What have you studied and what influenced this choice back in the day?
I studied Physics and did a PhD in Theoretical Physics. I found it fascinating to investigate the l ruling how our universe works. And I always found math elegant and beautiful. Aesthetically very pleasing.
How did you become a researcher of quantum physics and technology?
My first job after graduation was a postdoctoral position at the Academy of Sciences in Sofia, Bulgaria. I loved being a postdoc: I had a lot of freedom on the topic of my research and at the same time a lot of time to dedicate to research only. The first years of being a postdoc are really a paradise if you love doing research – since over time, with more and more high-level positions, the administrative load is increasing and there is less time for research. This is clearly a sign that a revolution would be needed! After postdocs in Durban, South Africa and again in Sofia, Bulgaria I arrived to Finland with a postdoc position given by the Academy of Finland in the group of Prof. Kalle-Antti Suominen at Turku University. I then got a researcher position from the Turku Collegium of Science and Medicine, and formed my own group. But my first professorship position lead me away from Finland, and I moved to Edinburgh with part of my group. Finally, I won a position as full professor and Chair of Theoretical Physics and came back to Turku in 2014.
What is best thing about your job?
The people in my group; the collaboration with so many amazing physicists around the world; the possibility of organising original and creative events, such as hiking workshops, cycling workshops, unconferences, Game Jams, etc. I love bringing people together to spark creativity in research.
What do you consider as your biggest successes?
My biggest success is definitively my group: the people, the spirit and the wonderful research atmosphere. I don’t have any main regrets. I only wish I would have more time for research.
What do you expect from the future?
Just to continue to do research (hopefully more); supervise my student and postdocs; and explore more interdisciplinary research areas, such as those combining AI, quantum technologies and videogame development. I also have great interest in Science and Art, citizen science and public outreach, so I am always involved in rather unusual collaborations and projects. I love that!