[Elenco soci]


Villa Valerio

Professore Associato


Università degli Studi di Brescia
valerio.villa@unibs.it

Sito istituzionale
SCOPUS ID: 15752242900
Orcid: 0000-0001-7737-499X



Pubblicazioni scientifiche

[1] Paderno D., Bodini I., Uberti S., Villa V., Baronio G., Methodology for Online Assessment of Technical Drawing Skills of Industrial Engineering Students, Lecture Notes in Mechanical Engineering, 1598-1609, (2023). Abstract
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Abstract: Due to the pandemic, there has been a shift from conducting paper-based in-person exams to conducting online exams. To still be able to evaluate students, a closed-ended test was implemented to verify the skills acquired by the exam candidates. We have developed on Moodle platform an online test called Technical Drawing Test (TDT2) based on graphic questions with closed answers both single and multiple, replacing the open-ended graphic questions of the previous in-person paper exam mode and with the same contents. This article aims to show the method by which the types of exercises were chosen according to the skills to be tested and to present the first results obtained, with the goal of verifying that the new test is equivalent to the old paper-based open-ended test in its ability to test candidates’ skills. The reliability of the TDT2 is quantified through two statistical synthetic indexes calculated by the Moodle platform and comparing the results of the online TDT2 with the results of the paper-based in-person exams.

Keywords: Engineering education | Moodle | Technical drawing | Testing methods

[2] Bodini I., Paderno D., Pagano D., Donzella A., Bonomi G., Zenoni A., Cantone A., Villa V., Design Requirements Assessment in the COMMAND (COmpact Multi-purpose Muon and Neutron Detector) Project, Lecture Notes in Mechanical Engineering, 367-379, (2023). Abstract
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Abstract: To better understand the connection between cosmic rays and atmospheric parameters, both on a local and global scale, the COMMAND project aims to build a prototype detector that can simultaneously measure the flux of cosmic neutrons and muons, and that can also allow the tracking of the latter. Many people and different scientific fields are involved: physicians, mechanical engineers, and electronics engineers, and speaking the same language is not always simple. Therefore, before starting the design of the prototype a clear definition univocal and not ambiguous requirements was necessary and useful. We tried to break the problem down into manageable chunks by identifying three macro subcategories, which are: (i) type of use; (ii) structure of the device; (iii) working environment. Each of these subcategories were examined and the device requirements were defined to proceed with the definition of the current device: the dimensions, the shape, the functionalities, the choice of materials and technologies, the respect of geometrical constraints, the budget limits, the electronics interfaces. Then the device has been designed and manufactured, and some preliminary tests have been performed to verify the proper operation and compliance with all constraints. In this work, we will present the solutions adopted, and the design choices followed to the analysis of the requirements, in some cases, also thanks to the realization of study proof-of-concept models.

Keywords: Design methods | Proof-of-concept | Requirements assessment

[3] Morselli L., Donzella A., Arzenton A., Asti M., Bortolussi S., Corradetti S., D'Agostino G., Di Luzio M., Ferrari M., Gandini A., Lunardon M., Villa V., Salvini A., Zangrando L., Zenoni A., Andrighetto A., Production and characterization of <sup>111</sup>Ag radioisotope for medical use in a TRIGA Mark II nuclear research reactor, Applied Radiation and Isotopes, 197, (2023). Abstract
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Abstract: Radio Pharmaceutical Therapy (RPT) comes forth as a promising technique to treat a wide range of tumors while ensuring low collateral damage to nearby healthy tissues. This kind of cancer therapy exploits the radiation following the decay of a specific radionuclide to deliver a lethal dose to tumor tissues. In the framework of the ISOLPHARM project of INFN, 111Ag was recently proposed as a promising core of a therapeutic radiopharmaceutical. In this paper, the production of 111Ag via neutron activation of 110Pd-enriched samples inside a TRIGA Mark II nuclear research reactor is studied. The radioisotope production is modeled using two different Monte Carlo codes (MCNPX and PHITS) and a stand-alone inventory calculation code FISPACT-II, with different cross section data libraries. The whole process is simulated starting from an MCNP6-based reactor model producing the neutron spectrum and flux in the selected irradiation facility. Moreover, a cost-effective, robust and easy-to-use spectroscopic system, based on a Lanthanum Bromo-Chloride (LBC) inorganic scintillator, is designed and characterized, with the aim of using it, in the future, for the quality control of the ISOLPHARM irradiated targets at the SPES facility of the Legnaro National Laboratories of INFN. natPd and 110Pd-enriched samples are irradiated in the reactor main irradiation facility and spectroscopically characterized using the LBC-based setup and a multiple-fit analysis procedure. Experimental results are compared with theoretical predictions of the developed models, showing that inaccuracies in the available cross section libraries prevent an accurate reproduction of the generated radioisotope activities. Nevertheless, models are normalized to our experimental data allowing for a reliable planning of the 111Ag production in a TRIGA Mark II reactor.

