Bianca Salmaso

🚀 Dr. Bianca Salmaso is the Program Manager and System Engineer for the construction of BeaTriX, a unique X-ray facility able to generate a parallel uniform and expanded X-ray beam to test the mirror modules of the ESA ATHENA telescope. In AHEAD2020, she is the leader of the work package (WP) 10.2 “Development of optics for the beam conditioning in future calibration facilities and high precision metrology”, and the reference person for the access to the BEaTriX facility within the WP5.

How do you describe your journey in astronomy so far?

📣 I arrived to astronomy after working in biophysics (1y, 1993), microelectronics (8yrs, 1994-2003), and then disappearing in a black hole (7yrs, 2003-2009) growing my 3 kids. In 2009, I started working again, this time in X-rays astronomy. Bit by bit I have reassembled my education in physics, and I arrived at my PhD, which was awarded in 2016 with the P. Tacchini prize,  for the best thesis in the technological area of Astrophysics. I think I will not change field again, and continue my journey in astronomy ☺

Why did you choose to study astrophysics?

📣 Biophysics, microelectronics and astronomy (the way I did them) have optics in common. And optics I’ve chosen because I did not understand it.

Do you have a favorite scientific theory?

📣 I was very fascinated by the discovery of Pluto. “I always wanted to know what’s on the other side of the mountain” [Clyde Tombaugh]

Why is AHEAD2020 important to you?

📣 AHEAD2020 is a great project to bring people together in Europe. Networking is a great opportunity to learn more.

What is the best word describing astronomy?

📣 “Open-mindness”. Astronomy is a good exercise of open-mindness: you always have to keep in mind that the unknown can bring to the discovery of a new object following known laws, or to a new law.

#AHEAD2020 is a consortium aimed at integrating and opening research infrastructures across Europe for High Energy Astrophysics, Multi-Messenger Astronomy and also Gravitational Waves. Discover more about AHEAD2020 and the Hot and Energetic Universe by watching this video: