Alejandra Jacobo worked on her PhD at IMDEA Nanociencia under the supervision of Prof. Isabel Rodríguez, Dr. Jaime Hernández, at the Group of Nanostructured Functional Surfaces. She defended her dissertation successfully on Sep. 24th, 2021 and obtained her PhD degree by the Carlos III University of Madrid. The title of her thesis is "Functional structured surfaces scaled up via roll-to-roll nanoimprint technology".
- How did you hear about the institute IMDEA Nanociencia? Tell us more about the beginning of the story…
I heard about IMDEA institutes when I was studying my degree in Materials Science and Engineering at the UCM3. When I finished my Master studies I was looking for an opportunity to continue my research career when I found a job offer in Madri+d webpage for a research assistant and I had the enormous fortune to be selected for the position by Prof. Isabel Rodríguez, head of the Nanostructured Functional Surfaces lab at IMDEA Nanoscience.
I spend two years as a technician in the group, learning and getting involved in many different and multidisciplinary projects surrounded by great professionals.
Admittedly, I didn’t expect to continue pursuing a PhD at the beginning, but once I had the opportunity to work in such interesting topics and to develop my research aptitudes I realized that it would be a great opportunity for further learning and professional growth. Time proved I wasn´t wrong. The time I spent doing my PhD was challenging but exciting. I had the opportunity not only to learn a lot about nanofabrication & characterization while developing different functional surfaces based particularly bioinspired moth-eye antireflective surfaces, and in addition, I was involved in upscaling the nanofabrication processes in a pilot plant which, as engineer, it was an exciting challenge for me.
- Tell us an exciting day at IMDEA Nanociencia you will always remember (winning a prize, experiment working for first time, first congress meeting…)
I will always remember my PhD defense as the day I reached my greatest milestone, for which I had been working so hard for a so long time. I felt really supported by my thesis directors, family, friends, and hugged for the amazing people I have met at the institute.
- What is your next stage? Tell us more about your career expectations now.
Since the beginning of my research career, I have always been really interested in applied science. Today, I can say that the knowledge I acquired during my PhD has allowed me to move to the next stage in my professional career. I begun to work on a start-up project closely related to the topic of my thesis where I can implement all the knowledge I acquired in technological applications directly useful for the society. I feel so lucky and really grateful for all the opportunities IMDEA Nanoscience has given to me, and I encourage early stage students to keep developing their scientific aptitudes.