Keywords: 111Ag | ISOLPHARM project | Nuclear reactor | Radiopharmaceuticals | γ-spectroscopy

[4] Paderno D., Bodini I., Baronio G., Uberti S., Montesano L., Tonoli S., Pola A., Villa V., Design and Validation of a Block-on-Ring Test Bench, Lecture Notes in Mechanical Engineering, 729-738, (2022). Abstract
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Abstract: According to the activities carried out within the Proof of Concept laboratory, a machine for block-on-ring wear tests was designed and realized. Consistent with the approach of the laboratory, the machine was developed with particular attention to the requirements of reliability, simplicity, as well as easy and fast production starting from existing devices integrated with ad-hoc made parts by the department equipment. The experimental campaign was performed according to ASTM G99 and ASTM G77. The results obtained on commercial pin-on-disc device and on the realized block-on-ring machine, showed a good agreement, validating the proposed solution. This appears particularly effective also based on an economic and technical comparison with commercial equipment complying with the same standard.

Keywords: Design and test | Design methods | Machine design

[5] Bodini I., Bannò M., Paderno D., Baronio G., Uberti S., Villa V., Students Creativity Assessment Through Gray’s “Forward Flow” Tool: A Preliminary Study, Lecture Notes in Mechanical Engineering, 879-888, (2022). Abstract
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Abstract: The promotion of creativity in education is intended to address many of the political challenges and goals for the development of a country, but among all of them the role of creativity in technology and economics is seen as crucial in helping nations to achieve higher employment, better economic performance and to cope with global competition. This study, currently in its preliminary phase, aims to compare the creativity levels of first-year students at a medium-sized Italian university. The degree courses in Engineering Management, Mechanical Engineering, Law and Motor Sciences were analyzed. In this analysis, students’ creativity is measured with the “Forward Flow” test by Gray et al. This test implements a new metric that uses latent semantic analysis to measure the evolution of thoughts over time. Operationally, students are asked to produce a sequence of semantically related words from a given initial word. Latent semantic analysis calculates the semantic distance between words by examining the frequency with which they appear together in a very large collection of documents. Studies conducted on the test, found in the literature, reveal that Forward Flow can predict the creativity of college students. According to these studies, even that membership in real-world creative groups (e.g. professional actors or entrepreneurs) is statistically predicted by scores on the Forward Flow test, even when controlling for divergent thinking.

Keywords: Creativity | Engineering education

[6] Motyl B., Filippi S., Baronio G., Villa V., Reasoning About Technical Drawing Online Teaching During COVID-19, Lecture Notes in Mechanical Engineering, 889-897, (2022). Abstract
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Abstract: This work is part of the historic collaboration between the design and methods research groups of the universities of Udine and Brescia. In particular, it presents the results of a survey on the perceptions of engineering students on the online teaching methods activated for the technical drawing courses during the COVID-19 pandemic. 111 students at the University of Udine participated in the survey and the results of the analysis of the responses showed that, in general, online teaching methods are not comparable to face-to-face ones; however, they have been appreciated as they allowed regular teaching during this critical period. Furthermore, opinions and scores from the new teaching methods were more than positive regarding both the availability of the recordings of the lessons and the introduction of generalized corrections of exercises. The authors planned to extend the survey also to the University of Brescia to collect further pieces of information in order to constantly improve this teaching paradigm.

Keywords: COVID-19 | Engineering education | Online teaching | Students survey | Technical drawing

[7] Bodini I., Baronio G., Paderno D., Villa V., Martinelli P., Frizza R., Balsamo A., Uberti S., Proposal for a Method for Advanced Search of Information and Standards in the Field of Geometrical Product Specification, Lecture Notes in Mechanical Engineering, 269-276, (2022). Abstract
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Abstract: The Geometrical Product Specification (GPS) is one of the most powerful tools available to link the “perfect” geometrical world of the models to the imperfect world of manufactured parts and assemblies. GPS aims to be an unambiguous common language between designers, process engineers, and Coordinate Measuring Machines operators (CMM) in the ISO (International Organization for Standardization) environment. GPS standards are 150 and further 26 are under development. The need to have a tool to search through the standards, to optimize the work of the designer and to minimize the design, production and control costs is great. A database and the structure for a search engine, called GPS Navigator, has been studied and developed, and the requirements for the following coding phase have also been defined, in order to realize a powerful, efficient, fast, robust and rigorous tool to navigate through the GPS standards. Final aim of this tool is to help and guide the designer to quickly consult the correct standard or the most appropriate set of standards.

