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Professor Stefano Ruffo is the Director of SISSA


Stefano RUFFO is full professor of condensed matter physics at SISSA.

He has tutored 18 Master Thesis and 11 PhD Thesis in Italy and abroad. He has directed the research of 15 post-docs.

His research field is statistical physics and complex systems. In this area of research, he has given contributions to Hamiltonian dynamics, cellular automata, space-time chaos, long-range interactions, immune system and DNA modelling.

He has published over 160 papers on refereed journals which have received more than 4200 citations (h=34, ISI-WoS).

He has visited several institutions: Oxford University, CPT-CNRS Marseille, P. Sabatier University in Toulouse, Ecole Normale Superieure Lyon, University of California at Berkeley, Kyoto University.

He is Editor of Communications in Nonlinear Science and Numerical Simulations (Elsevier) and member of the Editorial Board of Physica A (Elsevier). He has been Weston Visiting Professor at the Weizmann Institute of Science (2009-2010) and Excellence Chair at the Physics Laboratory of the Ecole Normale Superieure in Lyon (2011-2013).

He has been the Chairman of the C3 Commission (Statistical Physics) of the International Union of Pure and Applied Physics (IUPAP) and Vice-President of the IUPAP for the triennium 2012-2014.


The Director represents the School for all legal intents and purposes and carries out all didactic, scientific, administrative and disciplinary assignments conferred by this Statute and by the General Regulation for Administration, Finance and Accountancy. The Director exerts functions regarding direction, initiative, promotion and coordination of the scientific and didactic activities of the School and is responsible for the accomplishment of the School's goals. He is required to submit yearly to the School Council a final report on the activity of the Areas, on the School management, on the choices made and on the degree of completion of the multi-year development plans.

It is the Director's duty to:

  • Summon and preside over the School Council, the Academic Senate and the Board of Directors;
  • Guarantee the didactic and research autonomy of the teachers;
  • Issue the Statute and the regulations;
  • Monitor the functioning of the School's structures and services;
  • Carry out the disciplinary proceedings regarding teachers and students and impose relevant disciplinary measures limited to censorship;
  • Confer the titles issued by the School;
  • Submit to the Board of Directors the annual and triennial estimated budget, the final balance and the triennial plan document;
  • Propose the Secretary General to the Board of Directors;
  • Appoint the members of the Board of Directors;
  • Appoint the members of the International Scientific Advisory Committee;
  • Appoint the members of the Evaluation Unit;
  • Appoint one member of the Discipline Board;
  • Draw up contracts and agreements on behalf of the School;
  • Submit to the relevant Minister the periodical reports as requested by the law;
  • Adopt urgency measures pertaining to the Board of Directors and to the Academic Senate, submitting them to the relevant body for ratification in the immediately following session;
  • Carry out all other assignments delegated to University Deans in accordance with current regulations;
  • Carry out all other functions not expressly attributed by the Statute to other bodies.

The Director office is elective. Eligible for election are full professors or equivalent professional figures employed with Universities or Research Institutes of high scientific prestige. Entitled to vote are the School's teachers, the representatives of the technical-administrative staff of the School Council and the Board of Directors, the representatives of the research staff of the Academic Senate and the representatives of students of the School Council.

The Director is appointed by decree issued by the Ministry of Education, Universities and Research and remains in office for a single, six-year, non-renewable mandate. The Director appoints a Vice Director from among the School's full professors, who shall fulfil the Director's functions in case of absence or other impediment in his/her part.

The Director has the right to delegate specific functions to other tenured professors of the School. The Director may avail himself, for specific organization and managing purposes, of the advice, also upon payment, of highly accomplished personalities in the technical-scientific field, attributing to them the related responsibilities aiming at a better coordination of the School's initiatives and in relation to the requirements of the national and international development of its activities. For this purpose, the Director may draw up fixed-term contracts governed by private law.