Congratulations on your new mission, Sergey! How does it feel?
"Thanks! The feelings are complicated. On the one hand, it's always fun to start something new; new project, new job, new assignment. On the other hand, I'm a little, or maybe more, worried if I will be able to live up to my colleagues' expectations. I hope so", says Sergey Cherednichenko.
He was elected chairman at a meeting recently and took office immediately after that. His predecessor Per Hyldgaard had the mission for many years. MC2's teacher faculty currently consists of about 70 people - all assistant professors, researchers, associate professors and full professors with permanent employment.
"It may take a while before I fully understand what the mission means. Together with my colleagues, I hope to find a common model for how the faculty could work. I also see that the faculty's influence over MC2 will increase, for example by co-opt the chairman to the executive group. I look forward to being able to provide instant feedback at the faculty meetings and discuss decisions taken in the executive group. I can then get feedback back from the faculty. So far, all such information has been passed through the laboratory heads."
Do you have any specific thoughts already about what you want to do as chairman?
"One issue that seems to raise questions in the faculty is the new faculty model that is now being implemented at Chalmers. There are several who wonder, for example, how they are affected, whether directly funded or not, and what to do to become part of Chalmers faculty. Another issue is that participation in education is becoming increasingly important - for both younger and more established researchers."
This autumn, Sergey Cherednichenko is promoted to professor. On 19 September, he will hold his inauguration lecture titled "Superconducting nano-sensors in space exploration". He is humble about the task:
"I am pleased that my work is appreciated by both Chalmers and the external reviewers, who usually investigate whether a professor's candidate qualifies for a higher status," says Sergey Cherednichenko.
"At the same time, it brings more responsibility for my own research, supervision, teaching, and cooperation within the department, the university and the outside world. I will try to maintain a good standard so that Chalmers professors continue to be regarded as creative, long-term and as good collaborators on the world stage."
What will the inauguration lecture be about?
"Different materials and electronic components get more interesting features when we get down to nano-scale. For example, thermal processes are really fast, and even single photons are able to change states in such components to allow for the creation of detectors with enormous sensitivity. And it also applies to photons from microwaves to visible light and high energy particles. Such detectors have applications for long distance - hundreds of millions of kilometers - laser communication in space, unencrypted coding, or to study fast processes in real-time molecules."
Sergey Cherednichenko joined Chalmers in 1997 at the invitation of MC2's former head of department Dag Winkler, to participate in the development of photo detectors based on high-critical media reel conducting films.
"At that time, I was a PhD student in Moscow and in the first years I visited Chalmers several times. After my dissertation, I was recruited to a postdoctoral appointment by professor Erik Kollberg in January 2000. That summer, MC2 was opened, and my lab, Microwave Electronics, was among the labs that moved into Kemivägen 9", says Sergey.
His research team was commissioned to contribute terahert mixers to the European Space Agencys (ESA) Herschel space telescope. The project lasted for more than five years, resulting in Chalmers terahertz detectors opening the possibility for astronomers to "see" the universe in "terahertz light". The telescope was launched into space in 2009.
"After that, there have been several projects that are mostly about terahertz detectors and spectroscopy. I also had a project funded by the European Research Council (ERC), where we developed new technologies for thin superconducting films of MgB2, now applied in quantum photon detectors for both terahertz waves and infrared waves (IR). There is a lot of cooperation with other laboratories within MC2, but also with other departments, such as Energy Technology", says Sergey Cherednichenko.
Text: Michael Nystås
Photo: Anna-Lena Lundqvist
Wednesday 19 September 2018, 10:00
Kollektorn, MC2, Kemivägen 9