Page 14 - Dallara Magazine

Doctor Di Gregorio when did the
cooperation between Dallara and the
university start and how has it been
The relationship between Dallara and the
academic world started a long time ago. I
joined the company in mid 2007 and that
link was already quite strong, thanks to the
direct support of Engineer Dallara himself
and some of the company managers, as well
as thanks to the collaboration of the
university teachers. Now we turn to the
university looking mainly for technicians. In
recent years we have grown a lot in the
areas which represent our three “knowledge
niches”: design, aerodynamics and vehicle
dynamics. Here are some figures: at the
beginning of 2007 the company, as a group,
had approximately 110 employees, today we
are 200 people, including the 13 colleagues
working at the Indianapolis branch in
United States. It’s been a considerable effort
both in terms of organization and economic
What kind of profiles have you been
With regard to planning, we’ve been
looking for recent university graduates in
mechanical engineering or space
engineering. As far as concerns
aerodynamics, a specific degree in
aerodynamic is required and, depending on
the field, like the wind tunnel or the CFD
numeric aerodynamic, simulated at the
computer) we also consider the kind of thesis
prepared by the students. As for the vehicle
dynamics field, it’s important to have a
specific degree with an emphasis on ground
vehicles or motor vehicles. Now that the
simulator has been introduced, we have also
been looking for computer science
As in your case, one can also enter Dallara
also with a degree in philosophy…
Well in my specific case yes, but I consider
myself very lucky… There are 180 employees
in the head office and 80 of them are
university graduates: over seventy graduated
in engineering, six in economics, one in
languages and one in philosophy. Therefore I
wouldn’t suggest anyone who wants to work
with Dallarao follow a similar path».
Why do you look specifically for recent
university graduates?
We believe that we can offer, in the three
fields I mentioned before, a sort of “internal
school” that can provide technical training
and help develop young people’s
potentials, as well as allow the company to
grow with them. The recent graduates may
lack experience, but often they do not
have mental superstructures, that people
with more experience may have instead. This
is confirmed by the example Engineer
Pontremoli often mentions, regarding the
new driving simulator created between 2009
and 2010. When the dedicated working
group was created, everyone was saying
that it was impossible to build a “machiner”
like the one we wanted, with the possibility
to test, through mathematical models,
vehicles that haven’t been built yet.
So it was decided to employ fifteen recent
graduates not knowing that it was
something impossible to do, and they have
done it! A second reason is that we operate
in motorsport and we have to make profits,
either by building racing cars or through our
consultant activity for prestigious clients. In
comparison with a Formula 1 Team, for
instance, we have a similar object, that’s to
say the racing car, but we have to get a
revenue out of it: we do not get paid by
sponsors nor do we have external financial
backing. This means that who is working
with Dallara has to be always focused on the
objective to reach in terms of performance,
that’s to say efficacy, without forgetting the
costs’ aspects, that is efficiency. It’s necessary
to have a high cleverness to balance costs
and benefits. Developing this kind of
sensibility in people who never worked in the
motorsport field, where (several times)
performance is sought regardless of other
variables, give better results.
A last consideration, but not less important,
is that we aim at “people”. As far as concern
selection and development, we try to apply
the principle “hire for attitude and train for
skills”. A skilled professional, in a technical
way, may not have the “Dallara’s style” and
be characterized by values different from
ours, this may lead to critical behaviors and
situations, difficult to change. Instead if we
aim at the “right resource” as far as concern
the soft aspects (attitude and relational
competence), even if the person doesn’t have
a high experience, we can “make a
professional out of a man”».
Can you give us some employment figures?
Five years ago there were 23-24 persons in
the planning department, now there are 50.
In the R&D/vehicle dynamic department
there were 4-5 persons, now they are 20. The
aerodynamic department had 20 employees,
now there are 40 to 50 persons depending on
the load of work. This gives an idea of the
selection and employment of these past few
years, most of them are recent graduated
Where do the new employees come from?
They come from all over Italy. There were
still some regions missing like Val d’Aosta,
Basilicata and Molise, now we employed a
young man from Campobasso, who studied
in Turin, so Italy is almost all covered! There
are young people coming from abroad too.
As far as concern planning, our historical
reference universities are Turin, Milan and
Parma. For aerodynamics, Milan, Pisa, Turin
and the Bologna University branch in Forlì.
For vehicle dynamics, mainly Pisa, while
in Milan and Modena-Reggio Emilia there
are graduates in vehicle dynamics/motor
vehicles. I have to add that Brescia and
Padua universities are becoming more and
more a reference point for our requirements.
In the past 4-5 years we started agreements
with approximately fifteen Italian