Sabina Iole Giuseppina Failla

Assistant Professor of Agricultural machinery and mechanization [AGR/09]
Office: Via S. Sofia, 100 - 2° piano, stanza n.12
Email: sfailla@unict.it
Phone: 095 7147518
Web Site: www.di3a.unict.it/docenti/sabina.iole.giuseppina.failla
Office Hours: Wednesday and Friday from 11:00 to 12:00



In the academic year 1989/90, she graduated cum laude from the Faculty of Agriculture of the University of Catania with a degree in Agricultural Science, having chosen the Technical – Economic specialization. 
In February 1995 she was awarded an annual grant for research training on the theme “Experimental Enquiry into Erosion Assessment and Control” in the framework of the Sicilian multi funded Operative Program (Programma Operativo Plurifondo Sicilia [P.O.P.]) 90/93 and participated in the research activities of the Institute of Agricultural Mechanics.In October 1996, she won a competition as researcher in the Agricultural Mechanics G05B disciplinary group (currently Scientific sector AGR/09 - Meccanica Agraria), taking up her post at the Institute of Agricultural Mechanics of the University of Catania on 27th December 1996. With D.R 6863/R of 06/03/2000 she became a permanent researcher at the University of Catania. In 2018 she obtain the qualification as associate professor.

Since the academic year 2005/2006, she has been a member of the Academic body responsible for the PhD in “Agricultural Engineering” based at the University of Catania. She has been tutor for some PhD students and temporary research workers.

In 2011 she was elected representative of the researchers in the Department Board.

Teaching activity

The Faculty Council have entrusted her with teaching the following courses:
- PHYSICS for the University Diploma in “Plant production: plant defense” based in Catania in 1997-98 and for the University Diploma in “Plant production: greenhouse flower growing” based off the main site in Giarre (CT) in 1998-99.
- AGRICULTURAL MECHANISATION for the University Diploma in “Plant production: greenhouse flower growing” based off the main site in Giarre (CT) in 1999-2000 and for the University Diploma in “Plant production: plant defense” based in Catania in 2000-2001.
- AGRICULTURAL MECHANICS for the degree course in “Farm and agri-food industry management and the promotion of Mediterranean produce” based in Nicosia(EN)in 2002-2003.
- PRINCIPLES OF MACHINES AND INSTALLATIONS OF AGRI-FOOD INDUSTRY for the degree course in “Food Technology”, based in Catania, in 2001-2002, 2002-2003 and 2003-2004.
- AGRICULTURAL MECHANISATION for the degree course in “Agricultural Science and Technology” based in Catania in 2006-2007, 2007-2008, 2008-2009, 2009-2010, 2011-2012.
- FARM MECHANISATION for the INTERNATIONAL MASTER “Erasmus Mundus” in “Sustainable Development in Agriculture” (Agris Mundus) based in Catania in 2006-2007, 2007-2008, 2008-2009, 2009-2010, 2011-2012.
- MACHINES AND PLANTS (I.C. AGRICULTURAL ENGINEERING FOR BIOTECHNOLOGIES) for the degree course Agricultural Biotechnology, based in Catania, in 2012-2013 and 2013-2014.
- TECHNOLOGIES FOR THE TERRITORY AND SUSTAINABLE ENERGY for the three year degree course Planning and Protection of Land and Landscape from 2014-2015 to today.

Research activities

She has taken part in numerous national research projects (MIUR, MiPAF e POP) activated at the Department (DiGeSA) ex DIA, as a member of or responsible for, among which:
- Member for the DIA research Unit of the two-years (1999-2001) MIUR (the Italian Ministry of Education and University) project “Control of sprayers for Sicilian vineyard protection”.
- Responsible for the DIA research Unit for the two-year PRIN 2004-2006 project financed by MIUR (the Italian Ministry of Education and University): “Mechanical distribution of arthropods for biological control in protected crops”.
- Member and soon after National Coordinator of the two-year PRIN 2007-2009 project financed by MIUR (the Italian Ministry of Education and University): “Mechanization of the plant protection from phytophages in organic farming”.
- Member and soon after (2010) Responsible of the five-year (2005-2010) research activities concerned “ Conservation tillage by means of minimum tillage and sod seeding” of the S.I.Cer.Me project financed by MIPAAF (the Italian Ministry of Agricultural, Food and Forestry Policy).

In particular, in the context of the project “Mechanical distribution of arthropods for biological control in protected crops” (PRIN 2004-2006 project financed by MIUR -Italian Ministry of Education and University) a “Prototype for natural enemies distribution” has been realised. She is holder of a national (n. 0001378947) and international (USA) (n. US 8,016,169 B2) patents for this machine. The national patent was awarded in the PROVARE PON 2000-2006 project of the University of Catania.

She is currently responsible for WP1 "Sviluppo di tecniche e di applicazioni anche informatiche per l’innovazione nel settore della meccanizzazione della difesa fitosanitaria" of the Departmental Research Project  INNOVAZIONI ATTRAVERSO APPLICAZIONI ICT NEL SETTORE DELLE COSTRUZIONI RURALI, DELLA PIANIFICAZIONE DEL TERRITORIO AGRO-FORESTALE E DELLA MECCANIZZAZIONE DELLA DIFESA FITOSANITARIA, coordinated by Prof. Simona Porto. 

She is co-author of about 100 scientific articles published in international and national scientific journals or in international and national conference proceedings.

Latest data as at 20 January 2020


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ACADEMIC YEAR 2015/2016

She has dealt with the following topics, in particular:

  • Study of plant protection treatment: in citrus groves,  in vineyards, in greenhouses,; artificial target characterisation; study of the functional relations between the dimensional characteristics of the sprays, the surface coverage and the unit deposit through simulation of water-sensitive paper and measurements in the laboratory using a specially designed test bench; characterization of the flow rate of sprayer fans.
  • Functional assessment of mechanical distribution of natural arthropods in greenhouse and in open field by means of patented prototypes.
  • Soil Conservation techniques: effects on soil erosion by rain simulator and natural rainfall; machines and crop practices of mechanical weeding.
  • Mechanisation of vegetable greenhouse cultivation: work organisation of the mechanical seeding and effects of plant protection treatments on optimal distribution and ground losses.
  • Renewable energy production by means of the use of agro-food waste and oilseed crops: technical and environmental assessment.
  • Mechanisation of donkey breeding: work organisation, energy consumptions and ergonomic aspects.