Keywords: Advanced search criteria | Database | Design methods | Geometrical product specifications (GPS)

[8] Bonomi G., Donzella A., Pagano D., Zenoni A., Caccia M., Villa V., A Cosmic Rays Tracking System for the Stability Monitoring of Historical Buildings, Proceedings of Science, 358, (2021). Abstract
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Abstract: Cosmic ray radiation, thanks to its high penetration capability and relative abundance, has been successfully used in scientific research and civil applications for a long time. For example, techniques based on the attenuation of cosmic ray muons or on their angular scattering have been used to study the inner structure of volcanoes, to search for hidden chambers in Egyptian pyramids, to inspect nuclear waste containers and to monitor blast furnaces. In addition to these imaging techniques, cosmic ray muons have also been used for the detector alignment in large experiments in nuclear and elementary particle physics. In this context, a cosmic muon detection system for the stability monitoring of historical buildings will be here presented. The employment of cosmic rays is envisaged where the time scale of deformations is typically very long, and where conservation constraints could prevent the use of standard mechanical systems. The stability monitoring of Palazzo della Loggia (Brescia, Italy) has been considered as a case study, and performance and limitations of the technique have been evaluated using Monte Carlo (MC) simulations. A muon detection system based on two telescopes with three sensitive layers of scintillating fibers coupled to silicon photomultipliers has been studied. Results from MC studies, taking into account systematic uncertainties, are here presented. Finally, the main features and performance of a small-size detector prototype, developed as a proof of principle and consisting of three layers of 3x3 mm2 scintillating fibers, as those used in the simulations, are also described.

[9] Paderno D., Bodini I., Zenoni A., Donzella A., Centofante L., Villa V., Proof of Concept Experience in the SPES Experiment: First Solutions for Potentiometers Replacement in System Maintenance, Lecture Notes in Mechanical Engineering, 301-306, (2021). Abstract
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Abstract: SPES (Selective Production of Exotic Species) is a large facility, currently under advanced construction at the INFN-LNL (Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare, Laboratori Nazionali di Legnaro) for the production of Radioactive Ion Beams (RIBs). Coordinated efforts are being dedicated to the development and upgrading of both the accelerator complex and the up-to-date experimental set-ups. This paper describes a work of upgrading as far as the inspection and maintenance of the system is concerned, and it deals with human-centered design methods to reduce the time spent in the radioactive environment of the facility during ordinary maintenance operations and to simplify them, also considering stress conditions of the operator and the mandatory wearable radiation protection devices (such as tracksuit, gloves, oxygen tank mask) which make simple operations difficult.

Keywords: Design methods | Ergonomics | Functional design | Human-centered design | Proof of concept

[10] Donzella A., Ferrari M., Zenoni A., Paderno D., Bodini I., Villa V., Ballan M., Centofante L., Monetti A., Petrovich C., Zangrando L., Andrighetto A., Residual activation of the SPES Front-End system: a comparative study between the MCNPX and FLUKA codes, European Physical Journal A, 56(2), (2020). Abstract
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Abstract: A study of the residual activation of the Front-End system structure of the SPES (Selective Production of Exotic Species) facility, currently under construction at the Legnaro National Laboratories of INFN, Italy, is performed. The study provides useful information for the planning of inspections, maintenance operations and decommissioning of the facility as well as for the assessment of radiological conditions and safety requirements in the design and operation of any accelerator-driven radioactive ion beam facility. To better assess the obtained results, two Monte Carlo codes were independently used: MCNPX combined with CINDER’90 and FLUKA. The results of the two calculation procedures are compared at each step: fissions, fluxes, activation, dose rate. Since the energy range considered does not represent a typical application for any of the two codes, the comparison of the collected results can provide useful inputs for the developers. In particular, the agreement of the two codes on the global quantities is good, being of the order of 20–40% on average, and never larger than a factor 2. Nevertheless, the comparative study shows that, in this energy range, FLUKA seems to underestimate the angular straggling of protons and to overestimate the proton interaction cross-sections, with respect to MCNPX.

