“Everything should be made as simple as possible, but no simpler.”
I have always had a passion for flying. When I was 16 I started paragliding, and when I was 20 I got my license to fly ultralight aircrafts.
At university I was finally able to understand why an aircraft is able to fly: I acquired a 360° transversal vision, touching different disciplines and seeing how different systems interact and integrate with each other. The topic I was most passionate about was turbomachinery applied to propulsion systems, and I did my thesis on helicopter rotors. Then a professor made me discover the world of optimization algorithms and artificial intelligence applied to complex systems: I immediately understood that this was my path.
From the PhD to the work in the lab: I had carte blanche both to design and to build and test thrusters. There I discovered that I also like to use my hands to create.
Making the decision to open a business is a push you feel inside. One day you wake up and something clicks. What you have is no longer enough, you want to leave your mark: the natural consequence was the opening of Nablawave.
We sat down at a table, and it was as if we were synchronized in the desire to take the plunge: “it’s now or never“. We had an overwhelming desire to do something of our own. Plus, we trusted each other so much that we weren’t worried about quitting our jobs, finishing our current projects, and waiting for each other to leave together. We were lucky enough to meet wonderful people along the way who believed in us and set us on the right path. We understood that we had to guarantee all of us, and in particular our future employees, a happy island where they could come and work every morning, with the aim of providing a combination of skills and pragmatism that are hard to find out there. It’s not always easy to interpret the needs of the market, but it’s much harder to figure out how to create an environment where everyone is happy to be.
What have I learned? People make the difference.
I love coffee breaks, no kidding! They are moments when the most disparate ideas come to light and can be shared with others. It is in these moments of exchange that the most interesting solutions are born.
The driving energy in everything I do is curiosity. For things, people, situations. 360 degrees.
“Two things fill the mind with ever new and increasing admiration and awe, the more often and steadily we reflect upon them: the starry heavens above me and the moral law within me”
As a child, my first encounter with science was love at first sight. I think the most important event for my education was the first time I saw “Back to the Future” by Robert Zemeckis. I was fascinated by the possibility of time travel, but most of all I had a tremendous desire to build abstruse machines that could accomplish the impossible. I was in doubt for a long time about what to choose at university: the study of physics fascinated me a lot, but for me it wasn’t enough. Discovering new natural laws is beautiful, but the application of these laws in the practical realization of useful tools for man is even more fascinating. I am happy to see that what is thought, designed, built and tested, respects what mother nature imposes on you and, at the end of the day, it works!
So I chose aerospace engineering. After finishing my studies, I was lucky enough to take an active part in this creative process, and that was during the 3 years I spent with the aerospace propulsion group of the start-up T4i. Here, together with a team of fantastic people, I helped to design, build and test a rocket engine of one ton of thrust, all in perfect Italian style – the typical lack of funds was compensated by clever solutions. We managed to make most of the engine with basic components already on the market, even “bought at Brico”. The hypnotic beauty of the supersonic flame and its shock waves abundantly compensated for all our work and efforts.
I met my partners during my PhD: a beautiful friendship was born based on mutual esteem and respect. At a certain point I felt that working as an employee was not giving me what I was looking for. Together we realized that we could give more and that we were capable of making important decisions not only at a technical level, but also at a strategic level: so we took the risk of embarking on this adventure.
We are bound by the passion for bringing ambitious projects to a successful conclusion and a great mutual trust. We are convinced that there’s no need to escape abroad to obtain the right professional gratifications: we intend to work on large national and international projects while maintaining strong roots in our country. The aim in the future is to attract talented young people and to allow people with high skills to stay here, linked to our land. It will be difficult, but we have a particular predilection for difficult problems to solve.
I enjoy solving complex and seemingly insurmountable problems. This gratifies me both intellectually and emotionally, because it also creates a relationship of trust with clients. And well, here at Nablawave we never get bored, we follow very different projects and every day is a new challenge.
