What do you teach at Ca’ Foscari? What are your main research interests?
I teach courses in the field of Analytical Chemistry. More specifically, they cover instrumental analytical techniques, such as spectroscopy, chromatography, mass spectrometry and electrochemistry. However, my research interests lie mainly in electroanalysis, with a focus on developing miniaturised electrode systems and their application for determining analytes in real matrices.
Tell us about your academic path.
I graduated in Industrial Chemistry in Padua. As soon as I graduated, while waiting to fulfil my military service obligations, I worked as a university teaching assistant, a position that today can be equated to a "Moratti tutor". After my military service, I returned to the university research laboratories in Padua, where I had done my dissertation, as an adjunct professor (very poorly paid contracts!). I became a University Researcher (RU) at Ca' Foscari in 1983, after winning the national competition, provided for by Law no. 382 of 1980. At Ca' Foscari, and after winning the relevant national competitions, I became Associate Professor in 1992 and Full Professor in 2005.
What are you most passionate about in your research?
I have always been passionate about basic research, but I am also aware of the importance of implementing the knowledge I acquire. I believe that my overall scientific production reflects these convictions. It is divided in a balanced way between theoretical studies of electrode processes, carried out with advanced (in some cases cutting-edge) methods and techniques, and the development of miniaturised electrode systems for the study of environmental, food and, more recently, biological matrices and cultural heritage.
Have you always known that this was going to be your path?
As a student, I believed that the best satisfaction in post-graduate life came from working in non-academic fields, possibly in reputable chemical industries. These assumptions faded until they changed completely during the time I spent in the university laboratory doing my dissertation. Today I am very happy about that change.
What do teaching and researching mean to you?
A lot. I have always loved teaching and researching. I believe that both are important in academia. They give you the chance to keep learning new things and passing them on to your students.
Can you offer any advice to researchers in the early stages of their career?
To the young people who are approaching research today, I say that research engages your spirit and your body. You have to love it and you can't approach it just to get a job.