legislature, Puppini was again nominated by the Academy and elected to the Chamber of Deputies.
- On 25 January 1935 he received a letter from Mussolini saying that he wished to end Puppini's role as Minister of Communications and asked him to take on the role as President of the General Italian Oil Company (Agip).
- Puppini said later that his time as President of Agip had been one with many difficulties which had repercussions on his health.
- One of the tasks that Puppini had to deal with as president of Agip was taking a majority interest in the Mosul Oil Fields company which undertook research for oil fields in Iraq.
- In 1937 Puppini returned to his academic career by becoming dean of the Faculty of Engineering of the University of Bologna.
- Appointed as a hydraulics expert, Puppini judged the seaplane project "absurd from a technical point of view and full of unknowns." ...
- The understand the full significance of the quote from Giulio Supino's obituary of Puppini, we note that Supino, one of Puppini's students and then a colleague, was a Jew who had lost his academic position under the Fascist racial laws.
Born 16 August 1884, Bologna, Italy. Died 21 May 1946, Bologna, Italy.
View full biography at MacTutor
Tags relevant for this person:
Adapted from other CC BY-SA 4.0 Sources:
- O’Connor, John J; Robertson, Edmund F: MacTutor History of Mathematics Archive