Visiting Scholar from Naples Experiences Life in Columbus
Luca Agizza, a visiting scholar from the University of Naples in Italy, is working and studying at the Center for Automotive Research (CAR) at The Ohio State University while getting a taste of American life.
“The opportunity came out of talking to my professor in internal combustion engines in Naples. He suggested the opportunity to come here to the US to study and work at the Center for Automotive Research,” Agizza said.
Agizza is pursuing his master’s in mechanical engineering, and while at CAR he is studying and working on electrochemical storage systems, lithium ion batteries in particular.
“First, I spent some time getting more focused on the topic. I never studied electrochemical storage systems at the University of Naples, so I had only a basic background. I found that in the United States, concepts are explained in a very direct way, which allowed me to understand new concepts quickly,” said Agizza.
Agizza then started working with CAR senior researcher Matilde D’Arpino, and CAR lead engineer Prashanth Ramesh on battery research and testing.
“I worked on the design of a test that allows us to understand the characteristics of a battery in charging and discharging when it undergoes several pulses. I helped in the realization of the testing. I never had the opportunity to do this in Italy and getting to do so is very important to my growth as an engineer,” said Agizza. “I worked on the realization of the design of the test and on the processing analysis of the data from the tests. Then we based our activities of the analyses on the data that was collected from several years at CAR. This allowed us to understand battery behavior and how it changes with temperature, the state of charge, and other environmental factors. We then created an empirical model that allows us to better understand battery behavior and how it is influenced by different factors,” said Agizza.
The CAR hosts many Italian visiting scholars, and Agizza found this to make the transition less daunting.
“I came from a little town in the outskirts of Naples, there was a big difference coming to a big city like Columbus,” Agizza said. Having Italian friends here made my first weeks in the US simpler. From a professional and an academic point of view, the opportunity to study and work in the US is unique for a student who is ambitious! Here, there are a lot of possibilities, a lot of economic resources, and so you have the opportunity to do more things that are practical and not just theoretical.”
Agizza found the food to be different too. Coming from a Mediterranean country, Agizza managed to mostly preserve his eating style but appreciated particular differences in American cuisine like cookies, sandwiches and pumpkins!
“I will complete my master’s degree in March. I would love to contribute and keep these collaborations with CAR after I return to Italy. After I graduate, I want to work as soon as possible. My girlfriend lives in Berlin and we want to meet in a city in Europe. I would like to have some great new experiences in Europe like in Germany, France and Spain if I have the opportunity,” said Agizza.
“Luca has been a great student,” said D’Arpino. “He gained a deep knowledge in electrochemical energy storage systems and he worked very closely with Prashanth and I in studying the interconnection between empirical battery models and the physics based model. I look forward to continuing to work with Luca to complete his thesis!” said D’Arpino.
Written by Muhammed Al Refai, CAR Marketing and Communications Intern