Patrick had never left the U.S. until this summer, when he spent two months studying battery technologies by himself in Italy.
(L to R) Patrick and Elena Mossali, a POLIMI researcher. “The MISTI program enables students to broaden their horizons and see problems from a totally new perspective, while enjoying themselves in fascinating environments. I am thankful for every minute of it.”

Revolutionizing the market

As a mechanical engineering student, Patrick has worked with a few different mechanical projects and even done some circuitry, but the world of batteries remained largely a mystery to him. However, his role at Politecnico di Milano this summer demanded a vast knowledge of modern Lithium-ion technologies. His work contributed to a larger project titled CarE-Service, dedicated to revolutionizing the automobile market in Europe. 

Patrick’s project was divided into two distinct goals. The first was to assess the feasibility of creating a wireless discharging station for Electric Vehicle (EV) batteries that have reached their end of life. Patrick did this by researching current wireless charging technologies (developed at MIT!) and Matlab simulations to show the effect that such a technology could have on the industry. The second of his goals was to develop a process for dealing with end of life electric vehicles and to suggest ways to improve this process. Without access to a full EV battery, Patrick used electric bicycle battery packs to assess certain features used by the industries that held potential for improvement. Patrick finished the summer by creating a design for another electric bicycle battery pack that highlighted some of these improvements.

Patrick experienced many new aspects of life in Italy, and his most important takeaway from the summer is that there are often many ways to accomplish a task and narrowmindedness is a great evil. Living in a foreign country allowed Patrick to see how other cultures address certain issues and why those approaches succeed or fail. His research was equally important to his education as his cultural experience through MISTI Italy. 

  • Italy
  • Internship
  • MechE