Andrea de Luca
BA (Naples), MEng (Naples)
I was born and grew up in Naples (Italy) until in 2011 I moved to Cambridge first as an Erasmus student and then as a PhD student in the High Voltage Microelectronics and Sensors (HVMS) group of the Electrical Engineering Department at the University of Cambridge. I studied Electronic Engineering at the University of Naples Federico II and prior to that, quite unusually, I studied in a humanities-oriented high school. During these years I realized that Latin, old Greek, philosophy, history and literature were not quite grabbing my attention in the same way scientific subjects were doing. So I decided to go for Engineering, and today I definitely do not regret my choice.
Moving to Cambridge was a bit of change for me. I was coming from a big city, right by the sea, famous for its excellent food and good weather. From this perspective, let’s just say that here is not quite the same. Nonetheless, I fell in love with the Cambridge atmosphere. Walking and cycling in the city centre between the colleges and the other old buildings with their beautiful architecture, where “a few” Nobel prize winners did before me, still makes me feel like I am in a unique and special place.
I have to admit I was a lucky PhD student. Florin and his group are fantastic, and one of the main reasons why I am still in Cambridge, and the PhD was fully funded through an EU project (hopefully I will not be one of the last benefiting from this relationship between UK and EU), which gave a clear direction to my research. This focuses on thermal micro-sensors, which is a broad category of sensors (e.g. temperature sensors, flow sensors, infrared emitters and detectors, gas sensors, etc.) used in industrial and environmental as well as security and healthcare applications. As a Junior Research Fellow I plan to continue working on this topic, while at the same time broadening my expertise by opening up unexplored areas of investigation and new directions for interdisciplinary research.
I like research, I like my job, but I also enjoy dedicating part of my time to sports and outdoor activities. As almost everyone from Naples, I love the sea and everything associated with it. Swimming, scuba diving, and sun bathing are some of the constant ingredients in my summer holidays. A bit more atypical for a guy coming from the South is my passion for mountains. Climbing, trekking and skiing are definitely good motivations to fly anywhere on the Alps both during winter and summer and I take advantage of every opportunity for doing this.