Student's Story - Francesco Positano (LEAT), DocWalker 2023 laureate


Meet Francesco Positano, doctoral student at the LEAT laboratory! And find out more about his 3-month stay at the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering, within the famous Georgia Institute of Technology (USA), which was fully funded by the DocWalker Mobility Program.

2024, May 23.

What is your area of ​​research?

I’m a 3rd year PhD candidate in Electronics in the CMA (Conception et Modélisation d’Antenne) of LEAT (Laboratoire d’Electronique, Antennes et Télécommunications). I work on smart, reconfigurable antennas for dynamic IoT applications - antennas that can change their behavior to better adapt to their environment or the specific application technology.

How did your international mobility project start?

It started as a challenge. I wanted to spend a period abroad, and the DocWalker program was the perfect opportunity. After discussing it with my advisor, he suggested the destination due to his connection with prof. Manos M. Tentzeris, established a few years ago through the IEEE EurAAP (European School of Antennas and Propagation). Before applying for the mobility program, we had some exchanges with professor to agree on my responsibilities there and on the possible dates for the mobility period.

How did you prepare for your departure?

With the precious help of Mme. Currid from the RISE Academy, I planned my trip and reserved flight and accommodation months in advance. At the same time, I was in contact with the Georgia Tech Global HR office to prepare my acceptance.

What was your daily life like?

The Georgia Tech is a city within a city, I walked to the lab everyday and took advantage of all the parks and open spaces on campus as much as I could. After work, I enjoyed sports (March madness first, NBA playoffs in the end) and met colleagues and other students through various extracurricular activities organized by GT students. College student life was very active, with new concerts, workshops, meetings, or events to attend every day. The campus recreational centers included pool tables, bowling alleys, sport facilities and music rooms, all within the campus perimeter. I couldn’t be bored. 

The Capstone Design Expo showcases Georgia Tech’s graduating seniors as they present their innovative projects designed and built during the Capstone Design Course.

What do you take away from this doctoral stay abroad?

With my background in IoT antennas, I delved into a domain I was not familiar with: phased arrays and additively manufactured flexible electronics. I took full advantage of the innovative facilities for Inkjet printing, learning new technical and practical skills. I had the chance to appreciate the different way PhD and Undergrads students there interact and manage projects. Moreover, our collaboration opened new networking opportunities for the future.

Do you have any advice for future candidates for mobility?

Plan your trip and stay well in advance, the VISA and bureaucratic procedures are the most challenging part, but it’s all downhill after that. Don’t be afraid to aim high, these opportunities are rare, so dare!


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