Athanassia Athanassiou since January 2011 has an appointment as Senior Researcher, responsible for the Smart Materials Group, in the Nanophysics Department of the Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia in Genoa. In September 2014 she became Tenured Scientist.
She has graduated in 1996 in Physics at the University of Ioannina in Greece, submitting a thesis on the “Increase of conductivity in polymeric films after irradiation with UV laser light”. In 1997 she got the Master of Science (MSc) in Laser Photonics and Modern Optics from the University of Manchester, Laser Photonics Group, Manchester, UK, submitting a thesis on “Determination of Third Order Non Linear Optic Susceptibilities for Thin Films by Third Harmonic Generation”. In 2000 she became Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) at the University of Salford, Laser Photonics and Non-Linear Optics Group, Manchester, UK, in collaboration with the Foundation of Research and Technology-Hellas (FORTH), Institute of Electronic Structure and Laser (IESL), Crete, Greece, after submitting a thesis on the “Physical Effects in the UV-Laser Ablation of Polymeric Materials: Implications for the Laser Cleaning of Easel Paintings”.
Immediately after the completion of her PhD she got a Postdoctoral Fellowship at the Institute of Electronic Structure and Laser (I.E.S.L.), Foundation for Research and Technology–Hellas (FO.R.T.H.) in Heraklion, Crete, Greece, where she became associated researcher from January 2003 till the end of 2005. From September 2003 to September 2005 she also had an appointment at the Technological University of Crete, School of Applied Technology, Department of Applied Informatics & Multimedia, as Academic Staff/Scientific collaborator.
From January 2006 to December 2011 she was a Senior Researcher at NNL-National Nanotechnology Laboratory, CNR-Istituto di Nanoscienze in Lecce, Italy responsible for the Nanocomposite and Responsive Materials Division. In June 2006 and for two years she got a part time appointment at the Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia in Genova, Italy, as a scientist responsible for the development and initiation of the Optical Spectroscopy-Microscopy and Material Science lab-facility that at the moment is part of the Nanophysics Department. From September 2009 to September 2012 she was also coordinating the Smart Materials Platform at the Center for Biomolecular Nanotechnologies of IIT@UniLe, Lecce.
She has a broad range of experimental experience in fields such as development, processing & characterization of composite nanomaterials, smart materials responsive to external stimuli, laser-matter interactions, steady state/transient spectroscopy, surface science, nanofabrication. In material science her field of expertise is the tailoring of properties such as optical, superficial, electromagnetic, thermal, and mechanical of a variety of materials like polymers, nanocomposites, functional organic molecules, nanocrystal coatings etc. More resent research activities deal with the development of nanocomposite materials based on natural polymers and especially polysaccharides, coming directly from agricultural wastes or other natural sources, that can replace a large number of the existing synthetic polymers or synthetic nanocomposites. Finaly, self-growing materials with a variety of properties based on fungal mycelia is another emerging field of research of her group. She has published about 150 articles in refereed journals, she is the author or co-author several book chapters, she is the inventor of 7 National and 4 International patents and she has several oral and invited contributions to international conferences.
(Last updated December 2014)
External research grants have been established with some of the industry leaders in different sectors, such as fibers, polymers, textiles, paper, etc. :
1. AQUAFIL SPA (Registered office and plant: via Linfano, 9, 38062, Arco, Trento)
2. ONDULIT (Direzione Generale e Sede Legale: 95/E Via Portuense, Roma)
3. ERMENEGILDO ZEGNA HOLDITALIA S.p.a. (Sede Legale: Via Roma 99/100, Trivero (BI))
4. RENO DE MEDICI S.p.A. (Sede Legale: Via Durini 18, Milano)
5. NOVACART (Garbagnate Monastero (LC))