Humans and Technology

Redefining the relationship between technology and people for a sustainable digital transition of industrial systems.

HumanTech – Humans and Technology is the project selected and financed by the Italian Ministry of University and Research (MUR) for the 2023-2027 period as part of the initiative “Departments of Excellence”. The initiative rewards departments that stand out for the quality of the research produced and funds specific development projects.

The Department of Management, Economics and Industrial Engineering is among the 180 Italian departments funded, across all scientific disciplines, and ranked first within the Industrial and Information Engineering area nationwide.


New technological development models for sustainable industrial systems.


The project finds its motivation in the pressing need to make the current technological development model evolve from the maximization of the economic result towards a more harmonious model that in addition to the economic-financial implications also takes into account human, social and environmental ones.

Within industrial systems, the new digital technologies are a formidable ground of challenge, precisely by virtue of their transformative capacity, their diffusion speed and their pervasiveness, as they interact with these multiple dimensions. And it is just in this context that the project aims to propose new development models and processes capable of accelerating the transition towards industrial systems that are sustainable, inclusive and attentive to individual and collective well-being.

The objective is to conduct innovative research that has both scientific impact on one hand and educational and social impact on the other, by sharing the results within academic circles as well as among managers of businesses, organizations, public and private institutions, entrepreneurs, and policy makers.



The project investigates the complex relationship between people – considered in both their individual and social dimensions – and digital technologies, according to three main research lines:

Human-centred digital technology development models and processes

The goal is to support the development of theories, models, tools and processes capable to integrate the human dimension into managerial practices of technological development with the aim of steering digital technologies toward the well-being of individuals and society.

These are the main research topics:

  • Models and approaches aimed at introducing a person-centred perspective into innovation processes to contribute to people's well-being and respond to today's social challenges.
  • Funding human-centred innovation.
  • Innovation, competition, and industrial dynamics for collective well-being
Resilient and sustainable production, logistics and supply chain processes, enabled by digital technologies

The line aims to study the role and impact of digital innovation in the development of industrial systems and supply chains oriented towards personal and collective wellbeing, especially through an enhancement of regenerative and resilience capacities.

These are the main research topics:

  • Collaborative and distributed manufacturing models enabled by digital platforms.
  • Models and methods for configuring and managing regenerative and resilient industrial supply chains.
Digital-enabled, human-centred organisational models and work systems

This line aims to develop new joint technology-organisation, technology-job, technology-work-system design approaches oriented at improving not only economic but also social performance through a better understanding of the impacts of digital technologies on people, including behavioral, cognitive and psycho-physical aspects.

These are the main research themes:

  • Digital technologies and new person-centred organisational and work models.
  • Person-centered digital factory model.
  • Digital technologies and models for the development of new skills, inclusion and diversity management.

The three areas cover in a complementary and synergistic way the different levels in which the person-technology relationship influences the key characteristics of industrial systems, i.e., the development of technology and its adoption in the transformation processes of organisational systems and in the reconfiguration of work systems.


The HumanTech project plans to enhance DIG resources through the following actions:

  • Research Infrastructure: the new Laboratories
  • Recruiting of highly skilled Human Capital
  • Highly qualifying educational activities


The project involves the establishment of three new laboratory infrastructures that will enhance frontier research in the three research lines:

Laboratory of Cognitive Ergonomics in Cyber Physical Systems (CORE LAB)

The laboratory focuses on the study of cognitive ergonomics and conducts experimental studies on human cognitive and physiological reactions, using advanced devices and sensors, in the interaction between individuals and digital technologies during typical work activities in industrial production and logistics contexts, either real or realistically reproduced.

Laboratory of Behavioural Research in Immersive Environment (BRIEL LAB)

The laboratory enables multimodal and multi-method research on the interaction among individuals, as well as between individuals and digital and virtual environments, with a particular focus on organizational behaviors, learning, content consumption, and office work contexts.
Through tools for biometric analysis of behavior and emotional spectrum of users, it conducts behavioral research activities and high-ecology experimental activities (e.g., spaces for focus groups, reconfigurable spaces to reconstruct life/work experiences).

HumanTech Data Hub

Data repository where to collect and store all the data supporting the HumanTech research program, to offer a unique, simplified tool for data access and discovery.

A tool for researchers at DIG that promotes access and integration of data from heterogeneous sources such as experimental activities conducted in the BRIEL and CORE laboratories or from existing databases, or newly acquired ones, characterized by different access modes and privileges.


The laboratories will be developed and networked to enable lines of empirical research that integrate the understanding of technological development processes and the evaluation of impacts on individuals and society, through a systematic analysis of the relationships between technology and human and social factors.


The project includes the recruiting of new faculty members with high international scientific profiles to broaden the Department’s expertise in areas relevant to the project, such as Work and Organizational Psychology and Human Factors and Cognitive Ergonomics. It also planned the recruitment of young researchers and new technical-administrative staff with skills functional to the project.

