Nothing to do with Apollo 13 or UFO mysteries, the life of an aerospace engineer is much more about problem solving than discover alien life form, as Domenico Siniscalco, the Italian engineer for the National Physical Laboratory explained.
Born in Naples, 26 years ago, Domenico is a hyper-rational young professional, who has never gazed the sky with a telescope or dreamed to be an astronaut.
‘Thankfully, I was a normal child’, he said ‘and when I had to choose the University there were a lot of subjects I considered very attractive, such as art, cinema, economy, literature, engineering, law. Then I decided aerospace engineering, probably because it was, traditionally, the most difficult between the different branches’.
With and hint of overconfidence he added ‘Usually an aerospace engineer is identified as someone that solves problems you don’t know in ways you don’t understand’, but he promptly explained: ‘Honestly, it is a generic role and aerospace engineers work in a wide range of fields like aircraft, automotive, marine, renewable energies, engines and space’.
As many Italian researcher, Domenico has followed his taste for the challenge, moving to the UK for a master and choosing London as his new city.
‘A couple of days after the end of my master, I started to work for the NPL, a national centre that deals with the development of science and technology. My job is very challenging. I am working on new materials, a field where the lack of supporting information represents a big problem. Most of the results I am finding are new, and the feeling that you are developing something that no one has ever seen before is exciting’.
Something that particularly affects Italians mothers as he confirms: ‘When usually a woman knows that I am an aerospace engineer, usually she wants to interview me or she wants me to marry her daughter’.
Looking back to his past and forward to the future, Domenico knows what he wants and what Italy is for him: ‘I did not run away from my country and I keep on going back home once a month. Living abroad is helping me to see Italy and Italians for what they really are, closer to each other than we think’.