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Federico Rosei

In this installment of Senior Member Insights, we talk with Federico Rosei, Professor and Director of Institut National de la Recherche Scientifique, Énergie, Matériaux et Télécommunications, Université du Québec, Varennes (QC) Canada. In addition to holding the UNESCO Chair in Materials and Technologies for Energy Conversion, Saving and Storage since 2014, Federico became the Canada Research Chair (Senior) in Nanostructured Materials in 2016. His research interests focus on the properties of nanostructured materials, and on how to control their size, shape, composition, stability and positioning when grown on suitable substrates.

Has there been a particularly difficult decision in your career thus far? How did you tackle it?

A little over six years ago I took on the challenge of becoming Director of our center. It worked out well, but it was a huge risk at the time. Before stepping into the role, I made sure to organize things in such a way that my scientific career would not suffer from taking on such a major role as administrator.

How has networking changed for you since you first began your career?

Networking has been a major aspect of my career. I am somewhat traditional in this sense—I prefer face to face meetings, usually at conferences. Not much has changed except that I travel a lot, probably too much.

What is one question you had as a student/early professional that never seemed to be answered? Have you found the answer?

How does one come up with really original and novel research ideas that make us stand out from the crowd? No answer! I guess it is a lifelong quest.

How do you define success in your career?

That is very subjective. Personally my “claim to fame” is that I have been a professor for fifteen years and fifteen former group members are professors in nine countries. My success mostly relates to my ability to supervise and mentor young scientists and help them launch successful careers.

What habits do you rely on to help you succeed?

Constant planning and revising plans to stay on track and make sure I do not miss out on any important opportunities.

At this point in your career, what are you most looking forward to next?

I have an idea I have been working on, to launch a major institute ... but it takes time and resources and it cannot be improvised. I already started with an initial pillar, a UNESCO Chair!

If you weren’t in the sciences, what would be your dream career?

Maybe chef, because I love to cook, or maybe an engineer.