Where can a degree in Physics take you?

In celebration of National Careers Week, we speak to a selection of Astro / Physics graduates to highlight the diversity of careers within this rich field of study. Here, we speak with Giordano, a Postdoctoral Researcher at the Federal University of Sergipe (Brazil), to understand how a Physics degree enabled his career trajectory.

Where did you go to University and what course did you do?
I got my BSc (2009), MSc (2012) and PhD (2017) all in Physics at the Federal University of Sergipe. All degrees were dedicated to solid-state materials, focussing on materials that emit light.

What is your job title and where do you work?
I’m a Postdoc in the Engineering and Materials Science postgraduate program (P2CEM) at the Federal University of Sergipe. I’m located in the LPCM – Laboratory of Preparation and Characterization of Materials – working with collaborators to develop new materials that emit light when hit by X-rays or other kinds of radiation. These materials will be used in the future for X-ray detectors. We also explore the Physics behind these materials, creating mechanisms that explain these emissions.

What does your laboratory do?
The LPCM is specialised in the development of new materials using eco-friendly production routes to obtain materials with high optical qualities. Our staff includes undergraduate, postgraduate and postdocs working together on both theoretical and experimental projects.

I’d say that resilience is an essential thing for Physics. Sometimes, things will not happen as you want, but at this point, you will discover something new that changes the way you see the world.

What skills from your degree do you use in your job?
During my academic life, I explored areas related to production routes and optical and structural characterization besides solid computational modelling. This knowledge allows me to move between different lab areas connecting theoretical and experimental skills to improve projects.

What does a typical day look like for you and what are your main responsibilities?
I start my day’s work by opening my schedule. Normally, mornings are used to perform optical experiments, and afternoons are dedicated to reading and writing scientific papers. Fortnightly, all laboratory staff have a meeting to present the results of our work. My responsibilities are keeping optical experiments working and training new students. I also co-supervise undergraduate and postgraduate students.

Did you always know what you wanted to do for work?
No, I started my academic life thinking I’d graduate and then go into industry or the public sector. I discovered scientific research whilst I was learning about different areas of Physics. I fell in love when I saw novel ideas and discussions.

Do you feel that a Physics degree gave you enough freedom to choose the right career for you?
Of course! There are several areas in technology and education available to Physics graduates.

What advice would you give to someone who is about to start a Physics degree?
I’d say that resilience is an essential thing for Physics. Sometimes, things will not happen as you want, but at this point, you will discover something new that changes the way you see the world.

Is your work stressful? Do you feel that you have a good work-life balance in your career?
Sometimes, I think that deadlines for some projects are almost impossible to have correct execution.

What’s the coolest thing you get to do as part of your job?
When I discover something new that nobody has reported as a solution to a scientific puzzle.

Have you had any other jobs after graduating before this one?
I was a High School Teacher for a few months – it was a good experience and opportunity for learning.


Lascells extend a huge thank you to Gio for sharing his career path with us. We wish you every success with your research and pushing the frontiers of Physics!

Inspire the next generation of Physicists with our range of teaching laboratory equipment – designed, manufactured and supported in the UK.