When Nicco Campriani aims for success, he doesn’t miss. A 2011 industrial engineering graduate of the Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources and Olympic medalist, Campriani has a resume full of success in the classroom, in competition and now in the work force.
Having already competed in one Olympics, Campriani came to West Virginia University in 2009 to join the rifle team. After a successful run on the team and graduating as an Outstanding Senior, Campriani switched focus from schoolwork to shooting to prepare for the 2012 London Olympics.
Campriani spent time in Colorado Springs, Colorado, with the United States team before returning home to Italy to finish technical preparations. His hard work paid off, earning him two medals, gold and silver, in competition at the Olympic Games.
After the Olympics, Campriani went to work on completing a master’s degree in sport engineering at Sheffield Hallam University in Sheffield, England. At the same time, he was collaborating with Pardini, an Italian firearms manufacturer as a technical consultant. He graduated in 2013 and an innovative Pardini air rifle designed by Campriani was released on to the market. His rifle claimed a World Championship in its first year of production under the expert handling of fellow WVU alumna Petra Zublasing.
Campriani continued to find success on the range at the 2013 and 2014 World Cups and the 2015 European Games, enough to qualify him for the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. In his “spare” time, Campriani has found a new role in the sport engineering industry at Ferrari.
Campriani is the project leader for shooting sports at Ferrari, where he collaborates with a team of sport engineers that apply engineering expertise and Ferrari technology to a range of sports, including shooting, archery and winter sports. Currently, Campriani is working toward designing a device used to test the Italian National Shooting Team’s rifles and ammunition.
“Looking at sports through the eyes of an engineer is fascinating and completely different than an athlete’s perspective. Knowing both sides allows me to study and unveil every detail of the discipline were working on,” said Campriani. “I love what I do here because it reflects who I am; it brings my passion for sport and engineering to life.”
Campriani also spends a lot of his time at Ferrari working one-on-one with athletes and coaches, a task that comes with many challenges.
“I enjoy working with athletes and coaches because of their need for perfection; it’s exciting and contagious,” said Campriani. “But like engineers, elite coaches and athletes have their own language that must be deciphered in order to help them. I work to translate the athlete’s feelings into objectives and measurable parameters to find the best solutions. Luckily, I’ve been in their shoes as an athlete, which I find helps me.”
Finding the right balance of work, training and social life has been key to Campriani’s success. The shooter spends seven hours a day at Ferrari and four hours at the shooting range, while still finding time to hit the gym and see friends and family.
“A lot of people ask how I can balance everything, but I simply don’t think there is another option,” said Campriani. “Trying to dedicate 100 percent of your time to any one thing will leave you burned out and frustrated. My secret to success in everything I do is keeping the right distance from it and always keeping involved in many different interests.”
Campriani credits the great mentorship he found at West Virginia University for helping him become the successful person he is today. Among those mentors are Jon Hammond, coach of WVU’s Rifle Team; Edward Etzel, sports psychologist and professor of sport and exercise psychology and Jack Byrd, professor of industrial and management systems engineering.
“I really felt like part of a family at WVU and this unique sense of belonging is something that is hard to explain to those that haven’t gone through the experience,” said Campriani. “Not only did WVU help me become a better shooter and engineer, but I became a better man because of my experiences and I will always be extremely grateful for that.”
CONTACT: Mary C. Dillon, Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources
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