The PhD thesis was supervised by Mariano Campoy-Quiles, from the Nanostructured Materials for Optoelectronics and Energy Harvesting (NANOPTO) Group at ICMAB-CSIC. The PhD Committee that evaluated the Thesis was formed by Marisol Martín-González, IMM-CNM-CSIC, Spain (President), Aitor Lopeandia Fernández, UAB, Spain (Secretary), Derya Baran, KAUST, Saudi Arabia (Vocal).
José Piers Jurado’s PhD thesis was part of the PhD Programme in Materials Science from the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB).
From left to right: Derya Baran, José Jurado, Marisol Martín-González, Aitor Lopeandia Fernández and Mariano Campoy-Quiles
Why did you choose the ICMAB for your PhD?
I wanted to work with Mariano because I had read papers of his work in the field of organic solar cells. Then he offered an interesting PhD project to me, so I was very eager to come to ICMAB.
How would you explain your research to a non-scientific audience?
One part of my research was focused on producing energy from the heat of the Sun.
What are the main applications of your research? Could you give us an example?
The main applications of my research are in the field of energy harvesting. In part of my work, we made a proof-of-concept solar organic thermoelectric generator capable of harvesting solar energy.
From the lessons learnt here, which one do you value the most?
Science isn’t always the most important aspect about the PhD. The people you work with make a huge impact, so the lesson I value is asking for help when needed. It’s ok to ask for help, and by doing, things tend to get done faster.
What will you miss the most from ICMAB?
The people without a doubt. I have fond memories of many people at ICMAB, and I feel very lucky to have had such wonderful colleagues at ICMAB.
How do you think this experience will contribute to your training and to your future?
I have learned an incredible amount about my fields of study and other topics, such as electronics, I would have probably not learned about had I not done my PhD at ICMAB. Going forward, I hope to apply the scientific techniques and the knowledge about electronics in my next journey.
What are your plans once you finish your PhD?
I will do a postdoc, as soon as the UAB decides to issue my PhD title.
What do you wish you had known at the beginning of your PhD, that now you can recommend to the ones who are starting?
I would definitely say do not hesitate to ask for help. Sometimes even the smallest doubt in your mind can lead to big issues. It’s better to ask for help or run something by someone with my experience than try to do something you are unsure about. Likely, you will do it wrong, and you will need to repeat what you do in the first place.
Why did you become a scientist? Which have been your role models?
I became a scientist because I enjoy constantly learning about new things, and figuring out things that we don’t fully understand yet. I also enjoy working in a lab. As for my role model at ICMAB, Mariano has been my role model at ICMAB. He puts a lot of emphasis on achieving high quality results that form a cohesive story. The quality is more important than the quantity of results. He is also very personable, putting the people in his group before science. An important aspect of science in the human element, which other people sometimes discount. In short, he is a role model to me not only as a scientist and a boss, but also as a human being.
Which is your favourite female scientist? And why?
My favorite female scientist is Mildred Dresselhaus because of her contributions to the field of carbon nanostructures and thermoelectrics.
Describe in 3 keywords…
- Your research: organic semiconductors, organic solar cells, organic thermoelectrics
- Barcelona: sunny, cultural, catalan
- Your experience at ICMAB: motivating, fruitful, challenging
Any other comments you would like to say:
I want to once more say thank you to everyone I have had to cross paths with at ICMAB and hope to cross paths with everyone in the future. And a special dedication to Anna May for always making nice publicity and being a lifesaver when it came to organizing events! :)