MSc. Di Cicco, F.

Francesca Di Cicco is a PhD student at the Faculty of Industrial Design Engineering. Her main research interest is understanding perceptual relevant image cues of material properties through paintings.

Academic Background

Francesca holds a bachelor degree in chemistry from the university La Sapienza in Rome (2014). She obtained the master degree in Nanomaterials at Utrecht University in 2016. She worked as an intern in the Food Specialties department at the company DSM in Delft. In 2016, she started her PhD at Industrial Design, as part of the NICAS project "Recipes and Realities" in collaboration with 3mE, Utrecht University, Rijksmuseum and Mauritshuis. Painters had an implicit knowledge of the visual cues that trigger perception of material properties. The goal of her project is to unravel those cues and explain how 17th century Dutch painters were able to achieve convincing rendering of all sorts of materials. She aims to understand the visual shortcuts that resonate with the human perception of different material properties, via psychophysical experiments, image analysis, paintings analysis and reproduction and with the aid of a 17th century book of painting recipes, "The big world painted small" by Willem Beurs.


    • 2016 – present
      PhD candidate "An analysis of texture rendering in still-life paintings", Delft University of Technology
    • 2014-2016
      MSc Nanomaterials, Chemistry and Physics, Utrecht University
    • 2010-2014
      BSc Industrial Chemistry, Università La Sapienza, Rome


    • 2016
      Internship DSM Biotechnology Centre, Delft. Tribology of yogurt for mouthfeel determination and sensory data correlation
    • 2014-2016
      MSc research project. Synthesis and STM/AFM study of organometallic complex.
    • 2013-2014
      BSc research project. Synthesis and analysis of solid dispersions to improve oral bioavailability of poor water-soluble drugs

Lectures and/or coaches students on:

    • Coach - Research and Design (IO1080-13)
    • Teaching assistant - Visual Communication Design (ID4230)

Involved in the research project(s):