Mr. Amir Yazdani

Can you say a few words about yourself ?

– I come from Iran. I grew up in Tehran (the capital), which is a much more crowded city than Lausanne, where I do my Ph.D. now. I obtained my BSc. and MSc. degrees in mechanical engineering at Sharif University of Technology, one of the best universities of the country. Thereafter, I worked for a couple of years as a mechanical engineer to see what is going on in the industry. After that, I decided to continue my studies again.


Did you choose your profession or did it choose you?

– I would say both. Before I did my BSc. thesis, which was related to aerosols, I knew little about aerosols and it was by chance that I got to know about that project. However, afterwards, I became interested and chose to follow this subject.


What attracted you to join LAPI?

– The diversity of research subjects at LAPI and the opportunity to collaborate with researchers all around the world are two aspects of working at LAPI that are very valuable to me.


Can you speak about the projects you are currently working on and other ones in the past?

– The main theme of my research is characterization of organic aerosols with FTIR spectroscopy. With that respect, I have had the opportunity to collaborate with groups inside and outside Switzerland to better understand organic aerosol emissions in the atmosphere (especially from biomass burning) and their impacts on health and environment.


What have been some of your biggest challenges?

– For me, changing disciplines has been one of the most challenging but also most fruitful experiences that I have ever had. I have done that twice, once when I entered industry and the second time when I started my Ph.D. In contrast to my previous works, which were more about aerosol physics, I am now more focused on aerosol chemistry. This change keeps things new to me but is also demanding and requires a lot of reading.


What have been some of your biggest successes?

– Research is demanding and keeping the balance between personal and professional lives is sometimes difficult for the researchers. This balance is important to me and I think I have been relatively successful in keeping it.


You split your time between teaching and research. How do you view these two roles?

– I spend most of my time doing research, however, I have been the TA of Professor Takahama’s course for a few years. Personally, my main goal is research but I enjoy my time helping the students too. I also learn many things in this process. 


What do you enjoy to do, outside of science and research? 

– Playing and listening to music are definitely two of the most interesting things in my life. I also enjoy going out to nature.


Where is the most interesting place you’ve been?

– Tuscany, Italy; the landscapes there are among the most beautiful ones I have ever seen.


A free thought for the end? 

– Never give up!