Miriam Serena Vitiello

Miriam Serena Vitiello - 2016-17 SPIE Women in Optics Planner

Lead Physicist, National Enterprise for nanoScience and nanoTechnology (NEST), CNR Nanoscience Institute and Scuola Normale Superiore, Italy

Miriam Vitiello

Country of Birth: Italy
Country of Residence: Italy
Educational Background: PhD, MS, BS, University of Bari, Italy


Scientific studies, natural curiosity, and a desire to seek out the “why” of everyday phenomena attracted me to the world of science and brought me closer to physics. Contact with enthusiastic teachers and advisors who have an authentic passion for science made my interest in research even clearer.

As a team leader in the field of photonics and condensed matter physics, I am developing innovative devices in one of the most fascinating regions of the electromagnetic spectrum, the Terahertz-frequency gap. I lead a group of young researchers, advising PhD students and mentoring post-doc researchers, always with an enthusiastic approach and in a collaborative environment. I coordinate research projects and teach university graduate and undergraduate students. I am actively participating in the program and steering committees of many international conferences. My job requires the ability to explore new avenues, prefigure undisclosed scenarios, constantly check procedures and strategies, think independently, and interact with other scientists.

Many daily challenges and obstacles exist in the scientific world. By working enthusiastically, you may notice how “turning points” in your research can also become so for your career.

Being a woman is certainly a spectacular challenge because a higher sensitivity, emotion, and thoroughness make your personal journey even more demanding.

Simply follow your passion, be creative, believe in yourself and in what you do, be determined and persistent, and take into account that we live in a highly competitive world.

Always be yourself. Embrace a scientific career without “if” or “but.” And do not be afraid of your own beliefs, feelings, emotions, joys, as well as fragility and fears.

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