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Juana Rudati

R&D Project Manager, Xradia, Inc., USA
Country of birth: Argentina

Educational background: PhD Physics, State University of New York, Stony Brook, USA; BA Physics/Applied Mathematics, University of California, Berkeley, USA

Juana RudatiWhat are the primary responsibilities of your current job?
I concentrate on research and development of high-resolution x-ray microscopes and their applications. I have led multi-million dollar advanced research projects in x-ray technology. I give presentations at scientific meetings, publish scientific papers, and collaborate with academic researchers. I also participate in efforts to promote women and minorities in science.

What is the biggest challenge you have overcome in your career?
As a graduate student, I knew that finding the right thesis advisor was extremely important. Most of the professors working in the field I was interested in had too many students, in my opinion. So I looked for alternatives and found out that most scientists at a nearby national
laboratory (Brookhaven) could also act as thesis advisors. I found the perfect match for me there. That is a good strategy in life, when the few options that are given don't work for you, you look for alternatives, expand those options and don't lose hope.

Do you have advice for young women considering a career in STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics)?
The jobs you want may not be as good as you think. And the jobs that might be a perfect fit, you might not know about yet. Keep your mind open. Start by asking the people you know best that you are trying to figure out what to do. Ask if they are happy with their job. Ask them how they got there, and don't let them answer ‘I just got lucky'. Yes, luck is an element for anything you do, but it is not something that can be reproduced. Ask them what other elements would be useful to have.