PhD Course

Mechatronics and Product Innovation Engineering

Thematic area Hard Sciences
Duration 3 years
Language English
PhD Programme Coordinator Daria Battini

The PhD program in "Mechatronics and Product Innovation Engineering" answers to the precise needs to provide a broad education with specialized training applying an interdisciplinary research approach, which is actually strongly required by our country and first of all by local industries, able to prepare highly qualified research experts both for academic and both for industrial working environments. By an academic point of view, the multidisciplinary education offered by the PhD program proposed and sustained by relevant research groups of the DTG Department, will permit to drive the scientific training of students according to the different scientific research fields and with the MA degree courses offered in Vicenza.

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Training objectives of the PhD program in "Mechatronics and Product Innovation Engineering" are particularly based on automated machines and plants manufacturers needs and, more in general, on the electro-mechanical industry needs. Automated machines and equipments find large employ in a number of industrial sectors, as mechanical, wood, textile, packaging, pharmaceutical, food, ceramics industry and further more. In such working contests high qualified professionals are required with cross sectional skills and competences concerning advanced components design and testing (Materials Mechanics), automated machines design and configuration (Mechatronics), plant layout design and optimization with particular regards with the inbound supply chain integration (Industrial plants and Logistics). From these considerations, the PhD school subdivision into 3 different PhD curricula has been derived:

1) Mechanical of Materials (Contact person: Prof. Franco Bonollo)
The PhD Programme in Mechanics of Materials is focused on the design and development of the mechanical components by which an automated machine system is made up. Mechanics of materials competences are essential to an high professional qualification of new graduate students in Mechatronic Engineering and Product Innovation Engineering. PhD programme committee professors belong to a new scientific and interdisciplinary sector in which Metallurgy and Machine Design competences are integrated. Moreover, the discipline represents the main topic of many international journals: the high number of DTG Department professors who published works in international journals represents a big opportunity for future PhD students, which will be actively involved in these research fields since the beginning of their PhD course. In relation with the theoretical aspects of the education activities offered, students enrolled in the Mechanics of Material Programme will be engaged in high quality research projects related to develop methodologies, procedures, criteria, significant examples for the industrial introduction of innovative materials and innovative components in machine design. In particular, they will work on studies concerning the physical and chemical behavior of innovative metallic and composite materials, their intermetallic compounds, and alloys, heat-treating and chemical-heat treatments, dislocation theory and phase transformations analysis. In conjunction or in alternative, the theoretical training activity for some students will regards Structural Mechanics computations (deformations, deflections, and internal forces or stresses within structures analysis and testing) and Fracture Mechanics and analysis of fracture surfaces, (threshold stress intensity factor, Paris law, fatigue life, initiation phases).
These competences are of particular interest both in academic and industrial field in order to permit the machine components reliability analysis and testing, when often traditional approaches cannot be sufficient. Moreover, training activities will provide students competences regarding the simulation of metallurgical processes (welding, foundry, steelworks) with particular regards to numerical simulation of welding processes and magnetic levitation casting. 

2) Mechatronics (Contact person: Prof. Paolo Mattavelli)
The PhD Programme in Mechatronics couples two different research areas: Industrial Engineering and Information Engineering and is the most cross-disciplinary. This programme is oriented to create conceptual designers of automatic machines. In particular the major programme educational objectives address:
- the functional design of mechanic and mechatronic systems (kinematics and dynamics of machines, mechanisms and manipulators; machine design optimization models and procedures; modeling and state estimation of flexible-link mechanisms and manipulators);
- the design of automatic machines, and robots (simulation and prototyping of industrial robotic and mechatronic systems; serial and parallel robotics; robot calibration and performance analysis; cable-driven robots; master-slave robotic systems for haptic teleoperation; rehabilitation robots);
- the control techniques for mechatronic systems (digital control of electric drives for robots, control of flexible-link mechanisms and manipulators, control systems for internet-based teleoperated tasks, cable and wireless industrial field busses, computational vision applied to autonomous robotics, adaptive control in vehicles);
- power electronics and power conversion systems (electronic interfaces for renewable-energy sources, micro-controllers and DSP in industrial electronics, soft-switching converter topologies and control;
- electric, hydraulic, and pneumatic actuators (permanent magnet motors, high-efficiency motors, electric traction motors, sensorless actuators, hydraulic and pneumatic actuators modeling and control). 

3) Industrial plants and Logistics (Contact person: Prof. Paolo Mattavelli).
The PhD Programme in Industral plants and Logistics arises from the recognition that manufacturing companies nowadays need high qualified professionals with cross sectional competences linked with the design and management of the industrial plant, seen by an holistic point of view. In particular students enrolled in the Logistics Programme will be engaged in high quality research projects related to the modeling and design of complex logistic systems, such as integrated supply chains, distribution networks and flexible and integrated manufacturing systems. Education activities will concerns supply chain operations and modeling, logistics strategy, distribution network design and optimization, product packaging design and testing, transport and person/asset info-mobility management, industrial plants maintenance, reliability analysis of machines/equipments and reverse logistics. These research topics are strategic in nowadays industrial environments, characterized by highly customized products (the ones that can survive in Italy) and time-oriented and resilient production systems, which need to respond quickly and efficiently to market demand, variables strongly affected by logistic choices (i.e. the way components, sub-assemblies and products are supplied and delivered, outsourcing decision vs. internalization, service operations and transportation modalities).


Coordinator: Daria Battini

Contact person for mechanics of materials: Franco Bonollo

Contact person for mechatronics: Paolo Mattavelli

Contact person for industrial facilities and logistics: Alessandro Persona