Hello everyone, I’m Hadi Badri, and I’m excited to share my journey in the world of science with you. Originally from Tabriz, Iran, I now live in the picturesque city of Cork, Ireland. I currently hold the position of a MSCA COFUND Sparkle fellow at CAPPA (Center for Advanced Photonics and Process Analysis), working under the supervision of Dr. Liam O’Faolain. My research revolves around the captivating realms of integrated photonics and metamaterials.

My passion for electronics and engineering was sparked at a young age, largely influenced by my father, an electronics engineer. Watching him skilfully repair electronic devices during my childhood left an lasting impression on me. This ignited a curiosity that would later guide my educational choices toward the world of scientific exploration. My academic journey began with a B.Sc. in Electronics Engineering, specializing in Electronics, from Islamic Azad University (IAU). Driven by a hunger for knowledge, I pursued a Master’s degree at KNT University of Technology in Tehran, delving deeper into the field.

As I delved into the realm of electronics, I started realizing the limitations imposed by the movement of electrons within materials. The intricacies of electron mobility and the obstacles arising from collisions with other electrons and atoms became apparent. This revelation acted as a catalyst, driving my curiosity toward a domain where these limitations could be overcome. This marked the beginning of my transition from electronics to the dynamic world of photonics. So, for my Master’s thesis I focused on leveraging the properties of porous silicon to create multilayer optical filters, marking a significant step in my academic journey.

Throughout my academic voyage, the guidance and mentorship of professors played a pivotal role in shaping my path toward scientific exploration. It was during my Master’s program that I felt a strong pull toward an academic career. The encouragement and support I received from these mentors solidified my determination to become a scientist.

My journey to becoming a researcher has been a fulfilling and enriching experience. Limited access to advanced fabrication and measurement facilities in Iran led me to predominantly focus on numerical simulations during my PhD. However, my thirst for practical experience and a broader horizon prompted me to seek opportunities abroad. This pursuit led me to CAPPA, where I joined as a Marie-Curie postdoctoral fellow in 2023. This transition has allowed me to collaborate with leading experts in the field, significantly expanding my knowledge and contributing to groundbreaking research. Despite the hurdles, the satisfaction of pushing the boundaries of knowledge and making discoveries continues to propel me forward.

Reflecting on my journey, I’d like to offer some advice to those embarking on their own career paths. First and foremost, follow your passion and explore various avenues. Seek guidance from mentors and immerse yourself in a supportive network. Embrace challenges as opportunities for growth, as they pave the way for a rewarding and impactful journey. Additionally, continuous learning and sharing knowledge with others are vital aspects of the process.

In conclusion, my story exemplifies the excitement of embarking on a research journey. Embrace your passions, seek guidance, and cultivate a hunger for knowledge. Though the path may twist and turn, determination and an unyielding thirst for discovery will undoubtedly pave the way to making your mark in the scientific community and contributing to a brighter future. As the Persian saying goes, “Seek knowledge from the cradle to the grave.” Happy exploring!

Sparkle has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Sklodowska-Curie grant agreement No. 847652 and from Science Foundation Ireland.