Man on a Mission

PhD Fellow in Physics Samuele Crespi talks about balancing fatherhood and his passion for planets

Samuele Crespi, left, with his two children, and wife Maria Cristina Baglio.

As children, many of us would look up into the dark night sky and wonder what’s out there. But how many of us actually follow through on our childhood curiosities and end up studying the universe?

I'm studying exoplanets — planets that are orbiting stars outside the solar system. 

We now know about 4,000 planets, and it is therefore possible to study them from a statistical point of view to figure out how planets form and evolve. We are also able to study the atmosphere of some of these planets. 

I'm working on exoplanets both by studying their formation and evolution using simulations, and by studying their atmospheres using spectroscopy.

My wife is a physicist too, and got a position at NYU Abu Dhabi as a postdoctoral associate in physics. Being a researcher, husband, and father can be hard. Every choice I make not only impacts me, but my wife and two children. Thankfully the stars were aligned for me as it so happens that there’s a great team that studies exoplanets at NYUAD with an available position for me. 

I'm curious by nature and I love to explore new environments. It was a dream of mine to see the desert! My colleagues in physics at NYUAD and Professor Ian Dobbs-Dixon have made me feel welcome and they helped me a lot to start my job here. 

To get the best sense of the environment, I recommend a visit to campus.

Global PhD Fellow in Physics Samuele Crespi is from Italy. He previously studied at the Università degli Studi of Milan and Astronomical Observatory of Turin.