Centro Ricerche Fiat (CRF) - M. Sc. Krzysztof Bodzek's report on his Leonardo da Vinci practical placement
In March 2006 I have spent 13 weeks in Centro Ricerche Fiat (CRF) in Torino in Italy. It was organized within the frame of European Exchange program Leonardo da Vinci. The aim of this trainee period was to develop and improve my scientific and professional knowledge, having occasion to work with Italian engineers. My colleague M. Sc. Wawrzyniec Panfil from Mechanical and Technological Faculty took part in the same project. We arrived in Torino on the 28th of February and at the very beginning the weather welcome us with high temperature which reached even 15oC. It was really a nice surprise especially in comparison with Poland, which we left in the middle of strong winter with heavy snowfalls.
Where I was?
I lived in Torino, the capital of Piemonte district. It is famous for the center of automotive industry with the adobe of FIAT concern. From Mole Antonelliano tower, which is the city symbol, one may admire the panorama of the city and the Alps. Torino is almost 900 thousandth city, where the cars, good food and wine are inhabitant's passion. Foggliazzo Street, where I stayed, was situated near the Stadium delle Alpi.
I spent the whole time in the research-development center of FIAT (CRF) in Orbasano in Torino. CRF has been carrying out research on new solutions for the FIAT concern. In the last year the concern devoted over billion Euros for supporting scientific investigations (R&S Group Fiat analysis). CRF is the owner of over 1200 patents.
What I did?
I have worked in the electric systems section, in the division responsible for cogeneration systems. I dealt with Active Power Filters and measurement of electric energy quality. What was interesting, in this research center there was an energy-saving building containing canteen. It was supplied with the conventional energy from the power grid, but it was simultaneously equipped additionally with solar battery and cogeneration system consisting of methane engine, asynchronous generator and inverters. Power of both structures was 50 kW. The system enables to reduce almost 30% of electric and thermal energy. Using the Active Power Filters allow for compensation of the reactive power as well as for the elimination of higher current harmonics. Active Power Filters improve the quality of electric energy generated by co-generator. I operated with Matlab/Simulink programs to carry out these investigations.
Torino is the fantastic place to be acquainted with Italian culture. In the city and the neighbouring regions there are almost 140 museums. I can recommend visiting Palazzo Reale, Armeria Reale, Museo dell'Automobile, Museo Nazionale del Cinema and Museum Egizio. Vicinity of the Alps attracts tourists, who spend time hiking, tramping or cycling in this area.
There are also concerts and festivals organized often in the center of the city. One of the most interesting and also "the sweetest" is chocolate festival, organized usually in March. Chocolate is a Piemonte delicacy.
As I observed all Italians, particularly Torinians, are crazy about cars, especially old ones. Torino Automobile Club organizes the old car show once a year. At present it is possible to meet majestic cars (the oldest is almost 100 years old) on the streets of Torino.
Was it worth visiting?
Yes, it was worth staying for such a long time in Italy. First of all the experience gained during the period spent in the international big firm is invaluable. It was also the perfect opportunity to practice foreign language. English language was continuously in use during contact with Italian engineers. Conversation with the members of the international team widens the knowledge of European work conditions, promotion and career. I had also possibility to observe their ways of solving problems and attitude to work.
PhD student at KENER, Silesian University of Technology