Motor Bella - Automobili-D 2021 Panelists

Innovation that moves forward

Featured Event Panel Session, 1:00 PM - 1:50 PM EST, September 24th, 2021

The world of mobility related products and services is constantly innovating, with an emphasis on new propulsion methods, advanced manufacturing solutions and infrastructure development. The trend to move to autonomous driving has strengthened the role of information technology and artificial intelligence solutions, now being more and more incorporated in traditional vehicles as well.

Italy stands ready to lead the way as the world transitions to new models of mobility. Recent data illustrates how the country’s electric vehicle (EV) market has more than doubled in 2020, notwithstanding the COVID-19 crisis. In addition to EV, other key transformative themes being currently researched and applied within the country are AI, Smart City, Autonomous Driving, Big Data and Sustainable Mobility.

Italy’s outstanding position in the global competitive landscape is being achieved thanks to continued collaborative efforts between the business sector, public institutions and academia. A brief and vibrant panel discussion will shed some light on this crucial asset and provide some evidence of the benefits afforded by strong relations between Italy and USA key players in the sector.


Michael Wayland

Michael Wayland is a reporter on CNBC’s digital team focused on covering the global automotive industry. Before joining CNBC, he spent two and a half years writing about General Motors and labor relations for Automotive News. He previously served as a beat reporter on Italian-American automaker Fiat Chrysler, now known as Stellantis, for The Detroit News. While covering Fiat Chrysler, he spent a week in Italy covering the company as well as the Italian automotive industry. He visited plants and corporate offices and spoke with employees about working in the Italian automotive industry and Fiat Chrysler. He started his career in Michigan with Booth Newspapers and MLive Media Group.

Michael graduated from Central Michigan University with a bachelor’s degree in English and journalism. He also served as president for the Detroit chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists and is vice president of the Automotive Press Association.

Dr. Sayed A. Nassar

Dr. Sayed A. Nassar is currently a Distinguished Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Oakland University (OU), Rochester, Michigan-USA, Fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), founding coordinator of the collaborative Double master’s degree (DMD) program between Oakland University and Politecnico di Torino (PoliTo) & CRF-Stellantis in Turin, Italy. At OU, Dr. Nassar is the Founding Director of both the Fastening and Joining Research Institute (FAJRI) and the new NSF center for Composite and Hybrid Material Interfacing (CHMI). He is the co-editor and co-author of the Handbook of Bolts and Bolted Joints, Taylor & Francis, 1998. At Oakland University, he developed material joining curriculum and established a highly successful [externally funded] research program with the automotive and ground vehicle industry, which graduated more than 30 Ph.D. and MS Dissertations and MS theses, which included OU-PoliTo graduates from the DMD program.

Dr. Nassar has more than 300 peer reviewed publications, presentations, and technical reports on material joining. In addition to his academic teaching and research for more than 30 years, Dr. Nassar is regularly engaged with industry through applied research, and short course training/tutorials, and hand-on workshops for over 30 years at: GM (US, Mexico), Ford, FCA (US, Egypt), Hyundai Research Center (S. Korea), John Deere (US, Spain, India), First and Second Auto (China), and NASA. Nassar is also a frequent presenter and tutorial developer/instructor on Bolted Joints at international technical conferences and fastener trade shows (e.g. ASME/SAE, FF USA, FF Mexico,...etc.). Dr. Nassar is the CEO and Chief Technology Officer of University Research and Engineering Consultants (UREC, LLC), which is the home of BoltVibe software App for vibration loosening analysis ( He received his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, Ohio-USA.

Below are the respective links to FAJRI Research Lab, School of Engineering, center for CHMI at OU:

Giuseppe Santangelo

Giuseppe is the founder and CEO of Skypersonic Inc, a UAV manufacturing company focused on Autonomous Vehicles & UAV Indoor Systems.

Presently he collaborates at Lawrence Technology University as adjunct professor of the Autonomous Vehicles, UAV Artificial Intelligence and Aerospace Propulsion courses.

Giuseppe has been professor of Attitude Orbital Guidance and Navigation Control at the International Master II level in Space Exploration and Development Systems at Polytechnic of Turin, Universität Bremen (Germany) and Grande Ecole Aérospatiale Supaero Toulouse (France). He has been part-time professor at Wayne State University.

He has been responsible for the development of projects on behalf of the European Space Agency at Thales Alenia Space in Turin. Giuseppe participated to the engineering design and development of several equipment for the International Space Station with NASA.

He was the Project Manager of the Thrusters Measurement System Facility: the official micro-thruster propulsion test facility for several ESA and NASA programs.

With several publications in space, artificial intelligence and control systems he was awarded from NASA for the ISS Node Three Final Acceptance Review in 2003 and for Node Two Design Review in 2001.

He studied Astronautical Engineering at the University “La Sapienza di Roma” and he achieved the Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering (MSME) at Engineering Faculty of Catania.

Simona Onori

Simona Onori is an Assistant Professor in Energy Resources Engineering at Stanford University where she also holds a courtesy appointment in Electrical Engineering. Prior to that, she was an Assistant Professor at Clemson University – International Center for Automotive Research.

Upon joining the Stanford faculty, she funded and currently directs the Stanford Energy Control lab where she leads a team of graduate/undergraduate students, postdocs and international visiting scholars conducting cutting edge research on transportation and grid-storage energy systems. In particular, her research interests are in sustainable transportation, clean energy and second-life battery repurposing areas with a focus on hybrid and electric propulsion systems, electrochemical and electrical energy storage devices, emission mitigation devices and grid-storage systems. Ongoing research interests and efforts are in the area of electrified powertrain modeling and optimization and lithium-ion batteries and supercapacitor modeling, estimation and optimization.

She serves as the Editor-in-Chief of the SAE International Journal of Electrified Vehicles and she is a Distinguished Lecturer of the IEEE Vehicular Technology Society and a Senior Member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) since 2015. She is the recipient of the 2020 U.S. DoE Clean Energy Education & Empowerment (C3E) Award, Category Research, the 2019 Board of Trustees Award for Excellence, Clemson University, the 2018 Global Innovation Contest Award by LG Chem, the 2018 SAE Ralph R. Teetor Educational Award and the 2017 NSF CAREER award.

She is the recipient of the 2012 Lumley Interdisciplinary Research Award by the Ohio State University College of Engineering and the TechColumbus 2011 Outstanding Technology Team Award.

She served as chair of the IEEE CSS Technical Committee of Automotive Controls (2015-2017) and she currently vice-chair of the IFAC Technical Committee of Automotive Controls TC 7.1. She is co-author of a book and two book chapters on hybrid vehicles and she has more than 150 publications in peer reviewed journals and peer-reviewed conference proceedings. Her research was awarded the Best Student Paper Award (as advisor) at the IEEE CCTA (2017) and Outstanding Student Paper Award (as advisor) at the IEEE CCTA (2021).

She earned a Laurea Degree in Computer Science from University of Rome “Tor Vergata”, an M.S. in Electrical Engineering from University of New Mexico, and a PhD. in Control Engineering from University of Rome “Tor Vergata”.