Roberto Rocca was born in Milan in 1922. As a young man he joined his father, Agostino, in the founding of Techint, in Italy, a company initially dedicated to engineering and construction. In 1950 he earned a Ph.D. in Metallurgical Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and then devoted more than 50 years until his death in 2003 to helping build the Techint Group into the global presence it is today.
When Roberto Rocca succeeded his father in 1978, Techint was a group with 15 thousand employees, two steel manufacturing facilities in Argentina and an international engineering and construction business, mainly concentrated in Latin America. In the years ahead he would lead the growth of Techint’s industrial activities through a series of investments in steel mills and in research and development.
In the 1990s, Techint’s steel tube activities expanded with the incorporation of Tamsa, in Mexico, and Dalmine, in Italy. Roberto Rocca became President of the latter in 1996. These acquisitions were then followed first by the incorporation of other steel production units in Japan, Canada, Brazil and Venezuela, and then, in 2002, by the creation of Tenaris, which now includes a plant in Romania and is listed on the New York Stock Exchange as well as the Milan, Buenos Aires, and Mexican stock exchanges. Roberto Rocca was elected the first Chairman of Tenaris.
In the 1990s, Roberto Rocca led another substantial steel project: the creation of an integrated pole of flat steel production activities around Siderar, in Argentina. With the acquisition of Sidor in Venezuela at the end of 1997, the Techint Group became a major actor in the Latin American market for flat and long steel products. Roberto Rocca’s entrepreneurial vision was ratified a few years later by the acquisition of Hylsa, a major Mexican steel manufacturer, and the subsequent creation of Ternium, which also lists on the New York Stock Exchange.
In 1999, Roberto Rocca, in recognition of his pioneering vision, received the Willy Korf Award, the highest international accolade for entrepreneurs in the steel industry.
Throughout his lifetime, Roberto Rocca, demonstrated an abiding concern for education, founding and supporting a variety of initiatives dedicated to learning at all levels and research. In light of that commitment and his conviction that engineers were a force for positive change in society, the Program’s sponsors believe the Roberto Rocca Education Program is a fitting tribute to the man and his work.