Industrial engineering group brings Italian student to LTU

SOUTHFIELD–An Italian student doing research for a master’s degree is wrapping up a three-month stay at Lawrence Technological University, thanks to an international association of industrial engineers.

Giacomo Mascitelli is working on a master’s thesis on automotive design from Italy’s Università di Bologna. He came to LTU through a connection between his industrial engineering professor in Italy, Leonardo Frizziero, and two LTU industrial engineering faculty members, Donald Reimer and Ahad Ali.

Frizziero, Reimer and Ali are all members of the Industrial Engineering and Operations Management Society, an engineering association that has student chapters at both universities. Founded in Bangladesh in 2009, IEOM held its first conference in 2010, at which Ali was conference chair and lead organizer. LTU also established IEOM’s first student chapter in 2014; today, there are 217 student chapters at universities in 54 countries. Ali is currently IEOM’s executive director.

Reimer said the creation of IEOM was intended to unify industrial engineering–the science of making manufacturing more efficient, safe, and sustainable–with operations management, which deals with topics like supply chain and logistics.

Mascitelli’s master’s project unites those disciplines as well–it’s the development of an off-road vehicle that could be suitable both for American and European markets.

“The project is a challenge that tests a mechanical engineer because it involves a good combination between functionality–mechanical efficiency and technological innovation–and design,” Mascitelli said. “The assignment will follow the IDeS method, which is an engineering approach to industrial design and development that is particularly suited and widely applied in car design world.”

He said the project is also “a study on interior components to maximize modularity and the customer’s comfort.”

For his project, Mascitelli met with LTU faculty in both the College of Engineering and the College of Architecture and Design, including adjunct professors who are active in the auto industry. He also toured Ford Motor Co.’s F-150 assembly plant in Dearborn, and the auto supplier Gentherm.

A native of Vasto, a city on the Adriatic Sea coast 150 miles due east of Rome, Mascitelli said he chose to study at Università di Bologna in the north of Italy because it’s a noted engineering school there. He received a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering, then began his master’s degree studies.

Mascitelli is actually the sixth Italian student who has visited LTU thanks to the IEOM’s connections. He said he was impressed with LTUs hands-on, “theory and practice” approach to education.

“You have more laboratories here than at an Italian university, and that’s a very good reason that I am here,” he said. “I’ve written 90% of my project here and I think I will complete it in the next month.”

IEOM will hold its annual International Conference on Smart Mobility and Vehicle Electrification at LTU Oct. 10-12. Ali is conference chair. More at

(From left to right above are Don Riemer, LTU college professor; LTU President Tarek Sobh; and Giacomo Mascitelli, a master’s degree engineering student from Italy’s Università di Bologna.)

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