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The thing I like most about SnT? Multiculturalism.

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Published on Wednesday, 16 October 2019

Serket Quintanar Guzman is from a little city about 3 hours south of Mexico-City. Through her academic network, she was introduced to professor Dr. Holger Voos. 

She joined his research group at SnT in 2015 to do her PhD. We caught up with the Mexican national to find out more about her research and plans for her future.

What was your first project?

My first project was the heart of my PhD degree: I worked on the development of a lightweight robotic arm actuated by Shape Memory Alloy (SMA) wires. These SMA materials are basically wires that can be deformed when they are cold and when you heat them up they recover their original shape. You can generate movement without using any motors or heavy actuators.

What is special about working here?

The thing that I like the most about SnT, or Luxembourg in general, is multiculturalism. You can meet people from every single corner of the world here! Almost every day, you get to meet people with various background, traditions and languages. It’s amazing how this impacts creativity and productivity at work, and how interesting the office atmosphere becomes.

What is your most memorable moment at SnT?

You would think that my most memorable moment was my PhD defense… But there were so many memorable moments in these 4 years! The one that I remember the most was back in 2015 when I had just joined SnT. My group had organized the ETFA conference here in Luxembourg so I got to work with the entire group right away, learned a lot about organising conferences, and enjoyed getting to know everyone during the social events of the conference. It was really nice!

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

I don’t know exactly where I’ll be, but I’d like to work in academia. I love research and I’d really like to have an opportunity to teach. Since I’m an engineer, I’d like to teach mathematics and physics. A university or research center might just do the trick because I could see myself becoming a professor someday. My area is Automatic Control and I think I would stay in this field.

Do you have any advice for someone who would like to develop a career in research?

My advice would be go for it, it’s a really rewarding job! Contributing to the knowledge of humanity and making new discoveries is really exciting every day. SnT is a great environment for this: everyone is so open and welcoming, and you get to know so many people from so many places, it’s amazing!


SnT is turning 10! We’ve come a long way since launching our activities in 2009. Stay tuned for a year full of celebrations, cutting-edge research, and new milestones.