Flora Yakhou

Beamline Operation Manager

By the age of 9, I knew six different alphabets: the 3 Japanese ones, French, Cyrillic and Arabic. With an Algerian father and a Croatian mother, I grew up with the Sahara as my sandpit and the Adriatic as my pool. I travelled the world due to my dad’s job and I learned that you can be happy anywhere: sometimes we would sleep on mats in rudimentary houses with the goats on the lower level, then a couple of weeks later we’d be staying in a luxury hotel in Tokyo. I spent my childhood travelling the world and since I joined the ESRF, the world comes to me.  I love working at the ESRF, surrounded by people with different cultures and different languages, but understanding each other. To me, it is more than a job. I am a Beamline Operation Manager, so I liaise between the engineers and the scientists. Having a double training myself, I can understand both worlds and I love to “translate” what scientists want from the engineers and the other way round. I believe in the joy of understanding things, learning and sharing, and for me that’s essential to how the science gets done.”

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