[11] Baronio G., Bodini I., Paderno D., Uberti S., Villa V., Objective Evaluation of Geometrical Product Specification/Geometrical Dimensioning and Tolerancing Basic Skills, Lecture Notes in Mechanical Engineering, 305-312, (2020). Abstract
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Abstract: The aim of this work is to study methods and criteria to objectively evaluate Geometrical Product Specification (GPS) and Geometrical Dimensioning and tolerances (GD&T) basic skills of engineering students. To do so, it is important to define who is the examiner, what is the topic of the exam, how to examine, when and why. In particular, for what concerns the topics, knowledge, competences, skills, concepts and abilities should be assessed. Basic knowledge is the easier topic to evaluate in an objective and reliable way, for example using closed-ended questions, but skills like creativity are difficult to measure. Following the principles of Bloom’s taxonomy, a technical drawing evaluation grid has been developed and used by the authors. The grid has eight learning levels, and target knowledge, competences, and skills have been defined for each learning level, then specific tests to verify the target for each level have been studied and developed. In this paper some examples of application of the grid are described and some preliminary results and considerations are reported. In particular, using an objective closed-ended question test, which rigorously assesses the basic levels of the grid, “residual” students decrease in number, and the students increase in number, the test is cost-effective.

Keywords: Bloom’s taxonomy | Engineering education | Engineering students evaluation | GPS/GD&amp;T | Technical drawing

[12] Paderno D., Piana E.A., Bodini I., Villa V., Medical Play Therapy: Development of the JUNIOR-MRI Role Play, Lecture Notes in Mechanical Engineering, 219-226, (2020). Abstract
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Abstract: The purpose of this work is to help the little patients of the Paediatric Onco-Haematology Department of the “Monica and Luca Folonari” bone-marrow Transplant Centre to tackle their anxiety and worries when subjected to Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) clinical examinations, in order to reduce the period of time between the arrival of a patient in the Diagnostics Department and the actual exam execution. To do so, following the principles of the Medical Play Therapy, a user-centred role play called JUNIOR-MRI has been developed. The game is addressed at children between the ages of 5 and 10 and consists of a scaled model of a real MRI machine, with a gurney, a patient doll and a control station. A tablet application has also been developed to simulate the procedure of the clinic exam, reproduce the real sounds of a MRI through a loudspeaker placed on the scale MRI and show some fake images of the investigation carried out on the doll. The child plays the role of the doctor, getting acquainted with the exam procedure and instrumentation and learning not to fear the clinic exam. The experimental phase of the game has begun, and the JUNIOR-MRI is now used in the Pediatric Diagnostics Department of the Spedali Civili di Brescia, following an ad-hoc clinic protocol.

Keywords: Design methods | Medical Play Therapy | Role play | User-centred design

[13] Paderno D., Bodini I., Villa V., Proof of Concept as a Multidisciplinary Design-Based Approach, Lecture Notes in Mechanical Engineering, 625-636, (2020). Abstract
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Abstract: This work deals with the description of the activities developed in the PoC-BS laboratory. In particular, it is proposed first to provide a multidisciplinary definition of Proof of Concept - PoC - and then to illustrate the design-methods-based approach used in the laboratory for the development of different types of PoC. In particular, the presentation of the integrated approach, for the realization of different types of PoC is provided through the description of some examples of activities carried out to support experimental research. In this work we describe: (i) the construction of a cosmic-ray telescope in collaboration with the group of Experimental Physics, (ii) the design and manufacture of devices for qualitative evaluation of the drying process of sludge generated by the inertization of waste incinerator fly-ash, carried out with the group of Chemistry for Technologies. In conclusion, the paper focuses on the future prospects of the Laboratory, whose ambition is to consolidate its activity and to lay the foundations for a new way of service delivery, based on a fair acknowledgement of contributions from this type of laboratories to both educational and scientific research.

