Optimistic, passionate and kind, Julianna makes sure she trains in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and practices playing the harp along with working on the sophisticated FELIX setup in Nijmegen. Here’s an interview with the gentle yet strong Julianna who has moved to the student city of Nijmegen from the large capital city of Hungary where she did her masters. 

What did you study before joining EUROPAH?

I am from Hungary, I did my bachelors and masters in Physics in Budapest, at the Budapest University of Technology and Economics.

What are you working on right now?

I am working in Nijmegen (the Netherlands) at the FELIX Laboratory. My supervisor is prof. Jos Oomens. My project is to study the chemistry of large carbonaceous molecules by gas-phase IR spectroscopy and mass spectrometry. We investigate the PAHs ions with IR multiple photon dissociation spectroscopy using the FELIX free electron laser.

Collage of FELIX (Gabi Wenzel)

What is the best thing about your current job?

I love my job. I do not feel that I work, I would rather say that I play around in the lab. Of course the project is challenging sometimes and I can feel the pressure, as well. But the motivation to understand this topic and learn new things makes this job easy and entertaining.

The ion trap (Jonathan Martens)

What is the best part of being a part of EUROPAH?

It is not easy to move to another country and leave behind your friends, family. With the EUROPAH, I got to know many interesting people when I started. We all were in the same situation, with the same interest, however, with very different personalities and we became friends immediately. Another favourite part in this project is the traveling. I have been to several beautiful places with my new friends already.

What is your typical day like?

I wake up at 7 am, I drink my coffee and eat my breakfast, then do some work around the house. I cycle to the university around 9 am. First I check my emails, then make a plan for the day. In the morning and the early afternoon I usually do the most important tasks which need more concentration. It can be work in the lab (to make solutions, to test the samples), calculations or writing tasks. In the afternoon, I usually read papers, correct or do homework. I need to teach and I have a few classes and meetings a couple of times per week. I also have meeting with my supervisor regularly about my project. After dinner, I go to one of my extracurricular activities: to the gym, to Zumba class, to Dutch lesson etc. Then I go home, read something or watch series. I go to bed around midnight.

Which languages do you speak? Are you learning a new language now?

I speak Hungarian, English and German. I have been learning Dutch since I moved to the Netherlands. I would say it is my new hobby, because I do not really need it for the everyday life. Almost everyone I know speaks perfect English and in the laboratory, we have an international environment where the English is the common language.

Do you like living in Nijmegen?

Nijmegen is a student city in the Netherlands. It is quite a small place compared to Budapest. I like that it is very calm, but I still have opportunity to try many things, so I never feel bored.  


With Rijutha in Brussels
  • If I weren’t a scientist…I would probably be a medical doctor.
  • My favourite scientist is…Stephen Hawking because he had a brilliant mind and great personality and despite his disability, he never gave up
  • I am from… Nyíregyháza, Hungary
  • My favourite authors are… Gabriel García Marquez and Jenő Rejtő
  •  My pet peeve is… people not paying attention to other people
  •  My favourite food is… pancake!
  • The first thing on my bucket list is… to see the Aurora Borealis
  • My superpower is… mindreading. I am very empathic and sensitive and because of that I can easily understand other people and their motivations, feelings