Mattia Merlin graduated cum laude in Materials Engineering at the University of Ferrara (Italy) in October 2004 discussing an experimental thesis on the use of shape memory alloy wires for the realization of a variable geometry blade. After the engineering degree he attended a six-month stage in Magneti Marelli Powertrain in Bologna.

From September 2005 to August 2011, he has been a research fellow in Metallurgy (ING-IND/21) at the Department of Engineering in Ferrara carrying out research activities mainly on foundry aluminium alloys, shape memory alloys and wear behaviour of metallic materials.

From January 2006 to December 2008, he has been PhD student in Science of Engineering (cycle XXI) at the University of Ferrara and he took the PhD degree in 2009 discussing a thesis entitled "Correlation between microstructural and mechanical properties of aluminium alloy castings produced by different foundry processes".

From September 2011 to November 2020, he has been Assistant Professor in Metallurgy (SSD ING-IND/21) at the Department of Engineering of the University of Ferrara.

In April 2017 he received the National Scientific Qualification (art.16 of the law 30 December 2010, n. 240) for the University Associate Professor position recruiting and since December 2020 he has been Associate Professor in Metallurgy (ING-IND/21) at the Department of Engineering of the University of Ferrara.

He is currently a member of the executive committee of the Corrosion and Metallurgy Study Centre "Aldo Daccò" of the University of Ferrara.



Since the academic year 2010/2011 Mattia Merlin has been the lecturer of "Metallurgy II" (MSc level) at the Department of Engineering of the University of Ferrara. From academic year 2012/2013 to academic year 2015/2016 he was the lecturer of "Metallurgical and Metallographic Methodologies" (both BSc and MSc level). In the academic year 2017/2018 he was the lecturer of "Metallography and Failure Analysis" (MSc level). Since the academic year 2018/2019 he has been the lecturer of "Metallurgical Processes and Casting" (MSc level) at the same Department. He has been tutor/co-tutor of several BSc and MSc students in Mechanical and Materials Engineering at the University of Ferrara.


One of his main fields of research activity is the microstructural and mechanical characterization of foundry aluminium alloys. In such a field the main aim is the study of the relationship between the treatment of the melt alloy and the subsequent casting processes and heat treatments in order to improve the mechanical and microstructural properties of the castings. Thermal analysis, optical (OM) and scanning electron (SEM/EDS) microscopy, tensile testing, instrumented Charpy impact strength testing and quantitative image analysis are the most important techniques applied in the experimental analyses. For several years his research activity was mainly focused on AlSi alloys with the aim of studying the effects of refining and modifying agents on the thermal analysis and the subsequent evolution of microstructural constituents.

At present, ongoing research activities are dealing with the effect of building directions, contour strategies, process parameters and heat treatments on the mechanical and microstructural properties of the additively manufactured (DMLS, SLM) AlSi10Mg aluminium alloy.

Another field of investigation concerns the use of NiTi shape memory alloys in the development and realization of active deformable structures. The attention is particularly focused on the optimization of the shape setting heat treatments and the subsequent evaluation of the functional response of the shape memory alloy subjected to different thermo-mechanical activation cycles. These experimental findings are compared with material constitutive models developed in collaboration with other research groups. In the past, regarding this research field, he participated to a funded PRIN 2009 project, nationally coordinated by Prof. A. Corigliano, inside the Unit of the University of Ferrara scientifically coordinated by Prof. A. M. Tralli (Local Unit title: "Numerical and analytical models for multiscale problems").

Another topic is the study of the tribological behaviour of different kind of coatings applied to steels and also of innovative anodizing treatments applied to aluminium alloys: the wear rates and surface parameters measured by means of the use of a non-contact optical 3D profilometer are correlated with the wear surface analysis performed by OM and SEM/EDS analyses.

In the past he also performed research activities in the field of high strength low alloy steels collaborating in an already started and funded PRIN 2005 project, nationally coordinated by Prof. W. Nicodemi, inside the University of Ferrara Unit scientifically coordinated by Prof. G. L. Garagnani (Local Unit title: "Influence of chemical composition and thermo-mechanical processing on microstructure and fatigue properties of high strength Nb-V microalloyed steels").

Regarding collaborations with International Research Centres and Universities he signed a five-year Memorandum of Agreement with COMIMSA - Corporacion Mexicana de Investigacion en Materiales (Mexico) in 2013, recently extended until the end of 2024. The collaboration of COMIMSA mainly deals with the microstructural and mechanical characterization of steel weld joints.

In 2014 he also signed a Memorandum of Agreement with NTNU - Department of Materials Science and Engineering (Norway); in particular, in collaboration with NTNU the addition of trace elements, such as Ni and V, in refined AlSi7Mg alloys was investigated studying the effect of the microstructure and the heat treatment on the tensile characteristics, both at high and room temperature, and on impact properties.

In 2015 he was also involved in a research activity with CIMAV - Centro de Investigacion en Materiales Avanzados (Mexico) on the microstructural characterization of hardfacing coatings of steels.

