Where do you live?
“I live in Bologna, but my hometown is Lecce, a city in southeast of Italy.”
How and when were you injured?
“I have a spinal cord injury since 2003, caused by a car accident.”
What is your level of injury?
“My spinal cord injury level is C7. I am not able to control my legs and parts of my fingers of left hand. I use an ultralight wheelchair.”
What kind of job did you do before your injury?
“Before the injury, I was a high school student. I always had the passion to study and the scientific research. My favorite matter were math, science and technology.”
How did you become an engineer? Was it difficult to get into this industry or go back to it as a quadriplegic?
“I wanted to be an engineer since I was child. My mind is always had been focused on the designing spaceships, to travel among the planets and explore new worlds. For this reason, after completed high school courses, I decided to study electronic engineering at the University. The courses lasted eight years. After that, in 2013, I started the courses to obtain the Ph.D. in complex system engineering. It was completed in 2017. I didn’t encounter great difficulties to start working, probably because an electronic engineer is a very requested professional figure.”
What kind of job accommodation you require to be able to do your job?
“I don’t need any special precautions to do my job. Of course, there are no architectural barriers to reach my office. Usually, I use a laptop and other electronic tools, such as oscilloscope or spectrum analyzer, necessary to test the performance of the devices that I design for nuclear physics experiments.”
Please tell us what you do in your job? What kind of tasks do you do on a daily basis?
“I work in a national company called ‘National Institute of Nuclear Physics,’ as electronic designer. My job consists of designing electronic circuits, with a specific behavior and performance, depending on the application and the nuclear experiments in which are involved. Usually, I follow a very accurate workflow, because every part of the circuit must be test, in order to avoid malfunctions under specific environmental conditions.
I work in a team composed by other engineers and physicist from other countries, all over the world, and generally we do some virtual call to plan the daily activity.”
Would you recommend this job to others with spinal cord injury? If so, why?
“In my professional experience, I have never met problems between my condition and my job. The 90% is performed with a laptop and other electronic instruments. For the rest, I can count of the help of my colleagues.
To the people with an injury that love the scientific research, I strongly suggest my job or similar. It is very inspiring and it permits to meet other people and culture from other countries.”
Is there anything else you’d like to add about your job and employment in general that we did not ask?
“In my opinion, generally a perfect inclusion of a person with a spinal cord injury regards the job as well. Working, I can express what are my skills, improving them, in the same way as sport. I can improve my personality and the feeling with other people. For this reason, I like so much my job.”