- Why France and Esisar?
I am from Spain, from a city called Cartagena. I am here as a researcher for a postdoctoral position in the research group ORSYS, working on a project about antennas with a company collaborating with the LCIS lab, called Thales Alenia Space. I have been working on antennas for my PhD and the project here consists of developing antennas for satellites: the idea is to prove that the antennas we are developing can work for spatial applications. I was contacted by the LCIS lab because I have done my PhD on antennas and they caught me! (laughing)
LCIS has a lot of resources for research, which has been most impressive for me, coming from Spain where means have been cut off. Lots of companies are collaborating with the Lab, even multinational companies. I think that the LCIS lab has a high level, with catching topics. For example, in RFID (which is not my topic), they are first level and very good in antennas. It’s a school with a high projection for the future to be first level in France. - Living in Valence?
Valence is a nice city, but it is not Paris! It is too much quiet for me but the people have been very polite and it has been good for me. It is very comfortable: it is not difficult for me to live here in economic terms and also everything is very close: swimming pools, shops, cinemas..., so that you don’t have to take transports every time. Valence is also very geographically centric: not close but not far from everywhere. I went to Lyon for instance (1 hour by train from Valence), to see the “Fête des Lumières”. - What about the language?
If I had stayed longer, I would have taken French courses. But I did not have any problems with the language because, besides I have learnt a little bit by myself, most of the people here speak in English. - Were you surprised by anything here?
Something surprised me in a good sense: students defending a thesis here have to prepare a lunch for the audience and tribunal. In Spain, new PhDs usually invite the tribunal to have lunch in a restaurant after their thesis defense. There was also the Christmas event organized for the children of the teachers and people working here. All this creates a familiar environment that is surrounding the school, and I like that. The way the people treat you here is also beautiful. - What would you advise to students or researchers who wish coming at Esisar?
Doing a PhD here: they will have very good research conditions. Most of the people here are very good in their topics and publish in first level journals or attend first level conferences. This is a very beautiful place, also good for skiing. It is a good experience to go abroad and see different ways of working. For example, during my PhD, I did a three months research stay in the Queen’s University of Belfast and it was also a very beautiful experience, and also meet different people and traditions, very different to French style by the way! These experiences will be always very rewarding as they will give you new opportunities in your professional career and, more importantly, will allow you to enhance in your personal development. In Esisar I have seen that teachers allow to students a high level of freedom to develop their work and ideas. I think this is a very positive thing for the development of new researchers.