ITMO Fellowship Stories: ”To Make the World a Better Place”
Idelfonso Tafur Monroy, participant of ITMO Fellowship program and professor at the Technical University of Denmark (DTU), came to Russia to develop a secure wireless optical data transfer system and make ITMO University popular all around the globe.
To repay “educational obligation”
I graduated from the Bonch-Bruevich Saint - Petersburg State University of Telecommunications where I got a Bachelor and a Master degree. That is why I am indebted to Russia for my education. However it is not the only reason I joined the Fellowship program. ITMO University gives me an opportunity to take part in an exciting research project connected with my area of interests. While at ITMO University I continue to work with photonics and informatics. Besides, I left St. Petersburg 24 years ago, and I wondered what has changed since then.
A pioneering secure wireless data transfer system
Currently I develop a system, which will transfer information securely and wirelessly for applications such as data transmission and Internet-of-things. I joined a skilled team of ITMO University experts experienced in applied and fundamental research in this area. I believe that the results of our project will be important and relevant both to science and everyday life. Moreover, we work on techniques of increasing fiber optics` data transmission capacity and developing high-tech and mass-production devices.
Russia`s talent pool
When compared to other countries Russian universities train more engineers and experts focused on technical sciences. Furthermore, modern Russian science is based on solid academic traditions established by distinguished scientists. However, the Russian academic community faces such challenges as, for example, the generational gap between senior and young scientists and “brain drain” when talented researchers move abroad. I believe that it is necessary to hire international experts who will fill the gap and share their experience with young researchers as well as attract Russian scientists who have left. Moreover one has to make young experts feel comfortable in Russian academic community and offer realistic career perspectives. It is also very important for universities to establish collaborative liaisons with industrial companies and industry research labs that will offer students hands-on experience and job opportunities. This cooperation leads to new discoveries and stronger research environments.
To be a top educational center
One more challenge is to make leading Russian universities known all over the world. I am proud of taking part in this activity by representing ITMO University at international conferences and organizations as well as to students and colleagues in my home University-the Technical University of Denmark.
All scientists and engineers who will be the key players of the future tech progress begin their journey with a university education. That is why I work in higher education in particular. The societal problems that we are facing are global and that is why universities should collaborate instead of competing with each other.
To make the world a better place
I came here when I was 18; that is why Russian culture had a great influence on my personality development. I never stop about the “mysterious Russian soul”. Russians use pragmatic approaches dealing with everyday problems but at the same time they are dreamers who want to make the world a better place!