Message from the Chairholder

During my formative pre-teen and adolescent years I grew up in Trieste, city of science and crossroads between Italian, Austrian and Slavic cultures.

Being the son of a physicist, I often frequented the International Centre for Theoretical Physics (ICTP,, a Category 1 UNESCO Centre founded by Abdus Salam in 1964. Within the ICTP building and the adjoining Parc of Miramare I played hide and seek with the children of other physicists; sometimes we would listen to the lectures of some famous speakers. The vision of an international centre, as a means to promote education and science among students and scientists from all over the world, readily appealed to me already back then.

Later I completed high school at the United World College of the Adriatic in nearby Duino (, an international school that hosts about two hundred students coming from over eighty countries worldwide.

In many ways, the idea of the UNESCO Chair MATECSS can be traced back to those formative years, to the lifelong friendships I made back then with boys and girls from all over the world. Having grown up in an upper middle class Italian family, I had not fully appreciated the privilege of my condition until I met fellow students who had never experienced so many things that I had taken for granted all my life.

Since joining INRS I found myself embedded in a stimulating scientific and cultural environment, surrounded by colleagues and students from all over the world. This rich diversity eventually became an opportunity to implement the MATECSS vision, which itself is the first step towards a longer, more complex plan for international collaboration, exchanges and capacity building.

Today more than ever the emphasis of human development, as defined by the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), is North/South.

This is why my colleagues and I have partnered to develop the MATECSS concept with our collaborators in the South, to build capacity and create new knowledge in sustainable energy technologies. Energy is the foundation for any type of development. It is the “golden thread” that connects economics, social equity and environmental issues. As such, we hope and expect that in the medium to long term, our efforts will have an impact on education, environment and health in low and middle income countries. In so doing, we hope to do our part in addressing SDG4 (Quality Education), SDG7 (Affordable and Clean Energy) and SDG13 (Climate Action).

Thank you for visiting our webpage. We welcome ideas and suggestions, new collaborators and of course sponsors. All donations are used to support the Chair and its activities and in particular the scholarships of PhD students from the South. Each of our scholars is selected on the basis of their academic curriculum, potential for personal and scientific development and vision for a better future.

We look forward to hearing from you!

Federico Rosei

Inaugural holder of the UNESCO Chair MATECSS




About the Chairholder

Federico Rosei (MSc (1996) and PhD (2001) from the University of Rome “La Sapienza”) is Full Professor at the Centre Énergie, Matériaux et Télécommunications, Institut National de la Recherche Scientifique, Varennes (QC) Canada, where he served as Director from (07/2011–03/2019). He held the Canada Research Chair (Junior) in Nanostructured Organic and Inorganic Materials (2003–2013) and since May 2016 he holds the Canada Research Chair (Senior) in Nanostructured Materials. Since January 2014 he holds the UNESCO Chair in Materials and Technologies for Energy Conversion, Saving and Storage.

Dr. Rosei’s research interests focus on structure/property relationships in nanomaterials and their use as building blocks in emerging technologies. His research has been supported by multiple funding sources from the Province of Quebec, the Federal Government of Canada as well as international agencies, for a total in excess of M$ 18. He has worked in partnership with over twenty Canadian R&D companies. He is co-inventor of three patents and has published over 405 articles in prestigious international journals (including Science, Nature Photonics, Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci., Adv. Mater., Angew. Chem., J. Am. Chem. Soc., Adv. Func. Mater., Adv. En. Mat., Nanolett., ACS Nano, Biomaterials, Small, Phys. Rev. Lett., Nanoscale, Chem. Comm., Appl. Phys. Lett., Phys. Rev. B, etc.), has been invited to speak at over 330 international conferences and has given over 250 seminars and colloquia, over 60 professional development lectures and 40 public lectures in 48 countries on all inhabited continents. His publications have been cited over 18,200 times and his H index is 72.

He is Fellow of numerous prestigious national and international societies and academies, including: the Royal Society of Canada, the European Academy of Science, the Academia Europaea, the European Academy of Sciences and Arts, the African Academy of Sciences, the World Academy of Art and Science, the World Academy of Ceramics, the American Physical Society, AAAS, the American Ceramic Society, the Optical Society of America, SPIE, the Canadian Academy of Engineering, ASM International, the Royal Society of Chemistry (UK), the Institute of Physics, the Institution of Engineering and Technology, the Institute of Materials, Metallurgy and Mining, the Engineering Institute of Canada, the Australian Institute of Physics, Honorary Fellow of the Chinese Chemical Society, Foreign Member of the Mexican Academy of Engineering, Foreign Member of the Bangladesh Academy of Sciences, Senior Member of IEEE, Alumnus of the Global Young Academy and Member of the Sigma Xi Society.

He has received several awards and honours, including the FQRNT Strategic Professorship (2002–2007), the Tan Chin Tuan visiting Fellowship (NTU 2008), the Senior Gledden Visiting Fellowship (UWA 2009), Professor at Large at UWA (2010–2012), a Marie Curie Post-Doctoral Fellowship from the European Union (2001), a junior Canada Research Chair (2003–2013), a senior Canada Research Chair (2016–2023) a Friedrich Wilhelm Bessel Award (von Humboldt foundation 2011), the Rutherford Memorial Medal in Chemistry (Royal Society of Canada 2011), the Herzberg Medal (Canadian Association of Physics 2013), the Brian Ives lectureship award (ASM international 2013), the Award for Excellence in Materials Chemistry (Canadian Society for Chemistry 2014), the NSERC EWR Steacie Memorial Fellowship (2014), the José Vasconcelos Award for Education (World Cultural Council 2014), the IEEE NTC Distinguished Lectureship 2015–2016, the Lash Miller Award (Electrochemical Society 2015), the Chang Jiang Scholar Award (China), the Khwarizmi International Award (Iran), the Recognition for Excellence in Mentorship (American Vacuum Society 2015), the Selby Fellowship (Australian Academy of Sciences 2016), the John C. Polanyi Award (Canadian Society for Chemistry 2016), the Outstanding Engineer Award (IEEE Canada 2017), the President’s Visiting Fellowship for Distinguished Scientists (Chinese Academy of Sciences 2017), the Sigma Xi Distinguished Lectureship (2018–2020), the Sichuan 1000 talent (short term) award, the Lee Hsun Lecture Award (2018), the Changbai Mountain Friendship Award (2018), the IEEE Montreal Gold Medal (2018), the APS John Wheatley Award (2019), the Blaise Pascal Medal (European Academy of Science 2019), the IEEE Photonics Society Distinguished Lectureship (2020–2022), the Guangxi Golden Silkball Friendship Award, the TMS Brimacombe Medal (2021), the Wolfson Fellowship (Royal Society), the Prix Urgel Archambault (ACFAS 2021), the Prix du Quebec “Marie Victorin” (2021) and the Julian C. Smith Medal (Engineering Institute of Canada 2022).