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2024. 04. 24 -

Laser scientist Dr. L. Grinevičiūtė, who chose the path of a researcher: there is always something new to discover in my work

Dr. Lina Grinevičiūtė. Photo: FTMC
The 67th Open Readings 2024 International Conference of Physics and Natural Science Students opened this Tuesday.
The event will run until 26 April and has attracted several hundred participants from Lithuania and abroad. Young scientists present their research together with guest speakers - world-renowned experts.
One of the special events of the conference yesterday was the discussion "Career Crossroads: Academia or Industry". It was initiated by Open Readings guest speaker Ursula Keller, an expert in laser physics and Professor at the Federal Institute of Technology Zurich. One of the panellists was Dr. Lina Grinevičiūtė, Head of the Optical Coatings Laboratory at the FTMC Department of Laser Technologies.
She is one of the most successful young researchers at our Center, having won the Lithuanian Society of Young Researchers honorary award for the best PhD thesis in 2021.
(A snapshot from the discussion. Photo: FTMC)
Today's discussion focused on what makes young talent choose to work in companies or pursue a career as a researcher - especially after finishing a PhD. It also discussed the pros and cons of the industrial and academic worlds, and panelists shared their personal experiences.
L. Grinevičiūtė believes that one area is not a priori better than another: "Not everyone can be a scientist or, conversely, work only in companies. The balance has to remain." According to the laser scientist, there are still various myths that prevent young people from choosing a career path they like.
"The idea is that if you go to a company, you'll have a boring job, doing the same thing over and over again, fulfilling business orders. There is also the myth that scientists are just doing formulae, very far removed from reality, from companies, and solving some unearthly problem. That is not true either.
Of course, we have research groups that do purely fundamental research, but there are also many scientists in Lithuania who collaborate with companies," says the physicist.
(Dr. Lina Grinevičiūtė. Photo: FTMC)
Lina herself chose to work in a scientific institution - the FTMC - even though, when she was still studying for her Master's degree, she thought she would never be a scientist. However, when she met our Centers' laser scientists unexpectedly, she became very interested in academia and eventually joined the FTMC team.
"I realised that I love what I do. I like the freedom to choose my own work, to decide what research topic to pursue. I also like working with the students who come to the FTMC, doing projects, collaborating with companies or other research institutions, going to conferences, presenting my work... Of course, you also have to write papers, which might not be the most fun part", she laughs.
Today, she heads the Optical Coatings Laboratory and is pleased that the topics she and her colleagues are working on are not only relevant to science, but also to laser and optical coatings companies: 'When I present our work abroad, people come up to me, ask questions, want to collaborate... You feel like a world-class scientist, that's a very good feeling.
My work is very interesting, there is always something new happening, always something new to discover."
(Image from the Optical Coatings Laboratory at the FTMC Department of Laser Technologies. Photo: Hernandez & Sorokina / FTMC)
Optical coatings are thin materials developed in the laboratory that help control light. In lasers, this is to prevent powerful pulses of light from burning or otherwise damaging the laser equipment itself. How to imagine this?
"The window lets in the light and we can see clearly what's going on behind it. But if we deposit optical coatings (very thin films with different optical properties) on the glass of a window, we could make the window into a fully reflective mirror. Alternatively, we could make the window transmit only certain wavelengths of light and not others, or affect that light in other ways.
Here's the problem: when we design a powerful laser, we have to somehow control the radiation if we want to use it to cut, burn, etc. something. So how do we design optical elements that are not damaged by the energetic radiation, but instead control it?
This is one of the themes we are developing in our laboratory - how to make optical coatings as resistant as possible to laser radiation," says Dr. Lina Grinevičiūtė.
The Open Readings International Conference for Students takes place 23-26 April at the FTMC, Saulėtekio al. 3, Vilnius. The main panels are streamed live on the Open Readings Facebook account and LRT.LT website.
FTMC information
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