I like trying new roads that have never been traveled before. The same happens during my trips, and Giulia, my girlfriend, often curses me for this. Basically, if someone says something is impossible, I feel like accomplishing it. I have great willpower, I like to use my head and then act accordingly. If thought is not followed by concrete action, it becomes a sterile exercise.
I believe in respect, in recognizing merit and in valuing people: the team is worth more than the sum of its parts. In my life, I’ve often learned more from those who get their hands dirty than from professors. I believe in trusting people: the few disappointments are abundantly repaid by those who want to show you that they have made the right choice.
“It always seems impossible until it’s done.”
I have always been drawn to science and technology. I chose engineering because I like to find out how things are made, I like to “put my hands in” and I am basically… an inventor. I spend hours thinking of solutions and innovations for a wide variety of everyday problems. I have many ideas in my drawer just waiting to be developed, others I have already realized: in fact, I filed for three patents in the industrial field.
During my PhD experience I fully understood the great benefits that can derive from a proper use of cross-sectoral technology transfer: I applied my aeronautical knowledge in the development of fast marine propulsion, obtaining superior performance certified by tank tests at the University of Southampton. Later I got involved in the working world: I became Project Manager in a company of professional ovens for the catering industry. After completing the development of the company’s new flagship range, the drive to innovate was much reduced… the career possibilities were there, but by then I had realized that that kind of life was a bit of a squeeze.
The idea of doing something of my own has always been in my blood but, at the beginning, it was probably lacking in courage: I thought it would be difficult to make it alone in the world out there. Then one day, without much warning, we decided to cut our losses and give it a try: we had all arrived together almost by chance to realize that it was the right time to take the plunge. Waiting any longer would have made us miss that train.
There was a great synergy right from the start. Of course, a new business is always a mystery, but the outlook and feedback from the local area were good. The Covid pandemic has tested everyone a bit, but I have to say that we’ve held up very well so far.
When I develop something new and have tangible proof that it works, I feel a thrill of fulfillment. It’s a strange but unparalleled feeling.
I like to stay up to date on the latest in science and technology. I like to imagine and wander with my mind.
My dream is to live near the sea, I have a special bond with water. For years I practiced kayaking at Olympic level, but the competitive commitment was difficult to reconcile with my studies, so I continued as an amateur and I faced the sea… at an engineering level. I believe I am honest and fair, and independence is one of my founding values.
Andrea Dal Monte
“Nothing grows from diamonds, from manure flowers are born”
F. De André
I have always had a passion for mathematics and physics, so I decided to enroll in engineering after the scientific high school. I chose mechanical engineering because in my opinion is the most complete, but also multidisciplinary. In fact, I presented a thesis on composite materials and aerodynamics.
I continued with a PhD and in parallel with some university collaborations. For several years I have been teaching and training: being in contact with students is very stimulating.
I specialized in automation, especially of business procedures, in various fields. Automating means saving time and money. Thanks to artificial intelligence algorithms, I can improve and optimize the various steps from CAD to numerical analysis in a single environment. Or I can realize ideas from scratch by programming ad hoc software.
I met the founders during my PhD. At the end, each of us took different paths, but then we found each other again, united by the desire to do something of our own. Having my own project, building something from scratch, has always tickled me. Right from the start we realized the potential of our complementary skills, which allowed us to cover several areas at 360°, with a perfect fit.
Of course, at the beginning it was a leap into the unknown, but very soon we received positive feedback: clients called us right away by word of mouth or informal contacts, what a satisfaction!
We were willing to make the sacrifices that are made at the beginning of a new business, and differences were settled thanks to a constructive approach that always led to choices shared by all. We always aim to improve: just as in our projects, we apply optimization criteria also in our internal management and gradually our organization is becoming more and more logical, modular and efficient.
The thing that excites me most is seeing the results of my hard work: when the ideas and concepts that I had to spend sleepless nights on finally take concrete form. And the satisfaction and esteem of the clients is what repays me most for the effort made.
I am stubborn and focused on the goal, paying attention to even the smallest detail. I like to be surrounded by people and collaborators with values similar to mine: transparency, honesty, consistency and keeping my word.
I love books, photography and TV series.