The scientific areas of the Engineering Department's Collection
Collection of the Geomatics area
The collection contains about 200 optical-mechanical topographic and photogrammetric instruments, produced since the last decades of 19th century and belonging to the Geodesy Cabinet of the Faculty of Science’s, founded by Prof. Venturi, and to the Topographic Institute with Geodesy elements of the Application School for Engineers, later named Royal School of Engineering. Only recently, a systematic cataloguing work has been started to create a new exhibition and a virtual topographic museum, available online.
Collection of minerals, rocks and marbles
The collection consists of a sector made up of the Sicilian marbles, a sector made up of the collection of rocks and minerals and some polished slabs of marbles.
The Sicilian marbles collection consists of about 180 rock cubes on the side 10x10 cm, with polished faces, enhancing their polychromy and expressing every color and veins of stone inlay decoration, typical of Sicilian Baroque. The collection was originally located in the Construction and Topography Cabinet of the Royal Applied School of Engineers and Architects in via Maqueda.
The rocks and minerals collection preserves several hundred samples collected systematically by Prof. Giovanni Battista Floridia and Prof. Rosario La Duca, during the Fifties and Sixties. It comes from the former Institute of Mining Art and is dated back between the Fifties and Sixties of the last century, when Floridia was director of the Institute. The same also applies to the collection consisting of polished "marble" slabs of varying sizes.
Collection of the Structural and Geotechnical Engineering area
Part of this collection are the historical equipments placed in the old Structural Engineering and Geotechnical Engineering Department’s laboratory, formed by the merger of the former Institutes of Constructions Science, Geotechnical and Mining Engineering of the Faculty of Engineering and the Institute of Science and Technique of Constructions of the Faculty of Architecture. The laboratory has always been an important reference point in the Sicilian territorial context, not only for its educational activities and institutional researches, but also for its function as a laboratory for testing building materials, also sanctioned by the regulations, that qualify it as Official Laboratory of Italian State.
Collection of the Hydraulic Engineering area
The most important collection’s equipment is an hydraulic circuit consisting of a ring-pipeline, which can be suitably cut off with different ports of derivation, also having various possibilities of power supply. Other laboratory equipments are: a tank calibrated below the walking area, used to calibrate measuring devices, an horizontal channel with rectangular section and owerflow measuring devices such as Thomson weir and Bazin weir.
Collection of the Science and Technology of Materials area
The collection consists of a series of equipments belonging to the Laboratory of Analysis, on behalf of third parties, afferent to the Institute of the Industrial Chemistry, later become the Department of Chemical Engineering of Processes and Materials. The laboratory was officially licensed in 1959 by the Ministerial Commission for the Study of Standards for Hydraulic Binders, to release certificates of analysis on building materials. It was a reference point for the construction sites of Sicily and Calabria, during the period of the great urban expansion and the construction of huge buildings and public infrastructures.