I’m an Italian citizen with legal permanent US residence. I moved from Downtown Milan to Downtown Chicago 4 years ago. I spend my days sharing my life with my beautiful-wife Antonietta. I’m a former semi-professional soccer player, and I hold the NCSF Personal Trainer professional certification. My Roman ancestors used to say: “mens sana in corpore sano”. I add: always! I do not have many hobbies. But, I can certainly say that fitness, fashion, style, music, philosophy and art are recurring elements of my everyday-life.
What is your educational/professional background?
My education is in nuclear science; I hold 2 Master of Science degrees in Physics and Engineering (Polytechnic of Milan – Enrico Fermi Nuclear Studies Center, Milan, Italy, and, University of Pavia – Institute for Advanced Studies, Pavia, Italy). My general expertise is in safety and safeguard of the population and the environment against the risk of physical agents such as ionizing and non-ionizing radiation.
I’m member of the American Academy of Health Physics, the Health Physics Society, the Laser Institute of America and the National Council on Strength and Fitness. I’m a licensed Italian Professional Engineer. I’m an active CLSO and I’m currently working on the completion of Part II of the American Board of Health Physics CHP examination.
When did you start working with lasers? How long have you worked with lasers?
I started developing an interest for laser science research and technology during my graduate studies. I studied principles of laser science through formal courses/examinations in Atomic Physics, Physics of the Solid State and Quantum Electronics. I was focused on the applications of laser radiation in the nuclear field such as the Inertial Confinement Fusion (ICF), the Atomic Vapor Laser Isotope Separation (AVLIS) and the Molecular Laser Isotope Separation (MLIS).
Becoming an LSO
How did you become the LSO?
In March 2007, I was hired to serve as radiation safety Health Physicist at a top university. One of my duties in the non-ionizing radiation area was to advise on laser hazard analysis, risk assessment, safety evaluation and review of experimental designs. In the capacity of advisor, my principal role was to guarantee scientific support to the Laser Safety Officer. At that time, the university’s laser safety program was still in an undeveloped phase and the LSO was mostly an administrator. After a few months, in November 2007 I was formally appointed Assistant LSO and I was asked to start drafting a modern management system to bring the program to the next level.
In roughly one year, I was able to creating a positive environment for the diffusion of the laser safety culture, and by the end of the year 2008 my program was already well established and implemented university wide.
In January 2009 I was offered the LSO position.
Do you like being the LSO?/Challenges of “today’s” LSO?
Being the LSO in a top university is extremely rewarding.Creating and maintaining culture and knowledge of laser safety in a scientific research environment which is rich of talents and bright minds is intrinsically challenging. You must be able to provide reasonable and sound explanations, and justify the foundation of your actions, always. In other words, with the Kant’s famous approach “you must because must”, you would face a total failure!
That being said, I also add the fact that there are other challenges that we could define "naturally-occurring" which are strictly related to this kind of business sector. The laser safety program in a scientific research environment is constantly tested by articulated/complicated/unexplored operations. The LSO is constantly addressing/interpreting/judging different scenarios; for instance, when assessing the risk and protective measures for NIR short pulses applications, or, when advising on safety procedures in the case of optical tables with multiple beams and wavelengths that require daily alignments of the optics and frequent changes in the experimental configuration of the sample chambers. Plus, in states with specified laser safety regulations, the high turnover rate of laser operators (researchers, post-docs, graduate students, techs) and the constant addition/deletion of new/old lasers to a university’s inventory, lead to extraordinary and unique yearly workloads in terms of pure administration (record keeping and filing) which are completely different, for example, from the industrial sector. Being the LSO in a top university is a “total LSO-experience”. Scientific skills and management skills are merged together to achieve one goal: the safe use of lasers!
How has becoming certified helped/benefited you in your career?
I want to be extremely honest and truthful on this matter. I decided to get certified in order to add more credentials to my professional profile.
Today I can state that the certification has not helped me toward a better establishment of my position and has not benefitted me into further advancing my career within the organizational chart. The exempt grade and the salary have not changed. In other words: I got the certification in February 2010 when I was already at the top of my career as manager of a laser safety program.
But I firmly believe that the professional credential CLSO (as well as the CHP) will add value in the near future. I do believe in the positive impact that the certification can have when someone is ready for superior positions such as Division/Department Director and VP (right in terms of a better marketability of the professional profile). I think that the chances and the opportunities are highly improved when considering a candidate who brings credentials which are meant to certify adhesion to well recognized standards of professionalism.