Luca - Beamline Technician (Italian)

The work culture at the ESRF involves a lot of discussion over projects and there is a fairly flat hierarchy and a good collaborative spirit. At the end of the day, we all work towards the same goal: to make the experiment a success.
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“I’m 24 and I trained as a mechanical technician with a specialisation in X-ray machines for hospitals and medical applications. After graduating, I spent 2 ½ years at the Italian synchrotron, Elettra, as beamline technician learning about the synchrotron environment. The equipment is very specific and very different to what you find in a more industrial environment. When you start gaining experience with synchrotron instrumentation then it’s easier to find solutions for the many different demands from the scientists. It’s also easier to explain why it’s best to go in one direction rather than another, what’s possible and what isn’t. I think my experience made me an interesting candidate for the ESRF, and I joined in 2017.

Each beamline at the ESRF has a different set-up and uses different techniques. That means a different set of problems and different equipment. I work on beamline BM05 which caters more for industrial users and internal, experienced beamline users. It’s interesting because the developments we introduce for the beamline are longer-term projects rather than last-minute fixes.  I feel like I learn something new every day and that my knowledge is growing all the time. It’s very motivating.

The work culture at the ESRF involves a lot of discussion over projects and there is a fairly flat hierarchy and a good collaborative spirit. At the end of the day, we all work towards the same goal: to make the experiment a success.

There are lots of young people and many are like me, just arrived from abroad. It’s easy to mix and the active student club means there’s plenty opportunity to do sport and socialise.”