Keywords: Design methods | Multidisciplinary approach | Proof of Concept | Value added services for research

[14] Bonomi G., Donzella A., Pagano D., Zenoni A., Caccia M., Villa V., A cosmic rays tracking system for the stability monitoring of historical buildings, Proceedings of Science, 358, (2019). Abstract
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Abstract: Cosmic ray radiation, thanks to its high penetration capability and relative abundance, has been successfully used in scientific research and civil applications for a long time. For example, techniques based on the attenuation of cosmic ray muons or on their angular scattering have been used to study the inner structure of volcanoes, to search for hidden chambers in Egyptian pyramids, to inspect nuclear waste containers and to monitor blast furnaces. In addition to these imaging techniques, cosmic ray muons have also been used for the detector alignment in large experiments in nuclear and elementary particle physics. In this context, a cosmic muon detection system for the stability monitoring of historical buildings will be here presented. The employment of cosmic rays is envisaged where the time scale of deformations is typically very long, and where conservation constraints could prevent the use of standard mechanical systems. The stability monitoring of Palazzo della Loggia (Brescia, Italy) has been considered as a case study, and performance and limitations of the technique have been evaluated using Monte Carlo (MC) simulations. A muon detection system based on two telescopes with three sensitive layers of scintillating fibers coupled to silicon photomultipliers has been studied. Results from MC studies, taking into account systematic uncertainties, are here presented. Finally, the main features and performance of a small-size detector prototype, developed as a proof of principle and consisting of three layers of 3x3 mm2 scintillating fibers, as those used in the simulations, are also described.

[15] Baronio G., Bodini I., Copeta A., Dassa L., Grassi B., Metraglia R., Motyl B., Paderno D., Uberti S., Villa V., Integrated approach to the innovation of technical drawing teaching methods, Lecture Notes in Mechanical Engineering, 705-713, (2019). Abstract
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Abstract: Motivations for the research activity on teaching methods could be listed as: Institutional duty; reduction of evaluation costs; establishing convenient relationships between teaching, research and publications; developing educational programs for non-academic learners; consolidating learning outcomes. Teaching is the most commonly recognized mission of university, and evaluation has a cost in terms of time and resources, both precious: At least a portion of the exam, the one concerning factual knowledge, may be done in economies of scale. The most of basic technical drawing teachers works with very large classes and faces the dilemma of choosing what to sacrifice among teaching quality, research projects, earning opportunities, personal interests, etc. A possible partial solution to such a dilemma is to work on projects aimed at teaching innovation, so to create convenient relationships between teaching, research and publications. A further consequence of lowering the cost of evaluation would be to make cost effective a more tests and, consequently, to achieve less temporary learning. Not just simple notions but also skills and abilities. In this paper the authors presents a structured synthesis of teaching innovation experiences of a ten-year span. Over time, they were divided into four integrated directions: definition of prerequisites, expected outcome evaluation grids; authentic assessment methods; teaching and learning tools.

Keywords: Design methods | Engineering education | Learning techniques | Technical drawing

[16] Bonomi G., Caccia M., Donzella A., Pagano D., Villa V., Zenoni A., Cosmic ray tracking to monitor the stability of historical buildings: A feasibility study, Measurement Science and Technology, 30(4), (2019). Abstract
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Abstract: A cosmic ray muon detection system is proposed for stability monitoring in the field of civil engineering, in particular for the static monitoring of historical buildings, where conservation constraints are severe and the time evolution of the deformation phenomena under study may be of the order of months or years. The stability monitoring of the wooden vaulted roof of the Palazzo della Loggia, located in the town of Brescia, Italy, has been considered as a case study. The feasibility, as well as the performance and limitations of a stability monitoring system based on cosmic ray tracking have been studied by Monte Carlo simulations. A study of possible systematic uncertainties is presented along with a realistic design for the construction of a measurement system prototype.

Keywords: alignment | cosmic ray muons | historical buildings | Monte Carlo simulation | position measurements | Stability monitoring | tracking

[17] Villa V., Motyl B., Paderno D., Baronio G., TDEG based framework and tools for innovation in teaching technical drawing: The example of LaMoo project, Computer Applications in Engineering Education, 26(5), 1293-1305, (2018). Abstract
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Abstract: This work presents the development of an integrated framework and related tools for innovation and improvement in the teaching of Technical Drawing. This framework is based on the “Technical Drawing Evaluation Grid—TDEG.” This grid is currently used, by the authors, for the definition and the development of different kinds of tools for supporting both teaching and learning and for the evaluation of Technical Drawing and engineering graphics topics knowledge in general. In particular, this paper focuses on the problems related to knowledge evaluation and assessment of Technical Drawing using online tests. Then, the LaMoo project which is a tool under development for the structured construction of questions for online tests in Moodle environment is presented.

