Margie Olbinado

Post-doctoral research fellow

I consider it an honour to be the first Filipino at the ESRF, one of the most brilliant synchrotrons in the world. As one of the very few scientists from the Philippines to specialise in synchrotron X-ray applications, I really hope to be able to bring back my knowledge to my country one day. Compared to other places, the Philippines has high gender equality and there was never any problem for me to study physics.  My interest in X-ray imaging brought me abroad. For my PhD, I studied in Japan on a scholarship at the University of Tokyo. My training was very hands-on and I had to do all the technical set-up and engineering work myself. At the ESRF, I can focus my energy on generating ideas. Being a post-doc here is a golden opportunity to learn a lot. I am now specialised in ultra high-speed X-ray imaging (5.6 million frames per second), which is an up-and-coming technique. Sometimes I am frustrated by the limits of what I can do. On one occasion, a colleague told me that ‘in pioneering research you can’t do everything, you just have to focus on the things you are good at.’ When I am not at work, I enjoy travelling. I’ve backpacked through Iceland and the USA and I regularly hike in Switzerland. Once a year, I schedule a trip to the Philippines to see the family and to remind myself of how privileged I am. It keeps my feet on the ground." 

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