Interview Copenhagen Optimization’s summer intern Luca Elianti from DTU Master Programme in Industrial Engineering and Management at the Technical University of Denmark
24th July 2017
It is summer and students from all over are rushing to be at music festivals, relaxing and catching up on sleep, but for Luca, this summer will be different. Luca has decided to come work for the young Entrepreneurial company Copenhagen Optimization (CopOpt). He is on summer holiday from his two-year Master program in Industrial Engineering and Management at the Technical University of Denmark. Luca holds a Bachelor Diploma in Engineering Management from the University of Bologna and moved to Denmark from Italy last year. Luca’s specialty field is “Management and analysis of operations,” with the focus on the understanding and optimization of the processes related to both manufacturing and services.
Read this short interview on Luca and why he believed spending his summer working with Copenhagen Optimization solution Better Airport was the right match to strengthen his Masters.
Why did you choose to apply for an internship with Copenhagen Optimization and the solution Better Airport?
I could be romantic and say that the name of the company perfectly summarizes the journey that I started one year ago: I see Copenhagen as the place where my future begins, and where I can dive into my passion for optimization. I got in touch with the company following an event at the University DTU where the guest speaker and Product Director, Mr. Tor Fog Justesen presented the Better Airport software. I was hit by the realization that here was a business who had succeeded in transforming complex data analysis into a successful independent business. I made contact with CopOpt immediately, and we decided together that an internship could be a great experience for both. I am intrigued by the concept of translating complex mathematical algorithms and models into a customer-friendly, cloud-based solution, that can rapidly convince the management of the airport that there is a better way to tackle their operations proactively. I realized that all the background gained through my studies is insufficient without a surrounding business model that translates the theory into practice and tries to overcome the tendency of managers to stick with their current solutions, due to fear of change and to the belief that benefits do not justify the efforts.
Do you think there is a link with what you are studying at DTU?
There is a link, in the sense that CopOpt derives from a strong technical background and translates innovative thinking into value delivering solutions for the market. I have personally worked in different university assignments regarding the optimization of airport workforce, aircraft scheduling, demand forecasting and also a simulation of the whole airport operations. The broad spectrum of applications and related literature is due to the high complexity of the system and to the great potential of performance improvements, which is extremely valuable in a period where the pressure on costs and the request for better service levels are vital.
What are your first impressions about this new environment?
It is interesting to observe how the team works while gaining a deeper understanding of the Better Airport product. I have been impressed particularly by the quick decision making and execution of the work in the office. The tasks and the deadlines are precisely defined and agreed by all the members through a mix of various meetings and continuous dialog between the software and the consultancy team. This shared awareness gives rise to an enjoyable environment where the energy is contagious.
What do you expect to gain from this experience?
I expect two things in particular: to refine my knowledge regarding optimization and airport industry, and to being enriched by the culture and all the departments of the company. In fact, it is an excellent opportunity to give a more practical turn to my academic path, but at the same time getting experience within the consultancy and software business. I see CopOpt as the turning point toward a practical realization of both the road I have covered so far and to the road that lies ahead.
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