Keywords: assessment methods | engineering education | Moodle test | teaching methods | technical drawing

[18] Amadori F., Bardellini E., Copeta A., Conti G., Villa V., Majorana A., Dental trauma and bicycle safety: A report in Italian children and adolescents, Acta Odontologica Scandinavica, 75(3), 227-231, (2017). Abstract
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Abstract: Objectives: This retrospective study aims to analyze the pattern of oro-facial trauma from bicycle acci- dents in Italian children and adolescents, focusing on the safety devices used. Methods: The medical records of 1405 patients of the Dental Clinic of the University of Brescia, between the age of 0 to 18, who experienced a dento-facial trauma from the use of a bicycle, were analyzed. Data regarding age, gender, weight, height, dominant hand, type of bicycle, use of safety devices, location and type of dental trauma, teeth involved, bone fractures and soft tissue lesions were recorded. Statistical analysis was performed. Results: The majority of the traumatic events occurred in children within the 8-10 years of age-range; 1085 teeth were injured, of which 975 permanent teeth (89.9%) and 110 primary teeth (10.1%). The most common dental lesions were the coronal fractures (complicated and not complicated) while the most frequently involved teeth were the upper central incisors; 11% of patients were also treated for maxillo-facial fractures. A protective helmet was worn only in 3% of the cases; not one patient wore a mouth-guard. The use of helmets was more frequent in children and adolescents riding racing-bikes competitively, compared to those who were mountain bikers (p< 0.05). Conclusions: Bicycle accidents can have serious oro-facial consequences. Therefore, national and regional efforts should be made in Italy to promote head and mouth protection in cycling.

Keywords: Child | Injuries | Prevention

[19] Speranza D., Baronio G., Motyl B., Filippi S., Villa V., Best practices in teaching technical drawing: Experiences of collaboration in three Italian universities, Lecture Notes in Mechanical Engineering, 0, 905-914, (2017). Abstract
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Abstract: This work present some best practice cases in teaching technical drawing done by three Italian Universit ies: Brescia, Udine, and Cassino and Southern Lazio. The intention to innovate and improve the basic technical drawing courses offered by these three Universities started in 2014. The objective of this collaboration was the development of some tools to help the students in understanding the fundamental concepts of technical drawing. The first tool developed, in order of time, was the Technical Drawing Evaluation Grid – TDEG. Starting fro m this tool, other learning aids were developed for the undergraduate engineering st u-dents. Some of them are: an online test for students’ self-assessment of technical drawing knowledge; a questionnaire to collect students’ opinions on different technical drawing and engineering design topics; a method for the improvement of students’ motivation to study; and a self-learning tool for teaching manufacturing dimensioning. The preliminary results of these different practices are presented and discussed in the following, posing the basis of the definition of some best practice methods that can be used for the improvement of the teaching and learning of technical drawing basic concepts for engineering students.

Keywords: Best practices | Collaboration | Teaching &amp; learning tools | Technical drawing

[20] Metraglia R., Villa V., Baronio G., Adamini R., High school graphics experience influencing the self-efficacy of first-year engineering students in an introductory engineering graphics course, Engineering Design Graphics Journal, 79(3), 16-30, (2015). Abstract
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Abstract: Today's students enter engineering colleges with different technical backgrounds and prior graphics experience. This may due to their high school of provenience, which can be technical or non-technical. The prior experience affects students' ability in learning and hence their motivation and self-efficacy beliefs. This study intended to evaluate the role of prior high school graphics experience in first-year engineering students' self-efficacy beliefs in an introductory engineering graphics course. It also intended to evaluate the relationship between such freshmen's self-efficacy beliefs and their performance. Two assessment instruments were used in this study. The first is the eight-item Course Interest Survey (CIS) Confidence subscale, which was used to assess self-efficacy beliefs. The second is a multiple choice questionnaire designed on the course topics, which was used to assess performance. Ninety-nine students of the University of Brescia (Italy) participated in the experiment. Significant differences in selfefficacy were found between engineering freshmen from the technical high school versus engineering freshmen from the non-technical high school. A significant relationship between self-efficacy and performance was found only for engineering freshmen from the technical high school.