  • 1 Full Professor in Work and Organizational Psychology
  • 1 Associate Professor in Human Factors and Cognitive Ergonomics
  • 1 Associate Professor in Management Engineering
  • 5 Fixed-term Senior Researchers (RTT)
  • 6 Post-docs
  • 1 Lab Technician for CORE Lab
  • 1 Lab Technician for BRIEL Lab
  • 1 Data Scientist fot the DataHub
  • 1 Project manager


The Human capital recruited: 

RTT: Debora Bettiga 

Lab Technician for CORE Lab: Walter Quadrini 

Project manager: Magda Censi 


It is planned to further develop expertise and research capacity on specific project themes through the following activities:

13 Ph.D. Scholarships
  • Martina Legnani  The Role of Artificial Intelligence in Framing Innovation and Transformation Challenges
    Contact person: Proff. Federico Caniato e Claudio Dell’Era
  •  Xiranai Dai  Industrial ergonomics and Human Factors: a comprehensive approach to the design and management of human-centered digital factories
    Contact person: Prof. Guido Micheli 
  • Vittoria Tudisco “Logistics 4.0 for a sustainable supply chain
    Contact person: Prof. Marco Melacini
4 Early Research Scholars School

For Ph.D. students and Post-docs.

3 Annual Ph.D. Courses

For 4 years on the following topics

– Data-driven Decision Models and Methods in Operations Management

– Human centric technology development and industrial applications

– Experimental and behavioral methods

  • Experimental and behavioral methods, 3-10 april 2024
    Proff. Matthias Klumpp, Massimo Tavoni, Marco Mandolfo
    The course provided PhD students with the fundamental knowledge about experimental and behavioral research methodologies, which are widely used in management engineering, operations management, marketing, behavioural science and economics. In particular, the course supported students in understanding which are the research questions that can be answered with these methods (question-method-match), what are the fundamental steps, requirements and outcomes of each method and how to design a proper research project in order to achieve valid contributions for management research. 
12 Visiting Scholar positions

Joseph A. Cafazzo
Full professor at the University of Toronto, in the Rotman School of Business, The Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation, The Institute of Biomedical Engineering, and the Department of Computer Science. He is the inaugural holder of the Wolfond Chair in Digital Health, founder of Healthcare Human Factors, and Senior Scientist at The Centre for Digital Therapeutics, a state-of-the-art research facility hosting eighty staff and students devoted to the evaluation and design of healthcare technology at the University Health Network – Canada’s largest teaching and research hospital system. 

Research activities on the topic «Human Med Tech: balancing high-tech and high-touch within the innovation of care delivery through digital therapeutics and artificial intelligence». 

Scientific coordinator: Prof. Emanuele Lettieri 


Ricardo Flores
Professor of International Business, Peter B. Gustavson School of Business, University of Victoria (Canada).
Research activities on the topic: “The role of purpose in organizing for human-centered technological innovation”.  

Scientific coordinator: Prof. Josip Kotlar 


Maria Chiara Leva
Professor in Health and Safety and Human Factors, Technological University Dublin (Ireland).
Research activities on the topic: Human Factors in Industry: empirical research to address a better system design”.  

Scientific coordinator: Prof. Guido Micheli 


Mohsen Moghaddam
Professor of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, Northeastern University
Research activities on the topic: "Industry 5.0 and human-centric process analysis and design in manufacturing" (USA). 

Scientific coordinator: Prof. Guido Micheli 


Hans Solli-Sæther
Professor of  Strategy, Norwegian University of Science and Technology 
Research activities on the topic: "Human side of digitalization". 

Scientific coordinator: Prof. Stefano Elia 


Tao Xiangming
Lecturer in Innovation and Project Management at the Science Policy Research Unit, University of Sussex - Business School (UK). 
Research activities on the topic: "Empowering Social and Environmental Change: Technology Initiatives on Crowdfunding Platforms"

Scientific coordinator: Prof. Vincenzo Butticè 



 (Massive Online Open Courses) targeting university students and professionals

5 editions of the annual event HumanTechDay

Within the research activities, dissemination and networking activities regularly took place

First meeting of the HumanTech Scientific Committee, 25th January 2024 

HumanTech Day 1, 26th January 2024 


Humantech Lunch Seminars

1. Investment in Digital Technologies and Firms’ Labor Demand 
Andrea Fracasso, University of Trento (Italy) - 27 November 2023

2. Too Late to Apologize? Performance Implications of Specialization and Variety in Last-Mile Delivery 
Dominic Loske, Technical University of Darmstadt & DB Schenker (Germany) - 13 December 2023

3. Driver Analytics and Industry 5.0 – The Crucial Role of Neuroscience in Operations Management Research with the Example of KARAT.
Arnd Meiser, University of Bremen (Germany) - 24 January 2024

4. Regulating Digital Labor Platforms: Embracing a Plurality of Organizational Archetypes 
Simon Pek, Gustavson School of Business, University of Victoria (Canada) - 20 February 2024