In the last years, two new research collaborations with the University of Jonkoping (Sweden) on the microstructural and mechanical properties of foundry AlSiMgCu alloys and on the wear behaviour of NiP coatings have been started.

Currently, he is involved in the Regional project (POR FESR EMILIA ROMAGNA 2014-2020) called RIMMEL “RIvestimenti Multi-funzionali e multi-scala, per componenti Meccanici in acciaio e Leghe di alluminio fabbricati con additive manufacturing”, both as member and technical responsible for the unit of the University of Ferrara – MechLav Laboratory. In particular, the first part of the project deals with the heat treatment optimization and the subsequent evaluation of impact and wear behaviour of the additively manufactured AlSi10Mg alloy, also considering the effect of PVD surface treatments.

Currently, he is Guest Editor of the Special Issue “Mechanical Properties and Structural Analysis of Coatings and Engineered Surfaces” of the Coatings journal (MDPI).

He is author and co-author of papers published in international and national journals and papers published in international and national conference proceedings.

He is also co-inventor in patents.

He has been tutor/co-tutor of some PhD students and research fellows.


He received by "IUSS Ferrara 1391" the recognition for the best PhD thesis in Science of Engineering of the XXI cycle at the University of Ferrara.

In 2009 he received the "Aldo Daccò" award conferred by AIM (Associazione Italiana di Metallurgia).



The complete list of his indexed publications, according to SCOPUS database, can be found at the following link:

Bibliometric data according to the SCOPUS database, updated on 12/04/2021:

  • Total number of indexed publications: 75 documents;
  • Number of citations: 502 citations;
  • h-index: 11.



