Stefania Campopiano - 2021 SPIE Women in Optics Planner
Full Professor in the Department of Engineering
University of Naples Parthenope, Italy
Born in Italy
I think working in science comes from inner inspiration. For me, I simply noticed how the scientific approach nicely fit my way of life. It is just sort of an inner perspective that day by day drives me to enjoy results that are derived from following the scientific method. It was natural to find myself absorbed in a scientific environment with this internal curiosity about how things work.
Teaching and researching are my primary responsibilities, and I like this very much. I am a full professor of electronics and photonics at an Italian public university. I am also heading the Academic Courses in Information Engineering at University of Naples Parthenope.
My research started with the application of photonics as a smart tool for fine sensing in several application fields. As the years pass, I find I am becoming more and more attracted by the applications of fiber optic sensors in the biomedical area, a trendy multidisciplinary area in which talented engineers can contribute by playing an unexpected but very promising role.
In my career, the biggest challenge I face is prejudice, which is at the heart of any gender discrimination. But I overcame that prejudice by staying focused on myself and going my way.
I wish I had been told at an earlier age to select the most ambitious goals in any research activity I was involved in. And now I would tell other young women that in STEM, the scientific method can in part mitigate gender prejudice. Scientific evidence is a tool that can avoid the prejudices that lead to an artificial ranking among ideas of men and women.