Cinthia Piamonteze

Cinthia Piamonteze

I’m Cinthia Piamonteze. I’m a senior researcher at the Paul Scherrer Institute. My scientific interests include the discovery and investigation of novel magnetic properties at the interface between complex oxides in high quality heterostructures, the control of magnetism by external stimuli as electric fields or strain and the investigation and control of magnetism in low dimensions in van der Waals magnetic systems. As a specialist in x-ray absorption spectroscopy, x-ray linear dichroism and x-ray magnetic circular dichroism I apply these techniques to help in the understanding of these systems. I also have long experience with multiplet codes used to simulate x-ray absorption spectra. Applying the simulation know-how in conjunction with the experiment has rendered interesting insights.

I’m from Brazil and completed my PhD in physics at University of Campinas, Brazil, working at the Brazilian Synchrotron Light Source (LNLS). After completing the PhD, I moved to the Advanced Light Source (ALS) at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) in Berkeley, California, USA for my post-doctoral work where I stayed a bit more than 3 years.

In 2007 I joined the Paul Scherrer Institute (PSI) in Switzerland. Since 2019 I’m a member of the research committee at PSI (Forschungskommission – FoKo). From 2012 to 2022 I have been part of the committee for equal oportunities in PSI, which plans actions to make PSI an attractive work place for women and parents in general.

How did I end up here? I have been always curious, and that curiosity led me to study Physics. My parents did not know one could make a career as a scientist. My career choice was seen as rather weird at home. One of the challenges I feel in being in a male dominated environment is to be heard by my colleagues without being underestimated. This means that often I must repeat myself a few times until I’m taken seriously. In my free time I like to hike in the mountains. I have two children who are 6 and 9 years old. I only manage with my work and my children because my husband takes his 50% work share at home. My advice for any future woman scientist is to always believe yourself. If someone says your idea is not good is because probably, they did not understand it, do not let that put you down. If you plan to have a family, be sure to discuss with your partner if he/she is prepared to take 50% of the workload at home.