  1. M. CABIBBO, A. FABRIZI, M. MERLIN, G.L. GARAGNANI, “Effect of thermo-mechanical treatments on the microstructure of micro-alloyed low-carbon steels”, Journal of Materials Science, Vol. 43, Issue 21 (2008), p. 6857-6865, (ISSN 1573-4803) (DOI: 10.1007/s10853-008-3000-8).
  2. M. MERLIN, G. TIMELLI, F. BONOLLO, G.L. GARAGNANI, “Impact behaviour of A356 alloy for low-pressure die casting automotive wheels”, Journal of Materials Processing Technology, Vol. 209, Issue 2, (2009), p. 1060-1073 (ISSN 0924-0136) (DOI: 10.1016/j.jmatprotec.2008.03.027).
  3. M. MERLIN, C. SOFFRITTI, R. VAZQUEZ, “Effect of relative humidity and applied loads on the tribological behaviour of a steel/Cr2O3-ceramic coupling”, Wear, Vol. 303, Issue 1-2, (2013), p. 371-380 (ISSN 0043-1648) (DOI: 10.1016/j.wear.2013.03.043)
  4. D. CASARI, M. MERLIN, G.L. GARAGNANI, “A comparative study on the effects of three commercial Ti-B based grain refiners on the impact properties of A356 cast aluminium alloy”, Journal of Materials Science, Vol. 48, Issue 12, (2013), p. 4365-4377 (ISSN 00222461) (DOI: 10.1007/s10853-013-7252-6).
  5. D. CASARI, T.H. LUDWIG, M. MERLIN, L. ARNBERG, G.L. GARAGNANI, “The effect of Ni and V trace elements on the mechanical properties of A356 aluminium foundry alloy in as cast and T6 heat treated conditions”, Materials Science and Engineering A, Vol. 610 (2014), p. 414-426 (ISSN 0921-5093) (DOI: 10.1016/j.msea.2014.05.059).
  6. D. CASARI, T.H. LUDWIG, M. MERLIN, L. ARNBERG, G.L. GARAGNANI, “Impact behavior of A356 founfry alloys in the presence of trace elements Ni and V”, Journal of Materials Engineering and Performance, Vol. 24, Issue 2, (2015), p. 894-908, (ISSN 10599495) (DOI: 10.1007/s11665-014-1355-3)
  7. F. ZANOTTO, V. GRASSI, M. MERLIN, A. BALBO, F. ZUCCHI, “Effect of brief heat treatments performed between 650 and 850 °C on corrosion behaviour of a lean duplex stainless steel”, Corrosion Science, Vol. 94 (2015), p. 38-47, (ISSN 0010-938X) (DOI: 10.1016/j.corsci.2015.01.035)
  8. A. FORTINI, A. SUMAN, M. MERLIN, G.L. GARAGNANI, “Morphing blades with embedded SMA strips: An experimental investigation”, Materials and Design, Vol. 85, (2015), p. 785-795, (ISSN 0264-1275) (DOI: 10.1016/j.matdes.20107.175)
  9. M.T. DI GIOVANNI, E. CERRI, D. CASARI, M. MERLIN, L. ARNBERG, G.L. GARAGNANI, “The Influence of Ni and V Trace Elements on High-Temperature Tensile Properties and Aging of A356 Aluminium Foundry Alloy”, Metallurgical and Materials Transactions A, Vol. 47, Issue 5, (2016), p. 2049-2057, (ISSN 1073-5623) (DOI: 10.1007/s11661-016-3366-1)
  10. A. TAHAEI, P. HORLEY, M. MERLIN, D. TORRES-TORRES, G.L. GARAGNANI, R. PRAGA, F.J.G. VAZQUEZ, A. ARIZMENDI-MORQUECHO, “Characterization and Optimization of Ni-WC Composite Weld Matrix Deposited by Plasma-Transferred Arc Process”, Metallurgical and Materials Transactions A: Physical Metallurgy and Materials Science, Vol. 48, Issue 2, (2017), p.1053-1063, (ISSN 10735623) (DOI: 10.1007/s11661-016-3917-5)
  11. M. TOCCI, A. POLA, L. MONTESANO, G.M. LA VECCHIA, M. MERLIN, G.L. GARAGNANI, “Investigation of mechanical properties of AlSi3Cr alloy”, Frattura ed Integrità Strutturale, Vol. 11, Issue 3, (2017), p. 337-351, (ISSN 19718993) (DOI: 10.3221/IGF-ESIS.42.35)
  12. A. FORTINI, L. LATTANZI, M. MERLIN, G.L: GARAGNANI, “Comprehensive evaluation of modification level assessment in Sr-modified aluminium alloys”, International Journal of Metalcasting, Vol. 12, Issue 4, (2018), p. 697-711, (ISSN 19395981) (DOI: 10.1007/s40962-017-0202-3).
  13. C. SOFFRITTI, M. MERLIN, R. VAZQUEZ, A. FORTINI, G.L. GARAGNANI, “Failure analysis of worn valve train components of a four-cylinder diesel engine”, Engineering Failure Analysis, Vol. 92, (2018), p. 528-538, (ISSN 13506307) (DOI: 10.1016/j.engfailanal.2018.06.022).
  14. L. LATTANZI, M.T. DI GIOVANNI, M. GIOVAGNOLI, A. FORTINI, M. MERLIN, D. CASARI, M. DI SABATINO, E. CERRI, G.L. GARAGNANI, “Room temperature mechanical properties of A356 alloy with Ni additions from 0.5 Wt to 2 Wt%”, Metals, Vol. 8, Issue 4, (2018), Article number 224, (ISSN 20754701) (DOI: 10.3390/met8040224).
  15. A. FORTINI, R. RIZZONI, A. SUMAN, E. FABBRI, M. MERLIN, M. PINELLI, “An experimentally-driven approach to model bending in a thermally activated SMA-based beam”, Smart Materials and Structures, Vol. 27, Issue 12, (2018), Article number 125004, (ISSN 09641726) (DOI: 10.1088/1361-665X/aae8cc).
  16. L. GIRELLI, M. GIOVAGNOLI, M. TOCCI, A. POLA, A. FORTINI, M. MERLIN, G.M. LA VECCHIA, “Evaluation of the impact behaviour of AlSi10Mg alloy produced using laser additive manufacturing”, Materials Science and Engineering A - Structural Materials: Properties, Microstructure and Processing, Vol. 748, (2019), p. 38-51, (ISSN 09215093) (DOI: 10.1016/j.msea.2019.01.078).
  17. T. BOGDANOFF, L. LATTANZI, M. MERLIN, E. GHASSEMALI, S. SEIFEDDINE, “The influence of copper addition on crack initiation and propagation in an Al-Si-Mg alloy during cyclic testing”, Materialia, Vol. 12, (2020), Article number 100787, (ISSN 25891529) (DOI: 10.1016/j.mtla.2020.100787).
  18. C. SOFFRITTI, A. FORTINI, R. SOLA, E. FABBRI, M. MERLIN, G.L. GARAGNANI, “Influence of vacuum heat treatments on microstructure and mechanical properties of M35 high speed steel”, Metals, Vol. 10, Issue 5, (2020), Article number 643, (ISSN 20754701) (DOI: 10.3390/met10050643).
  19. M. GIOVAGNOLI, M. TOCCI, A. FORTINI, M. MERLIN, M. FERRONI, A. MIGLIORI, A. POLA, “Effect of different heat-treatment routes on the impact properties of an additively manufactured AlSi10Mg alloy”, Materials Science and Engineering A, Vol. 802, (2021), Article number 140671, (ISSN 09215093) (DOI: 10.1016/j.msea.2020.140671).
  20. M. GIOVAGNOLI, G. SILVI, M. MERLIN, M.T. DI GIOVANNI, “Optimisation of process parameters for an additively manufactured AlSi10Mg alloy: Limitations of the energy density-based approach on porosity and mechanical properties estimation”, Materials Science and Engineering A, Vol. 802, (2021), Article number 140613, (ISSN 09215093) (DOI: 10.1016/j.msea.2020.140613).


Ferrara, April 12th, 2021

(Prof. Mattia Merlin)

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