The PhD Course in Electrical, Materials, Raw Materials and Nanotechnology Engineering is founded with the scope of creating a truly multidisciplinary third education level, targeted at the study of research topics in different industrial engineering sectors as electrical engineering, materials engineering, primary and secondary raw materials engineering and micro/nanotechnologies engineering. EMNE PhD course is aimed at forming young doctors that can found a highly qualified job more easily than second-level graduated engineers. The course is designed with the scope of responding to the needs and dynamics of industrial world and of the related market, which are looking more and more for high qualification, multidisciplinary expertise, capability of exploiting innovative technologies and methodologies for design and development of new products.
The fast growth of micro/nanotechnologies has introduced important innovations in different field of industrial engineering. Cross-fertilization of knowledge and research represents a fundamental step in the education of PhD students that are able to contribute to products and industrial systems innovation.
Therefore, EMNE Phd course proposes a novel synthetic approach to combine a wide range of research topics, focused on transversal thematic like the development, characterization and use of materials and technologies, and on vertical ones like the electrical engineering sector.
The course responds to the education needs of high-tech industries that are active in different sectors and in the electrical engineering sector.
The formation offered to the PhD students is that of a training to the applied research starting from the integration of basic technical and scientific knowledge till the new frontiers of the science in the specific field of the research, focused by the help of a supervisor entrusted to each student.
Therefore, EMNE PhD course is aimed at developing and valorizing the student aptitude to scientific research more than to give them an extensive information.
The activity of each student will range in the different field of material engineering, micro/nanotechnology, electrical engineering, safety engineering and raw materials characterization and valorization, including recycling of materials.
The formative project includes:
- a deep study of the problems related to mathematics, physics and informatics and of other basic sciences;
- a wider and deeper study of the scientific and technical methodologies of research in the industrial engineering as well as in the electrical engineering;
- a wider knowledge of the boundary and support methodologies relevant to the information science and technology as well as industrial economics and organization.
The evolution of the particular occupational situation of the country is considered as a fundamental reference for the selection of the research topics proposed to the students, so that potential advantages in terms of takeover of exiting Ph Doctors in the national and international research and working context can be optimized. Moreover PhD students are supported, by stimulating their participation to Schools and national and international symposia and workshop, in the process of becoming integrating part of the national and international research community.
The PhD course is organized in three curricula:
A) Electrical Engineering
A) Materials and Raw Materials Engineering
Curriculum A - Electrical Engineering
The "Electrical Engineering" curriculum deals with third-level training topics of considerable interest both at the scientific level and at the technological and industrial level. The rapid development that new technologies and micro/nanotechnology have had has produced significant innovations in electrical engineering, which today finds a wide and widespread development in multiple industrial sectors ranging from equipment engineering and power and signal systems, to electric mobility, automotive, aerospace, smart grids, home automation. Topics of interest concern, for example, the electromagnetic compatibility of telecommunications power lines and antennas, nanomaterials for electrical engineering and electromagnetic shielding, measurement techniques, technologies and systems for the efficient use of renewable energy sources for energy generation, even combined, the large-scale integration of renewable resources (e.g. offshore wind) and the study of innovative network structures in a pan-European context. The course is open to graduates (master's degree, master's degree or equivalent qualifications) of various technical-scientific trainings, who are interested in developing advanced research topics in the field of Electrical Engineering. Work areas where the Doctor in EMNE with specialization in the field of electrical engineering finds a place are represented for example by the companies listed as follows: ABB, Schneider, Siemens, ENEL, Terna, ACEA, FIAT Engineering, RAIWAY, TIM, NORTEL, CONTRAVES, ITALFER, IVECO, Finmeccanica, etc.
