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PhD students and PhDs


PhD Student

Background and Research Project

Curriculum Vitae 


 Bongiorno Francesco

I’m Francesco Bongiorno and I’ve got a master degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Palermo in 2009. My research project over the development of new biocomposites. The research activity considered in this program is connected with that already carried out by the "biocomposite team" led by Professor Zuccarello which I have been a member for about two years; research activity regarding biocomposites made by green epoxy or PLA reinforced with optimized agave fibers. In more detail, the objective of reducing environmental pollution related to the production and use of synthetic materials has recently led to the development of environmental protection national ant european regulations that require the increasing use of eco-friendly or renewable materials, particularly in the automotive sector where for example car manufacturers are obliged to use an ever higher percentage of green materials. In this frame the so-called biocomposites, innovative materials obtained through the reinforcement of renewable polymers with natural fibers such as flax, jute, hemp, agave etc, are actractive materials. This research activity considers the development of high performance biocomposite laminates, consistitude of different matrices reinforced by agave fibers and the related non-destructive control techniques, which will be used for the characterization and the quality control of such materials.



Castellano Antonella

My name is Antonella Castellano, I am 24 years old and I graduated with the highest honors in Mechanical Engineering (MSc) from the University of Palermo. Since I am especially sensitive to the environmental impact of transport, I have been studying the hybrid electric vehicles powertrain.
In particular, I am focused on the power-split transmission system, which is the most promising hybrid technology. The wide variety of the viable power-split transmissions requires the exploitation of a proper mathematical model to lead the design engineer to a conscious choice of the transmission functional layout.
In this perspective, my PhD research project aims to extend and improve a straightforward parametric model, developed in our Dept. of Engineering and available in literature. The main purpose is to provide a flexible, all-inclusive tool in order to synthesize the best power-split transmission and achieve a better balance between vehicle performance, fuel consumption and emissions.




Cocchiara Chiara

Chiara Cocchiara is an Aerospace Engineer with over eight years of work experience in the space sector. Among other honours, Forbes listed her as 30Under30 Leader in the category Industry.

Her PhD about the New Space Economy aims at describing and analysing the today’s and tomorrow’s Space Economy, as well as highlight the change in the strategy of public organization and their new approach and need of developing partnerships with the private sector. The Phd will also analyse the role of Italy and Europe in the new Space Economy business, and will compare them with the international trend and lessons learnt from other big players of the Space Sector, addressing strengths and areas of improvements in Italy and Europe. Last but not least, the PhD addresses the role played by the technology within the international economic picture.



Cutugno Salvatore

I am Salvatore Cutugno, PhD student in “Mechanical, Manufacturing, Management and Aerospace Innovation” at the University of Palermo. I got my bachelor and master degrees in mechanical engineering respectively in 2018 and 2020. During the last months of my graduation course I had an internship at ISMETT, where we worked to produce a human left ventricle database by means of CT scans. After that, we used the principal components analysis to develop a statistical shape model for stenotic patients. My PhD project is named “Computational modeling of transcatheter heart valve procedure”. The first aim of the project is to use the data collected during my internship period to develop a heart model of stenotic patients that can be implemented in the FEM model named Living Heart Project. The second objective is to evaluate the application of THV to treat aortic stenosis under different scenarios. Lastly, the efficacy and safety of “off-label” applications of THV to treat mitral valve diseases will be assessed.



Guarino Giuliano

Giuliano Guarino graduated with a master’s degree in Aerospace Engineering from the Università degli Studi di Palermo in March 2019. His master’s thesis, titled “An Equivalent Single Layer Discontinuous Galerkin Formulation for Composite Shells” inspired the doctoral work he his currently conducting at the same university. He is interested in analyzing advanced materials and structures, with a particular focus on shell structures in laminated composites. His doctoral research explores the numerical aspects of these topics, such as the use and characterization of methods in order to solve equations that describe the physics of structural problems. Through the application and comparison of innovative methods, he wants to use his research to find new, efficient alternatives to classic structural problem-solving methods. 