[21] Metraglia R., Baronio G., Villa V., Issues in learning engineering graphics fundamentals: Shall we blame cad?, Proceedings of the International Conference on Engineering Design, ICED, 10(DS 80-10), 31-40, (2015). Abstract
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Abstract: Several studies report that many novice engineers result to be skilled in CAD but poor in knowledge of the basics, visualization and spatial skills and ability in freehand sketching. There is a debate on if such lack of fundamentals dues or not to the increasing role of CAD and the decreasing role of manual drawing in the basic courses of engineering graphics. This study aimed to investigate the issues related to the use of CAD and manual drawing in teaching engineering graphics fundamentals by a review of the literature of the Engineering Design Graphics Journal and the International Journal of Technology and Design Education from 2000 to date. It was found that current students: have a lower initial level of knowledge and experience; have little chance to develop sketching and visualization skills if trained only by CAD; and their assessment usually focuses more on CAD skills than on the knowledge of the basics. Solutions proposed to such issues are: introductory courses of manual drawing at college and high schools; assessment of students' initial skills; and tests more focused on the knowledge of the rules and basics of engineering graphics language.

Keywords: Computer aided design (CAD) | Design education | Design learning | Engineering drawing | Pedagogy

[22] Metraglia R., Villa V., Engineering graphics education: Webcomics as a tool to improve weaker students' motivation, Research Journal of Applied Sciences, Engineering and Technology, 7(19), 4106-4114, (2014). Abstract
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Abstract: In engineering colleges, first-year students come from different kinds of high school and have different technical backgrounds. In engineering graphics courses, the weaker students are the ones entering with a lower technical background. Such students are less motivated and have generally difficulties in keeping high their attention level during the lessons. In this study, the use of a webcomics structured in graphic novels was experimented as a motivational support in an engineering graphics course. Sixty nine students of a class taught by using webcomics as support and 47 students of a class taught traditionally were classified according to the kind of their high school of provenience: technical; scientific; non-technical and non-scientific. The findings showed that in the class where webcomics were used, students from non-technical and non-scientific high school scored a higher level of attention compared to others. The teacher who used the webcomics commented it an effective tool to encourage and stimulate weaker learners to actively participate to the lessons and the majority of students agreed such tool was stimulating. At the same time, some students considered the webcomics representation of engineering graphics topics as too far from the reality. It is concluded that the use of webcomics structured in graphic novels is a proficient way to better motivate weaker students to arouse and keep their attention at a high level during engineering graphics lessons. © Maxwell Scientific Organization, 2014.

Keywords: Comic strips | Engineering education | Graphic novels | Teaching | Technical drawing

[23] Furlan M., Rigoni A., Vanini S., Viesti G., Zumerle G., Bonomi G., Cambiaghi D., Dassa L., Donzella A., Subieta M., Villa V., Zenoni A., Calvini P., Squarcia S., Benettoni M., Checchia P., Gonella F., Pegoraro M., Zanuttigh P., Calvagno G., Muons scanner to detect radioactive source hidden in scrap metal containers: Mu-steel EU project, 2013 IEEE International Conference on Technologies for Homeland Security, HST 2013, 601-606, (2013). Abstract
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Abstract: Muon tomography has been recently proposed by a Los Alamos research group [1]. Some proponents of this abstract built and operated the first large volume prototype of muon tomography [2] and based on the results obtained participated to a request for European funding, that was granted in the Mu-Steel project [3]. The project started in July 2010 and finished at the end of 2012. The final goal of the project was the design of an inspection portal able to detect, using the cosmic rays, shielded radioactive sources hidden in scrap metal containers. Indeed in the last years it happened that such radioactive sources could pass undetected the entrance controls and, once melted, caused enormous damages to the steel mills, contaminating all the production line. The project studied and built a prototype for the muon detectors to be used in the portal, designed the structure and the configuration of the inspection portal and developed the needed tomographic reconstruction software. The results of the project will be presented and discussed. © 2013 IEEE.

Keywords: Cosmic rays | muons | radioactive sources | steel mills | tomography

[24] Metraglia R., Baronio G., Villa V., Learning levels in technical drawing education: Proposal for an assessment grid based on the european qualifications framework (EQF), ICED 11 - 18th International Conference on Engineering Design - Impacting Society Through Engineering Design, 8, 161-172, (2011). Abstract
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Abstract: For several years the European Commission for Education and Training has been trying to build a translation device to make comparable national qualifications, aiming to promote workers and learners' mobility within EU and to facilitate their lifelong learning. A basis to achieve this goal is to use common assessment grids to certify skills and abilities. The abilities in Technical Drawing seen as a working tool and as a language of communication, despite the existence of a certification, the ECDL CAD, for the ability to use the computer to draw, are not assessed. This paper highlights the consequences of the lack of skills certification in Technical Drawing, with particular reference to the authors' experiences in corporate and academic contexts. Then, the paper introduces a proposal for an assessment grid for the evaluation of Technical Drawing learning levels, based on the European Qualifications Framework (EQF), with separate learning outcomes for knowledge, skills and competences. Finally, it's shown an example of Europass Certificate Supplement, with reference to the proposed grid to certify the learning outcomes of a Technical Drawing course taught in our Faculty. Copyright © 2002-2012 The Design Society. All rights reserved.