Curriculum B - Materials and Raw Materials Engineering
Oriented to application purposes, the "Engineering of materials and raw materials" curriculum is configured as a moment of research and development of interdisciplinary themes typical of the sectors identified in the field of materials engineering, engineering of materials raw materials, metallurgy and environmental protection. The training objectives are aimed at the development of researchers with a strong basic preparation, able to operate in fields ranging from engineering sciences to applied industrial research. The courses are open to graduates (specialist degree, master's degree or equivalent qualifications) of various technical-scientific training who intend to approach research on materials and raw materials, favoring the strongly interdisciplinary common roots, ranging from quality to safety, from measures to modeling, from experimentation to integrated design. Furthermore, the particular employment situation of our country is kept in mind, so that the attendance and conclusion of the doctorate are profitable for the candidates: for this reason, issues of applicative interest are privileged and collaborative relationships encouraged, with possible stays, with institutions and national and foreign research centers. The preparation to be promoted must be used in research activities both in the university and in the industrial sector. The course refers as a priority to the laboratories and skills of the Department of Chemical Engineering and Environmental Materials. The PhD student's training path includes a learning activity of research tools and methodologies to be carried out preferably under the supervision of a teacher-guide, not necessarily belonging to the college, with the elaboration, conducted independently, of a final thesis, strongly specialized, within one of the research themes of the curricula In recent years, doctoral activities have been developed on functional ceramic materials, on underground storage of CO2, on composites with high electromagnetic compatibility, on the characterization and production of metal sheets for the production of cathodes for electrochemical cells, as well as cathode materials for lithium-ion batteries, on the characterization of particulate solid materials, on risk models and safety management in road and railway tunnels, on the development of products obtained from the recycling of plastic material, with implementation methods for characterization, design and optimization of compounds, on materials for polymer electrolysers and for fuel cells, on the fatigue resistance of austenitic-ferritic steels, on mathematical models of flow and mass transport applied to the study of contaminated sites, on 'archaeometallurgy, on nanomaterials.
Curriculum C – Nanotechnology
The "Nanotechnology" curriculum aims to study and develop research topics in the field of nanotechnologies for materials engineering and electrical engineering. The innovation of products and processes for applications in the various sectors of the high-tech industry require the development of new cutting-edge technological approaches in order to create new multifunctional and intelligent materials with self-diagnostic capabilities and remote control of functional properties. The integration within a single material with multiple functionalities requires the control of the structure of the material itself starting from the nanoscale. Therefore, the students of this EMNE doctorate course will develop research activities in the fields of design, fabrication and characterization of functionalized surfaces, with self-diagnosis, monitoring and control of electrical, electromagnetic, thermal and mechanical properties. Some of the topics of interest in this curriculum arise precisely from the synergies and collaboration between the different disciplinary sectors that belong to the doctorate. Some examples are the development of multifunctional nanostructured coatings, nanomaterials for electromagnetic shielding and absorption of radio-frequencies and microwaves, transparent multifunctional nanostructured thin films for energy control, carbon-based nanomaterials, graphene, nanomaterials and micro- graphene-based nanodevices. The course is open to graduates (specialist degree, master's degree or equivalent qualifications) of various technical-scientific training, who are interested in developing advanced research topics in the nanotechnology sector.
Curriculum D - Automotive
Vehicle electrification, e.g. hybrid and fully electric powertrains, and technological innovations stemming from the recent development of advanced materials, e.g. batteries, distributed sensing, high strength steels, etc., are revolutionizing the automotive sector. Presently, the vehicle is being completely re-thought by automotive companies, which require high qualified engineers with a solid multidisciplinary background. However, Original Equipment Manufacturers, Tier 1 and Tier 2 Suppliers are struggling to find these engineers; the new Automotive strand of the Ph.D course in Electrical, Materials and Nanotechnology Engineering (EMNE) has been created with the aim of providing such highly specialized professionals.
The strand is strongly oriented towards internationalization, so cooperation with foreign universities and automotive companies via joint Ph.D degrees or internships, is a strategic priority. To this end, an agreement with McMaster University, Hamilton, ON, Canada, for a joint Ph.D is close to completion.
Among possible research areas of interest one can find:
• hybrid and fully electric powertrains
• power converters, rotating electrical machines and drives for vehicle electrification
• energy storage such as batteries and fuel cells
• wireless power transfer
• vehicular energy management and optimization
• sensors and actuators
• electromagnetic compatibility
• nano-materials for varnishes and coatings
• micro- and nano-materials with self-diagnostic and monitoring capabilities
• vehicle lifecycle assessment e material reuse
The strand is open to Students possessing a Master’s degree or equivalent in engineering or science that are interested in developing advanced research in the automotive sector.
Professional options include Original Equipment Manufacturers, Tier 1 e Tier 2 Suppliers, research centers working in this field and academia.