Abdul Latif

I am Abdul Latif, PhD student in “Mechanical, Manufacturing, Management and Aerospace Innovation” at the University of Palermo. I received my bachelor and master degrees in mechanical engineering in 2016 and 2018 respectively from Ghulam Ishaq Khan Institute Pakistan. During M.S studies, I worked as a graduate teaching assistant. From 2018 to 2020, I remained a visiting lecturer at the University of Technology Nowshera Pakistan. My M.S research project was to fabricate similar and dissimilar metals lap joints from aluminum alloy and pure copper through friction stir welding for electrical and aerospace applications. Besides we also focused the study to find out the optimum process and geometric parameters. My doctoral thesis is concerned with developing solid bonding through friction welding and its subclasses such as linear friction welding, friction stir welding, and friction stir extrusion. The aims of the thesis include modeling the process, identifying the optimum process and geometric parameters, and assessing the mechanical strength and durability of the final welded parts.



Mattaliano Andrea

Andrea Mattaliano is a Ph.D. student in Mechanical, Manufacturing, Management and Aerospace Innovation. He holds a Bachelor and a Master Degree in Management Engineering from the University of Palermo. During his Master, he took part to the Erasmus+ Program (Wroclaw, Poland) and developed his Master Thesis at the Operations Management department of the Stuttgart University (Germany) where he worked as research assistant. Before joining the program, he worked as Healthcare Data Analytics Consultant for KPMG. His research interests are focused on healthcare management, quantitative methods to support decision making, public health policies, innovation management in healthcare, spatial analysis of supply and demand of healthcare services.



Nuttah Muntaser 

I am Muntaser Nuttah, I am 23 years old. I have studied ali my early school years in Tripoli Libya, then i moved to Italy. I studied my bachelor's degree in management and computer engineering(computer engineering curriculum) at the University of Palermo. I did my master's double degree in management engineering between Vilnius Tech and the University of Palermo, during my master's i had a special interest on the machine learning field for that reason i took a machine leaming course of 6 credits. I did two internship one at Huawei and another one at Western Union. In my research project i will focus on applying the machine leaming methodologies in the context of management engineering with a specific interest on the marketing  and socia! advertising field.



Pollara Gaetano

I am Gaetano Pollara, PhD student in “Mechanical, Manufacturing, Management and Aerospace Innovation” at the University of Palermo. I got my bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering on March 2019 and my master degree in Biomaterials Engineering on October 2020. During my graduation course, I did an internship at the Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Palermo, focused on the self piercing riveting and orbital forging LCA analysis for aluminium- composite hybrid joints for naval applications. My PhD project deepens my master thesis work that concerns the production of osteosynthesis devices through additive manufacturing techniques. The first step is producing a lattice structure to find a reasonable pore size to stimulate cell adhesion, to promote the transport of nutrients and to fit the modulus of the bone. Then, new surface modification techniques may be studied, for example, by coating the surface of the implant with a new bioactive material encapsulating antibacterial particles or growth factor, in order to reduce immune response or to accelerate bone healing.



Terranova Pietro

My name is Pietro Terranova, I am 25 years old and I graduated from the Mechanical Engineering course (LM33) of the University of Palermo.

From September 2019 to February 2020 I did my curricular internship at the Department of Regenerative Medicine at the University of Pittsburgh. My work at Pitt has focused on the fabrication of engineered tissues capable of influencing cellular activity through substrate microtopography.

In October 2020, together with colleagues from Prof. D'Amore's laboratory, I filed a provisional patent to protect the technology I worked on in the previous months.

My research project for this PhD course aims to transfer the mentioned micro-patterns on the surface of complex geometry prosthetic devices such as: heart valves, vascular graft or patch.

The process of optimizing the manufacturing technique of these fabrics will be based on the substantial modification of the fiber deposition mechanism by proposing a new variant of electrodeposition.