5. Leading Industry 5.0: Innovative Ways of Studying the Social Side of Digital and Green Transformation
Desirée van Dun, University of Twente (Holland)  - 21 March 2024

6. Designing for Change: How Participatory Methods Drive Ethical Innovation in AI 
Elisa Rubegni, Lancaster University (UK) - 8 April 2024

7. Human-centric Retail Warehouse Processes: Theory Considerations and Lab Experiences 
Susana Relvas, University of Lisbon (Portugal) - 17 April 2024

8. How Laboratory Experiments Using Technology Can Put Prescriptive Management Theory to a Reality Test 
Joachim Hüffmeier, TU Dortmund University (Germany) - 23 April 2024

9. Roundtable - 9 maggio 2024
A Human Future of Work: Judith Volmer, University of Bamberg (Germany)
Finding Empathy - Navigating Past the Dark Side of Health Technology Design: Joseph Cafazzo, University of Toronto (Canada)

10. Fostering Human-centric Sustainability and Resilience in Logistics Networks: Strategies and Practice 
Hella Abidi, DACHSER SE (Germany) - 17 May 2024

11. Psychology as a Science of Design in Human-Computer Interaction and Information Systems Research 
Torkil Clemmensen, Copenhagen Business School (Denmark) - 20 May 2024



Workshop Research Line 1 “Human-centred digital technology development models and processes”
Monday 27th May 2024, from 2.30 to 5 pm
Scientific Coordinators: Proff. Claudio Dell’Era, Chiara Franzoni, Antonio Ghezzi, Josip Kotlar 

Workshop Research Line 2 “Resilient and sustainable production, logistics and supply chain processes, enabled by digital technologies”
Friday 31st May 2024, from 2.30 to 5 pm
Scientific Coordinators: Proff. Stefano Elia, Giovanni Miragliotta, Antonella Moretto 

Workshop Research Line 3 “Digital-enabled, human-centred organisational models and work systems” 
Friday 14th June 2024, from 9.30 am to 12 pm
Scientific Coordinators: Proff. Filomena Canterino, Guido Micheli, Evila Piva 

New courses

New courses in the Master of Science in Management Engineering


Directs and supervises strategic actions to ensure the achievement of the project’s objectives.

  • Raffaella Cagliano, Director
  • Paolo Trucco, Deputy Director
  • Federico Caniato, Program Manager
  • Michela Arnaboldi, DRIG Coordinator
  • Luca Grilli, Referee for Research
  • Chiara Franzoni (Research Line 1)
  • Josip Kotlar (Research Line 1)
  • Claudio Dell’Era (Research Line 1)
  • Antonio Ghezzi (Research Line 1)
  • Giovanni Miragliotta (Research Line 2)
  • Antonella Moretto (Research Line 2)
  • Stefano Elia (Research Line 2)
  • Guido Micheli (Research Line 3)
  • Evila Piva (Research Line 3)
  • Filomena Canterino (Research Line 3)

Managers responsible for the design and implementation of the laboratories.

  • Lucio Lamberti (BRIEL LAB)
  • Emanuele Lettieri (BRIEL LAB)
  • Vincenzo Butticè (BRIEL LAB)
  • Filomena Canterino (BRIEL LAB)
  • Marco Mandolfo (BRIEL LAB)
  • Sergio Terzi (CORE LAB)
  • Matthias Klumpp (CORE LAB)
  • Guido Micheli (CORE LAB)
  • Carlotta Orsenigo (DATA HUB)
  • Massimiliano Guerini (DATA HUB)
  • Andrea Flori (DATA HUB)
  • Rocco Mosconi (DATA HUB)
  • Paola Riva (DATA HUB)
  • Stefano Baruffaldi (DATA HUB)

In the role of strategic consultancy to the Coordination Committee, provides guidance on the topics and research methodologies to be developed, aiming to maximize the scientific relevance and socio-economic impact of the project.

  • Mariano Alcañiz, Universitat Politècnica de València
  • Luca Colombo, META Italy
  • Massimo G. Colombo, DIG Politecnico di Milano
  • René (M.) B.M. de Koster, Erasmus University Rotterdam
  • Emanuele Frontoni, Università di Macerata
  • Andrea Gaggioli, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore
  • Katharina Hölzle, University of Stuttgart
  • Sabina Leonelli, University of Exeter
  • Dominic Loske, DB Schenker
  • Darya Majidi, Daxo Group
  • Eleonora Nardini, Cisco
  • Giuliano Noci, DIG Politecnico di Milano
  • Torbjörn H. Netland, Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule (ETH) Zürich
  • Isabel L. Nunes, Universidade NOVA de Lisboa
  • Stefano Paleari, Università di Bergamo
  • Paola Francesca Scarpa, Boston Consulting Group (BCG)
  • Viola Schiaffonati, DEIB Politecnico di Milano
  • Marco Taisch, DIG Politecnico di Milano