I currently work as Teaching Assistant and Postdoctoral Student at the Babeș-Bolyai University and the National Institute for Research and Development of Isotopic and Molecular Technologies in the city of Cluj-Napoca. My research interests are two-fold; I primarily do research in the ‘blue economy’, which is a branch of economy aimed at increasing the efficiency of marine resources exploitation in accordance with the highest ecology standards, and I also do research in structural defects of metal nanomaterials. I am an expert in using spectroscopy, and I also use the results of other high-precision analytical methods, such as electron microscopy, X-ray diffraction and similar. My story begun in 2015 when I met a professor from the city of Cluj-Napoca. She later invited me to continue my career in Romania after I graduate from the University of Dubrovnik.
I completed the undergraduate study programme of Aquaculture and the graduate study programme of Mariculture at the Department of Aquaculture, which is today the Department of Applied Ecology. During my studies I became very interested in scientific work, and the staff of the Department noticed it enabled me to participate. This is how my academic career started. My work took me to laboratories and institutions dealing with topics unknown to me until that time; at the beginning of my studies in 2012 I had not even known that such topics existed.
In the morning I usually work at the Institute, and in the afternoon I go to one of the three laboratories of the University housing various analytical devices. My work puts a great challenge to my energy and time because it often happens that I leave for work early in the morning only to come back home late in the afternoon; there are practically no fully free days. However, my flexibility is great and I enjoy a lot of freedom in choosing where to spend my working time, and I have earned a lot of respect from my colleagues, which means a lot to me.
The knowledge I had acquired at the University of Dubrovnik helped me to quickly settle in my new job and working environment in the city of Cluj-Napoca. There I earned my PhD degree in Physics for my research in marine resources. The help from the University of Dubrovnik in sample preparation was of particular importance to me. This is my advice to all current and future students: develop good working habits, find something you are interested in and persevere; this will be a fruitful basis for your progress. If your results truly stand out (and they do not need to be spectacular), it is sufficient that you work hard and go beyond minimum expectations, and somebody will surely notice you and help you along your way!
Fran Nekvapil, PhD, Postdoctoral Student