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Behind the CV

Story from a Physicist

Members of the IoP at different levels of their career share their story of how they became the physicist they are today. In an informal atmosphere, they reflect on their path and the challenges they encountered along the way. They discuss the key choices they made, their successes, but also their failures, detours, struggles and insecurities, and the support they received.
Their story, behind the CV.

We welcome all physics students and postdocs to join us for this seminar series on the unspoken challenges of life in academia. We hope these conversations will inspire you and help you through choices and challenging times in your career. 

This seminar series is inspired from “Growing Up In Science” and other events in institutes abroad. We are very thankful to the speakers for sharing their stories with us.

Upcoming Event 



Past Events


Friday 11 February 2022


During the Faces of Science Park 2022 we held a special edition of Behind the CV with Carina Hoorn (IBED) and Martin Fransen (Nikhef).

Martin Fransen is a staff scientist at Nikhef, at the detector R&D group. He has a background in electronics and in applied physics. An important topic in his research is the development of new radiation detectors based on ‘pixel chips’, which to some extent are similar to the imaging chips in common camera’s. These developments are driven by the needs of particle physics experiments at CERN, for which subatomic particles must be tracked and identified. The challenges are to build such tracking detectors as light and thin as possible while combining a high particle count rate capability with a high precision in timing and position while also consuming a minimum amount of power.  Martin Was born in Amsterdam. After high school (H.A.V.O.) he went to Hogeschool Rens & Rens where he got his bachelor in electronic engineering. After this he moved to the University of Twente where he got his master in applied physics. He did his PhD research (at the UvA) in the same R&D group as he is working in now. After his PhD, he worked at VSL, the Dutch metrology institute, and at SRON, the Dutch space research institute, before returning to the R&D group at Nikhef, where he is working for 5 years now.

Carina Hoorn is a geologist/paleoecologist and associate professor at the University of Amsterdam (The Netherlands), and works at the Institute for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Dynamics (IBED). She holds an MSc (1988) and PhD (1994) from this university, and an MSc (2003) in Science Communication from Imperial College London (UK). Recently she won the van Waterschoot van der Gracht award (2021) for achievements in the field of Earth Sciences.Her main research interest is the Cenozoic evolution of biota and sedimentary environments in mountains and peripheral regions. The regions she is most interested in are Amazonia, the Andes, Tibet, the Himalayas and SE Asia. She enjoys working in research teams, and together with her collaborators studies the Neogene fossil plant record of western Amazonia and the origin and stages of development of the Amazon River. She is also fascinated by the Cenozoic evolution of steppe-desert plants, even more so after spending some time as a research fellow in Xinjiang province, westernmost China. More recently, her curiosity has driven her to explore the fossil record of Myanmar and Indonesia.

Wednesday November 03, 2021

Noushine Shahidzadeh is full professor at the University of Amsterdam (UvA) working at the Van der Waals-Zeeman Institute (WZI) in the soft matter group; she is also currently a member of the board of directors of the Interpore foundation and the scientific board of the Netherlands Institute for conservation, Art and Science (NICAS).

Noushine was born in Iran and studied at the French international school of Tehran (RAZI). After her high school diploma, she continued her study in France and received her PhD from the Université Pierre et Marie Curie in Paris, and did a postdoc at the École Normale Supérieure. Before coming to the Netherlands in 2011 as an associate Professor, she was in charge of the Physics of Porous Media group at the Institute Navier in France, a position obtained in a nationwide job competition of the French Ministry for Sustainable Development.

During her career, Noushine has coordinated many national and European scientific research projects with industries, government institutions, and international partners on both fundamental and applied topics. Her area of expertise covers i) salt crystallization in bulk, confinement and porous media, ii) the behaviour of surfactants and emulsions system, and iii) control of wetting and adhesion of surfaces. One of the aims of her research is to support interdisciplinary projects for the preservation and conservation of cultural heritage and artworks. During her career, she has supervised several post-docs, engineers and PhD, Master’s and Bachelor’s students.

Friday June 11, 2021

Alejandra Castro is an associate professor at the Institute for Theoretical Physics (ITFA), where she is a member of the String Theory group. She works on classical and quantum gravity, and tackles various problems from the origin of black hole microstates to aspects of quantum cosmology. Alejandra was born in Chile, where she did her Bachelor in physics. She then studied in the United States and received her PhD from the University of Michigan in 2009. She followed with two postdocs, at McGill University and then Harvard University, before arriving at UvA.


"Behind the CV" series is organized by

Dr. S. (Shin'ichiro) Ando


Dr C.M.C. (Clelia) de Mulatier