MFN Trainer Column
in Vol. 9 - March Issue - Year 2008
Collaboration between Industries and Universities
MFN Trainer Michele Bandini (Ph.D.)
This column is a regular feature and is written by one of our MFN trainers or the Editorial Office. Readers are invited to send comments or questions to firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information about the trainers, see our website www.mfn.li/trainers.
The knowledge that a design engineer acquires during his University studies is only the starting point for an efficient industrial project. Reality is too articulate to be cut down to schemes and coefficients. Obviously, computers and numerical simulations have given us the means to make great steps forwards compared to the design methods of the ‘70s and ‘80s.
In spite of this, in this field, man will be always decisive. Successes and failures on field are the basis on which typical human characteristics, such as experience and analyzing capability, still crucial for a good project engineer, are built. It is a slow and hard process that must be integrated with deep studies and specific expertise.
During my university studies I attended the course of "Analisi Sperimentale delle Tensioni" (Experimental Stress Analysis) held by Prof. Freddi of the Department of Mechanics of the "Università degli Studi di Bologna". Prof. Freddi used to integrate the course with the intervention of speakers, coming from the world of practical work, who could show the students some industrial applications further to their own experience regarding particular themes of the course itself. As a student I found it of great interest. I could appreciate and touch with my own hands, the difficulty in applying to every single specific case the theories that, obviously are and must be of general address.
Perhaps, also due to this, I never interrupted my relation with the University environment. Since the first years of my professional career I created a sort of network of research that involved the University and some industrial companies that were interested in exploring the application of the “shot peening” process.
In 1995, Prof. Freddi asked me to share my experience with his students. I found it a great idea and was very honoured. Students were very interested right from the first lessons. It is a treatment especially applied to the world of racing and in particular to Formula 1, and to the aerospace industry, two very fascinating fields. Furthermore, you can frequently hear about residual stress and how the compression ones are useful to contrast the phenomena caused by mechanical fatigue. Unfortunately, how to introduce them in an efficient and reliable way or how to control them and how to keep them in count in the design phase is not often explained. This experience was so interesting and involving so as to urge me to undertake other collaborations.
After a few years with Prof. Guagliano of the Department of Mechanics of the “Politecnico di Milano”, I started a similar project. Today, after all these years, teaching has become an integral part of my job. The connection generated from this collaboration between University and Industry creates the basic fundaments for the necessary competence for research, the results of which generate a new synergically related knowledge capable of speeding industrial application up. I subdivided the courses of “shot peening” into two global sections. The former, more academic, regards mostly the basic concepts such as process controls, benefits and design criteria of the project itself. The latter starts from some particularly significant cases and stimulates the analysis and the deepening of the application aspects.
It is a very engaging but gratifying activity that enables to stimulate curiosity and interest for this treatment that is still not so known.
It is my personal opinion that sharing knowledge enriches everyone.
Michele Bandini (Ph.D.) E-Mail: email@example.com
Author: Michele Bandini (Ph.D.)