Giovanna Tancredi

Favourite Thing: I love to build things from scratch and then use them in my experiments



1994-1999: Scientific High school in Palermo,Italy; 1999-2006: Master degree in Physics at the University of Palermo, Italy; 2006-2010: PhD in Physics at Royal Holloway University of London


I have a PhD in Physics

Work History:

I have worked at Royal Holloway University of London as a researcher from 2010 to 2014

Current Job:

I am now working as a researcher


University of Oxford

About Me

I am a very passionate physicist

I live with my husband and our 1 year old daughter, in Wokingham. I am Italian and I have been living in UK for almost 10 years now. I love to grow my own vegetables and I love to cook delicious Italian food. I also love LEGO, and I have a large amount of it at home; I love any animals made of LEGO!

My Work

I perform experiments on very tiny electrical circuits (that I build myself) for the next generation computers

I am an experimental physicist. My work consists in developing new types of electrical circuits. The circuits I made are very tiny and I build them in very special rooms where the air is so cleaned that I cannot enter with my everyday clothes, I need to wear special garments, overshoes, face mask and protective googles. Using particular instruments I can build theses circuit and then I can have a look at them under a microscope. If I then think that the circuit might work I bring it to the lab and mount it on a special machine that is called cryostat. The cryostat can cool these circuits down to very lo temperature, something like -273degree Celsius. When these circuits are very cold they have very interesting properties, and I perform experiments to test these properties. In order to perform the experiments I have to setup instruments together, make some electrical cabling and use a computer to run the experiment itself. I then need to analyse the data I take and if I get nice results I write a scientific report that can be printed in scientific journals.

My Typical Day

Usually I spend my whole day in the laboratory performing experiments

I do not have a typical day at work!

If I need to build a new circuit I could spend few days thinking about how to build it. Or, if I decide what to build I could spend days doing so. If I have an experiment set up, this could last even few months, then my day would be most of the time sitting in front of the computer running experiments by controlling several instruments altogether.

But there are time in which I need to update some instrumentation, so I would spend time in making some new cables for example, or in soldering few pieces together. At other time I might need to buy a new instrument and I could spend few days looking for what to buy as scientific instruments are very expensive and you don’t want to buy  the wrong one!

What I'd do with the money

I would like to setup a hands-on exhibition on how very tiny circuits are built

I would like to setup an interactive exhibition where students can have a feel on how the electronic circuits that make our everyday life are built. Students could have a feel on how a cleanroom user has to operate, how difficult it can be and how tiny are the building blocks of our everyday electronic devices. I would also love to present a special type of circuit that could change the way our computer operates, making them more powerful and fast.

My Interview

How would you describe yourself in 3 words?

enthusiastic, curious, friendly

Who is your favourite singer or band?

Robbie Williams

What's your favourite food?


What is the most fun thing you've done?

Bodysurfing in hawaii

What did you want to be after you left school?

An electronic engineer

Were you ever in trouble at school?

Sometimes, when I was late!

What was your favourite subject at school?


What's the best thing you've done as a scientist?

I set up a new lab from scratch on my own

What or who inspired you to become a scientist?

I was inspired by my parents who are both scientists

If you weren't a scientist, what would you be?

A vet

If you had 3 wishes for yourself what would they be? - be honest!

mmm…have my own research group, travel the world with my family, have tons of LEGO!

Tell us a joke.

What do you get if a cow jumps up and down???……A milkshake!

Other stuff

Work photos: