Engineering students conduct summer internships and thesis projects at the University of Brescia/Italy

HALBAN In the past six years, GUtech students have been conducting summer internships as well as thesis projects at the Metallurgical Laboratory of the Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, University of Brescia in Italy. A total of four Mechanical and Process Engineering students have conducted thesis projects and six students have done six-weeks summer internships at the Metallurgical Laboratory of the University. In February 2014, GUtech and the University of Brescia signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that was renewed earlier this year.

“The aim of the summer internships in our laboratory is the so-called mechanical and metallurgical characterization of metallic parts (e.g. aluminium alloy, cast iron), in order to find a correlation between the alloy structure and the part properties,” said Prof. Dr. Annalisa Pola, Associate Professor in Metallurgy at the University of Brescia and Fly-in Professor at GUtech. The laboratory tests conducted by GUtech students are used for evaluating the improvement in the performance of metallic parts due to the use of a new alloy chemical composition, a new production route or a new heat treatment.

In the beginning of their internships, the students have to undertake a detailed analysis of the scientific literature. “Recently, one of the topics investigated during the internship was the analysis of Al samples obtained by additive manufacturing and subjected to innovative post processing operations. The process is used for example in manufacturing components for automotive and aerospace industry. In our laboratory the students have been involved in experimental tests to evaluate the performance of the additive manufactured samples such as tensile and hardness tests, as well as density tests. They also had to perform metallurgical analyses by preparing the samples (cutting and polishing), observing by optical microscope or using an image analysis software. They collected and processed all the obtained data to compare them directly. Finally, they have been involved in the analysis of the fractured surface morphologies carried out by a scanning electron microscope,” said Prof. Annalisa Pola.

To get some industry insights, Prof. Annalisa and her colleagues have been also arranging site visits to different local companies dealing with the production of metallic parts that are investigated in the laboratory; all industries are located in the city of Brescia or in the region nearby.

“We are always happy to welcome one or two students from GUtech in our Metallurgy Laboratory. Being a rich industrial district, the city of Brescia is a very interesting location for internships and to further explore Italy. It only takes three hours to go to the capital Rome by train and two hours to Florence and to the Lake Garda,” said Prof. Annalisa Pola. “Overall our cooperation with GUtech aims at promoting and encouraging scientific and academic collaboration including the exchange of Engineering professors, researchers and Engineering students. Activities include but are not limited to student exchange, summer internships and Bachelor thesis, the exchange of Engineering professors, joint research activities, the publication and exchange of academic information and materials in the fields of interest to both universities,” said Prof. Annalisa Pola. Since October 2013 Prof. Annalisa Pola and her colleagues Prof. Marcello Gelfi and Prof. Roberto Roberti have been teaching Material Science (I and II) in the Engineering Departments at GUtech.

(c) GUtech/ Text and Photo: Dr. Manuela Gutberlet and Prof. Dr. Annalisa Pola

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