Friday, April 8, 2016

CV and Personal notes

Some personal notes about Ugo Bardi

Hello! I don't know how exactly you clicked your way up to this page, but in case you are interested in details about my career at the university, here are some data:

At present, I am professor of Chemistry at the University of Firenze, Italy, member of the Department of Chemistry. Up to 1992, I was staff researcher at the Department of Applied Chemistry at the University of Firenze. Earlier on, I have been postdoc in various research institutions: Berkeley, Aix-Marseille and New York at Stony Brook. My academic degree is a "laurea" in Chemistry at the faculty of Sciences of the University of Firenze (that goes back to 1976). Maybe I could also list here the names of my teachers: they are Gianfranco Rovida (my thesis advisor), Franco Jona (my first boss in Stony Brook), Phil Ross and Gabor Somorjai (my time in Berkeley), Marcel Bienfait (in Marseille) and Yoshimasa Nihei (I was a fellow researcher in his group in Tokyo).

In case you might be interested, anyway, here is a little story of my intellectual career, let's call it that way. So, I started as a crystallographer, although of a special kind: I was a "surface crystallographer"; working at determining the atomic structure of surfaces. If you know something about crystallography of any kind, you may agree with me that it is one of the most boring areas of science. It consists in of collecting data, feeding them in computer programs and try to make sense of what the output is. OK, that's a bit oversimplified but, in any case, it is kind of boring. Also challenging, sure, and it forms a scientist to rigor and accuracy. But it is not so exciting.

So, I never wanted to be a crystallographer for all my life, even though I dabbled with this field for at least 20 years, probably more. I worked also on catalysis, an area related to surface crystallography and, in more recent times, a lot in electrochemistry. This latter part of science is something that my research group would apply to such things as high-temperature materials for the gas turbine industry. Now, that was much more interesting than playing with atoms.

I guess I could have been working in high-temperature materials for all my life. As I said, it is interesting, challenging, and it gives you a chance to work in an interdisciplinary field. Fine, but the problem was the economic crisis that started in the 21st century. The aerospace and the gas turbine industry were badly hit. No more research, no more grants, no more money. Collapse. We are still doing something in this field, but it is no fun anymore.

So, already in the early 2000s, I had sort of prefigured what was going to happen and I had started to work on depletion models. That is, on dynamic models that are supposed to tell us what trajectory we are going to see with the exploitation of a non-renewable resource. Something completely different than solid state physics, but my formation in physical chemistry helped me a lot in entering in this field.

So, as I am writing these notes, I am nearly 100% involved in research on sustainability: models, but not just that. I found that research on renewable energy and on waste management truly is a lot of fun. The most interesting part of science!

Personal notes

I was born in Firenze in 1952, I have been married since 1976 with Grazia. I have two children (grown up by now), Francesco (b. 1982) and Donata (b.1988). I also have two granddaughters: Aurora and Beatrice, both born in 2019. Up to 2019, I used to live in Fiesole, a few km from Firenze, but now I moved back to the place where I was born, in Firenze. At my place there also used to live Gea, (b. 2005) a canis lupus familiaris who, unfortunately, left us in 2020. We hope she is happy resting in some nice patch of green in the sky. About my family, you may also take a look to the page of one of my ancestors, my great-grandfather Antonio Bardi

What else? I have an interest in art and mythology, see for instance my blog title "Chimeras". Lots of people tell me that I should do more exercise, and they are probably right. I try to do that as an archer, and practicing Judo and Kenjutsu.

All that is probably more than you ever wanted to know about me, so I'll stop here. If you want to contact me, write me at ugo.bardi(whirlywhirl) Thanks for stopping by!


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