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Roberta Ramponi

Department of Physics, Polytechnic of Milan, Italy
Country of origin: Italy

What I do.
I teach physics and micro- and nano-optics. I am also the chair of bachelor and master degrees in physical engineering at Milan Polytechnic. I do research in integrated and nonlinear optics. My activity is mainly devoted to the development of novel photonic and optofluidic devices. In the past two years, as the President of the European Optical Society, I have been involved in the promotion of optics and photonics in Europe at both academic and industrial levels.

What I find exciting.
It is exciting to face new challenges everyday, to feel that there is always some new process to explore, some new experiment to design, some new technological development to pursue, something new to learn and to achieve, or something "old" to improve. I would say that scientific research is intrinsically exciting, and the field of optics and photonics, combining fascinating fundamental physics and an incredibly wide number of applications, is one of the most exciting. It is also exciting when I succeed in transmitting such enthusiasm to my students.

What I wish someone had told me.
If you want to be free when you make your decisions, it is not possible to dedicate 100% of your time to the exciting part of research. Politics, organization, and need for funding also claim your time. Always remember that research is not only scientific method and hard work, imagination and dreams are essential to succeed.