Keywords: Certification | European Qualifications Framework | Evaluation grid | Lifelong learning | Technical drawing

[25] Parmigiani S., Zani D., Invernizzi C., Mazzù A., Villa V., Lezzi A., A biomass powered ringbom-stirling engine for developing countries: A low-budget solution for distributed electricity generation, Renewable Energy and Power Quality Journal, 1(8), 659-662, (2010). Abstract
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Abstract: In many isolated settings electricity is not available or is supplied by fossil fuels, while biomass is used for cooking purposes, not exploiting all of its potential. We are building a prototype of a biomass powered 1kWel Ringbom-Stirling engine that doesn't require high technology, but nevertheless brings relevant innovations. This solution aims to generate electricity using the same source used for cooking. It is meant to be used and to be producible in developing countries, where distributed electricity generation, using locally available primary sources, can help reducing the dependence from foreign aids or suppliers. The system we are building is composed of a down-draft gasifier which supplies the syngas that is then burned to heat the Ringbom-Stirling engine, which produces electricity, while the remaining heat is available for cooking. We discuss here the general scheme of this solution with particular regard for some new applications that greatly simplify the operation of traditional Stirling engines, such as metal bellows, used instead of the typical cylinder-piston arrangement, to totally eliminate the friction due to sealing needs between moving parts.

Keywords: Biomass gasification | Metal bellows | Ringbom-Stirling engine

[26] Zanola P., Benedetti D., Bontempi E., Villa V., Baronio G., Tosti M., Roberti R., Depero L.E., Residual stress measurement of gold artefacts by Debye ring analysis, Zeitschrift fur Kristallographie, Supplement, 1(23), 61-66, (2006). Abstract
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Abstract: In the case of precious and rare art manufacts, usually bearing complex geometry, the conventional X-ray Diffraction technique can be very difficult or even impossible to be applied. On the contrary by means of microbeam small area can be analysed and the microstructure of differently treated surfaces can be investigated. Recently, two-dimensional (2D) detectors have been developed for laboratory X-ray diffractometers. Thus, nowadays it is possible to collect high quality diffraction data of a significant part of the diffraction cones during the exposure time and the structure and microstructure of small surface area can be assessed. Moreover, by the analysis of the diffraction cones distortion, the residual and/or applied stresses can be measured. In the present work the structure, microstructure, and residual stress present in representative gold artefacts are discussed mainly on the basis of bidimensional X-ray microdiffraction (μXRD2) and microfluorescence (μXRF). A gold ring has been analysed before and after deformation and the distribution of residual stress measured along the circumference has been compared with the stress analysis results from FEM simulation. © by Oldenbourg Wissenschaftsverlag.

Keywords: Gold | Jewellery | Microstructure | Residual stress | XRD 2

[27] Zanola P., Benedetti D., Bontempi E., Villa V., Baronio G., Tosti M., Roberti R., Depero L.E., Residual stress measurement of gold artefacts by Debye ring analysis, Zeitschrift fur Kristallographie, 221(SUPPL. 23), 61-66, (2006). Abstract
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Abstract: In the case of precious and rare art manufacts, usually bearing complex geometry, the conventional X-ray Diffraction technique can be very difficult or even impossible to be applied. On the contrary by means of microbeam small area can be analysed and the microstructure of differently treated surfaces can be investigated. Recently, two-dimensional (2D) detectors have been developed for laboratory X-ray diffractometers. Thus, nowadays it is possible to collect high quality diffraction data of a significant part of the diffraction cones during the exposure time and the structure and microstructure of small surface area can be assessed. Moreover, by the analysis of the diffraction cones distortion, the residual and/or applied stresses can be measured. In the present work the structure, microstructure, and residual stress present in representative gold artefacts are discussed mainly on the basis of bidimensional X-ray microdiffraction (μXRD2) and microfluorescence (μXRF). A gold ring has been analysed before and after deformation and the distribution of residual stress measured along the circumference has been compared with the stress analysis results from FEM simulation. © by Oldenbourg Wissenschaftsverlag.

Keywords: Gold | Jewellery | Microstructure | Residual stress | XRD 2