CAR welcomes back visiting scholars for first time since pandemic

Posted: July 20, 2022
visiting scholars pose in front of CAR sign
Visiting scholars, from left, Stefano D'Alessandro, Matteo Spano and Daniele Beltrami

For the first time since COVID-19 hit in 2020, the Center for Automotive Research (CAR) has been able to welcome a new group of visiting scholars. CAR has a lengthy history of welcoming scholars from around the world to perform various research projects, with some of these scholars even staying and becoming full time staff members at CAR.    

Currently there are nine scholars visiting at CAR. Of these scholars, Daniele Beltrami, Stefano D’Alessandro and Matteo Spano all come from Italy. They have chosen CAR for different reasons, but overall they have a passion for experiencing new cultures as well as making great connections with other staff members at CAR, like Professors Marcello Canova and Giorgio Rizzoni. For Beltrami, he describes the experience as a “good combination of factors” that makes CAR the perfect place to gain professional experience and improve technical skills. 

The scholars all agree that it was a bit of an adjustment living in the United States. Things like food, doctors' visits and transportation look very different in the US compared to Italy.  To sum it up, Beltrami said, “Everything is bigger here.” 

At CAR, both Beltrami and Spano said that there is always someone who can help you, no matter what the problem is.  With such a large group of Italians at CAR, it made it easy to acclimate to the work group.    

“I really enjoyed hanging out with the students and people here so far,” said D’Alessandro who has been at CAR since September 2021. He has competed in intramural basketball and volleyball tournaments with some of his colleagues. “It has been a good opportunity to grow personally and professionally and has made me more open to other cultures. They are fun and for me it's very important to get to know each other, because I really care about human relationships, even in the workplace. I have always liked the idea to be part of a team, and as part of it, I really want to deeply know my teammates,” said Beltrami.  

Outside of work, the scholars enjoy doing a wide range of activities that Ohio State’s campus, Columbus and the United States have to offer. They mentioned running on the Olentangy trail, taking yoga classes at the RPAC, trying local restaurants and bars, and traveling to other parts of the country like Chicago and Los Angeles.  

Associate director Marcello Canova started his journey with CAR when he was a visiting scholar. He says: “We are really excited that we finally have been able to resume our long history of hosting visiting scholars at CAR! Our center has always been proactive in giving opportunities to foreign visiting scholars to experience CAR and Ohio State. For many Italians, living and working in a major US city is an experience of a lifetime. For some of them (myself included), this experience inspires them in taking a leap and start a career in the US.”

Written by CAR Writing Intern, Cassie Forsha 

Category: Students