Fernando Stefani was distinguished by Alexander von Humboldt Foundation

The Materials Engineer and Vice Director of the Research Centre for Bio Nanoscience (CIBION) for CONICET was distinguished for his contributions to the fields of nanotechnology and optics microscopy. Its candidacy was proposed by Stefan Hell, Nobel Prize for Chemistry.

Fernando Stefani was distinguished by Alexander von Humboldt Foundation

Fernando Stefani was distinguished by Alexander von Humboldt Foundation

Year after year, the German Alexander von Humboldt Foundation grants six Georg Forster Research Awards in recognition of career paths of highly qualified researchers from developing countries who are still working. Fernando Stefani was surprised to learn that this year he is one of the six researchers chosen: “I was surprised to have received this award so early in my career path. I believe I am one of the youngest with such a distinction. This is a very rewarding personal recognition and, additionally, it opens up highly valuable opportunities for future researches to be conducted by my entire team”.

Stefani possesses an interdisciplinary education. He is an electro mechanics technician, a Materials Engineer and also has a PhD on Chemistry. At present, he works as independent researcher for the National Council of Technical and Scientific Researches (CONICET), and as vice director for the Researches Centre for Bio Nanoscience “Elizabeth Jares Erijman” (CIBION-CONICET).  Additionally, he is a professor for the Department of Physics of the School of Natural and Exact Sciences of the University of Buenos Aires (UBA).

His relationship with Germany is a long-term one. He studied his PhD. at the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research in Mainz; he was assistant professor at the School of Physics of the Ludwig-Maximilians University of Munich; and since long ago he cooperates with German scientists. “All in all, I have spent seven years doing researches there, where he has had strongly generous and wise mentors”, he recalls.

The Georg Forster Research Award is granted in recognition for researches the fundamental discoveries, new theories or knowledge of which have had a significant impact on their own field, and also for fostering scientific developments at developing countries which may contribute to offering solutions for some of the challenges they face. Last year, three Argentinians received the award granted by the Foundation: “I think that this is another example of the Argentina’  Scientists Leadership among developing countries; a competitive advantage and a valuable asset that we have to take care of and put at the service of our development”, affirmed Fernando.

This is about a monetary award and additional funding for research stays at the German country, purchase of consumables and research equipment. “Also, the von Humboldt Foundation allows for a very important support network to fund future stays along the academic career, as well as for the organization of schools and workshops”, explained the researcher.

Nowadays, Fernando and its team have two main research lines: Nano photonics; that is to say, the study of light in Nano metric dimensions, and Nano manufacturing of complex objects, “composed by different Nano particles and organic molecules, using molecular self-assembling”. Recently, he participated in a work where they succeeded at passing the resolution limit that, up to now, was observed in fluorescence microscopes called super resolution. They developed a new methodology called MINFLUX (for its minimal use of photons), introduced at the prestigious Science magazine, and which allows for watching the details of a Nano meter (1 nm): that is, 10 millions of times smaller than a centimeter.

For the researcher, it is impossible to predict the impact of researches in the society, however, “at this point of the XXI century, improvements achieved through science in relation to the quality of life are unquestionable, and mainly, these were produced in an unexpectedly manner, such as electricity, antibodies, microelectronics, Internet”, he commented. The way to make progress, according to Stefani, is to do research, explore the unknown and accumulate knowledge: “The passing of knowledge from one generation to the other is essential. Societies have held that researches along time are the ones that dominate technology today and, in consequence, economics”, he reflected.

National Council of Scientific and Technical Research (CONICET)
  • Fernando Stefani was distinguished by Alexander von Humboldt Foundation
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Fernando Stefani was distinguished by Alexander von Humboldt Foundation

Fernando Stefani was distinguished by Alexander von Humboldt Foundation

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