IMTTA honors Kettering students

Nov 24, 2011

Two Kettering University students were winners in the Fourth Annual Machine Tool Technology Awards, entitling them to two weeks of study and industry networking in Italy.

Mitchell Krogman and William Seldon ‘11 had an opportunity to expand  their horizons, literally, when they were chosen as two of eight North American engineering students to win the Fourth Annual Italian Machine Tool Technology Award (IMTTA) awarded by The Italian Trade Commission (Chicago).

Award winners received a trip to Italy in July, which included a week of engineering courses at the Politecnico University of Milan, and a one week tour of companies demonstrating Italian experience in technology and production in their respective fields.

Krogman, an Industrial Engineering major from Birch Run, Mich., won for his paper, “Advances in Titanium Alloy Medical Implants Utilizing the Electron Beam Melting Process, and Seldon, class of 2011, a Mechanical Engineering major from Howell, Mich., won for his paper, “Local Motors: An Innovative Change in the Industry.”

Both students originally authored their winning papers for Dr. W. L. Scheller's Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering 404, CNC Machining class.  “We wrote the paper for class and he told us that it met the requirements of the IMTTA competition and encouraged us to apply,” said Krogman.

Winners were chosen by a panel of judges from the SME Education Foundation and selected based on the innovation and subject content of their thesis papers. Other North American winners were from Purdue University, Texas A & M, Lawrence Technological University, University of Colorado and North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University.

The IMTTA program is a competition asking upper level students attending premier North American universities to write a thesis on the relative innovation taking place in Mechanical Engineering related industries and the issues they face.

The visits to Italian machinery manufacturers provided students with a unique opportunity to experience firsthand, Italian machine tool machinery. Krogman said it surprised him to learn that “Italy actually had top notch facilities and products to compete with the rest of the world. When I think of industrial machines, Italy doesn’t necessarily come to mind.  This trip was really about getting the names of Italian machine tool builders out to the world, and to showcase their products,” he said.

The Italian companies they toured were different from Krogman’s  U.S. work experiences through the Kettering Cooperative Education curriculum. “They were a direct reflection of the culture which is very friendly,” he said, adding “we were treated with much respect. It was as if each company was a home, we were greeted, fed, everything.”

Seldon found that the companies that he was able to visit were smaller in number of employees than his co-op employers, but were still able to produce amazing products and services that are able to compete on the world sector. “Their passion for green technology development and next generation products was very impressive,” he said.  He is currently employed full time by FEV Inc., working in their NVH and drive-line group as a project engineer.

Overall, Krogman said he learned that despite different cultures and ideas, engineers are really aiming for the same goal: improvement upon what we already have in the world. The experience has made him seriously consider applying for jobs overseas following his graduation in March 2012.

Seldon too said he is open to working overseas if the opportunity arises. He especially enjoyed the availability of public transportation in Italy. “The level of mass transit was great! On a whim I was able to take a train and visit Venice for the day. The subways were nice, clean, the trams were numerous, and wherever I went there was a bus,” he said.

About the IMTTA Award:
The trip was part of the Italian Machine Tool Technology Awards, which is part of the international program Italian Technology Awards. The IMTTA is sponsored by the Italian Trade Commission, via its Chicago Office, UCIMU-SISTEMI PER PRODURRE (Association of Italian Manufacturers of Machine Tools, Robots, Automation Systems and Ancillary Products, Politecnico of Milan (, ), FEDERMACCHINE (Italian National Association of Manufacturers Capital Goods  and in the United States, the SME Education Foundation (SME-EF).

About the SME Education Foundation:
The SME Education Foundation is committed to inspiring, supporting and preparing the next generation of manufacturing engineers and technologists in the advancement of manufacturing education. Created by the Society of Manufacturing Engineers in 1979, the SME Education Foundation has provided more than $31 million since 1980 in grants, scholarships and awards through its partnerships with corporations, organizations, foundations, and individual donors. Visit Also visit for information on advanced manufacturing careers and our award-winning website for young people,  

Contact: Dawn Hibbard