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NYU Mourns the Loss of Professor Paolo Cappa


The entire NYU community mourns the passing of Research Professor Paolo Cappa on August 26, 2016. Professor Cappa taught full-time at Sapienza University of Rome, widely considered to be Italy’s premier institution of higher education, and thanks to a cross-appointment, he also worked closely with students and faculty in Tandon’s Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, where he generously shared his knowledge of biomechanics instrumentation engineering. “We were honored to collaborate with a distinguished researcher of his caliber,” Tandon professors Maurizio Porfiri and Oded Nov said.

Professor Cappa, who had been born on September 3, 1956, was known for his profound devotion to the international and interdisciplinary training of his students. He enthusiastically and tirelessly led the dual-degree program in Mechanical Engineering between NYU Tandon and Sapienza University, which has helped transform the life and careers of more than 100 graduate students.

He was a humble, cheerful, and sincere person who was universally respected. It was impossible to dislike or argue with him — unless you were an AS Roma fan, as Professor Porfiri fondly remembers.

A member of Italy’s National Steering Committee in Mechanical Engineering, Professor Cappa was also a past president of the Scientific Committee of the Italian-French University, former member of the National Committee of the Italian Ministry of Health for Medical Device Regulations, and former head of the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at Sapienza University.

The Tandon community extends its heartfelt sympathies to his wife, Maria Letizia; his son, Francesco, who is a Tandon alum; and the friends, colleagues, and students around the world who will greatly miss him.