Dr. Joseph Piacenza earned his B.S. in mechanical engineering from the University of South Florida (USF), and completed his MBA at USF in 2008 with a focus on entrepreneurship and management. While working toward his MBA, Dr. Piacenza founded and managed an automotive-based small business for seven years. After selling the company in 2010, and he concurrently pursued his M.S. and Ph.D. in mechanical engineering at Oregon State University, completing each degree in 2012 and 2014 respectively. Dr. Piacenza’s dissertation explored concept-stage robust design for complex infrastructure systems. Additional active research areas include system optimization, automotive design, sustainable building design, and additive manufacturing. Dr. Piacenza is currently an Assistant Professor at the University of West Florida (UWF), with a key focus in interdisciplinary student design projects. In addition, he is the Faculty advisor for UWF’s SAE Baja team.