Interview: Chunyan Shi
How and when did you join Zurich Instruments?
I joined Zurich Instruments as an Application Scientist in 2019. It was an exciting change for me, as I had been working in academia for many years. I received my PhD from the Shanghai Institute of Optics and Fine Mechanics in China, and continued my research in quantum metrology first at the Paris Observatory in France and later at the Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt in Germany. The joy that my research projects brought me came from the challenges and the achievements, but more importantly from the value they potentially brought to everyone. My last academic position was at Lund University in Sweden. By the time, I was in the mood for change and so decided to try something different. It's been a great experience to be able to learn from people with different professions. The job ad from Zurich Instruments provided a great combination for my job expectations, and this is how I started my new journey.
What does your job look like, and what is the most important aspect of it?
As an application scientist, I see myself as a bridge between customers and developers. I support customers so that they understand our instruments better, and I provide them with the instrument solutions they require. I also analyze customers' requests and share them with our developers so that we can improve our products. At Zurich Instruments, the responsibilities of an application scientist form a wide spectrum and we have a high degree of freedom when choosing what we want to focus on. This is why I can work with our technical sales team on sales processes and technical customer support while also collaborating with the Research & Development team on product development. The flexibility and variety of tasks make the job really interesting and inspiring.
Practically, application scientists travel often for conferences and onsite discussions and technical support. This is definitely an exciting part of the job.
What is the most memorable Zurich Instruments moment that stayed with you?
I really liked the time when employees from all offices gathered together in Zurich. We climbed up the Uetliberg in Zurich and had a nice dinner there, not to mention the many training sessions where we had a great chance to learn from each other.
How do you spend your free time?
In my free time, I like hiking and reading. It sounds like the perfect hobbies for a pandemic. I also like travelling, as it widens my view of the world.