Nörd Ambassador November 2020 #perfectlyimperfect

By December 8, 2020December 13th, 2020News

Today for the #perfectlyimperfect #peoplelikeyou campaign, we interview a new Nörd Ambassador Vicent Puig.

Vicent Puig researcher at Universitat Politècnica de València and Institut Integrat per a la Gestió Integrada de Zones Costaneres (UPV-IGIC) work on underwater acoustics and have worked in projects for biomass control and evaluation in open sea and marine cages, the behaviour of red tuna.

The perfection in a scientific work is based on rigor and honesty. 

Name, Surname, profession, accomplishments. 

Vicent Puig researcher at Universitat Politècnica de València and Institut Integrat per a la Gestió Integrada de Zones Costaneres (UPV-IGIC). Our investigation team develops technology for marine studies. I personally work on underwater acoustics and I have worked in projects for biomass control and evaluation in open sea and marine cages, the behaviour of red tuna (a greatly endangered species of big environmental and economic value) relative to man-made noise, its fishing control methods, acoustic detection of sea turtles, studies of oceanic posidonia meadows through ultrasounds and many other projects.

How long have you been doing what you do?

I’ve been doing this for 10 years.

How did you start out? Who helped or encouraged you to? 

I was working in a private company, earning a decent living but it didn’t really make me happy so I decided to further my studies to have better job opportunities. Later on my PhD supervisor offered to work with him and his team. I had always envied people who did things to make the world a better place and I saw a modest way to do so thanks to this research job. 

How many hours a day do you dedicate to your activity? 

It tends to be around 40-45 hours a week but when we conduct experiments out in the sea we work as much as we can to obtain the best possible results. 

What do you think is the key to perfection in what you do? 

The perfection in a scientific work is based on rigor and honesty. 

What were the toughest moments in your career/activity? 

Research work is very unstable in Spain, so whenever a project is accomplished, the teams have to hope to start another one and to be able to continue working, which doesn’t always happen. Like many others, I’ve spent time without working and these are the worst moments. 

Once when I was diving I fainted for a couple of seconds. Thanks to the trainer’s quick reaction and the fact that it was only seconds I was able to get back on the boat safe and sound. 

Can you tell us an anecdote related to your activity/career or funny/weird/dangerous things that have happened to you? 

I am a telecommunications engineer and had no training related to the sea, so to be able to work better I decided to take a diving course. Once when I was diving I fainted for a couple of seconds. Thanks to the trainer’s quick reaction and the fact that it was only seconds I was able to get back on the boat safe and sound. 

If somebody asked you how to get started in what you do, what would you answer? 

The most important thing is to want to do it. So the first step is to think about what you would like to research and look for a research group where you could invest your potential. Read and read everything that you can put your hands on about what you decide to investigate and do not put limits to what you can know and learn. 

Money-wise, is it an activity for everybody? Could you unveil a little approximately how much one has to have in mind to start doing it? 

The amount depends on the research field you are going to be in. In our research work we need a considerable amount of funds as we need a boat with a crew, sometimes professional divers when we cannot do something ourselves due to lack of skills, and many other things. So this is possible only thanks to consolidated groups that have enough resources to carry out the research.

What do you think were your biggest errors in your practice that you would never do again? 

As I mentioned before, I didn’t have any training in sea related things when I started out as a researcher. Because of this, sometimes due to ignorance, you put yourself under unnecessary risks, working in adverse weather conditions with big waves and storm. This is something I wouldn’t do again. 

Can you tell us what your typical day is like?

During the week I get up at 5:45 and workout for an hour, then I have breakfast and go to work. If we don’t have any experiments my day is just like another average worker’s; I spend hours in front of the computer analysing data, holding meetings to get updates on obtained results. It’s very different when we are out in the sea for our research work, so routine doesn’t really exist far from the land, and the timetable is set by the sea. 

Tell us about your most exciting accomplishments/proud moments. 

The most exciting moment on a personal level was the day I got my PhD degree. It was the prize for years of effort and hard work. On the other hand, all the contributions to science magazines are also little proud moments. 

I think my biggest imperfection is impatience.

What is the path to perfection in your opinion? 

To work honestly taking into account different points of view of who you work with; nobody knows it all. 

And how about your imperfections?  

I think my biggest imperfection is impatience. When you work in the sea and also with animals you have to adapt to the rhythm of nature and that’s not an easy thing. 

Close up with a bye. 

I’d like to thank Nörd Republic for highlighting jobs like mine, that are a bit different from what you’d usually see in press and media. Also I’d like to encourage everybody to do what they dream of with no fear.

* Extra questions

-What makes you wake up every morning and look forward to the day?

The possibility to learn something new.

-Do you have a definition for success? 

Success is to be happy everyday doing what you do. 

-What’s the most important thing you’ve learnt so far? 

You will get where you want to if you put enough effort but also it is more fun if you do it together with others.

-Do you have a piece of advice for people who want to find their passion/dream job?

Do not let fear paralyse you and neither let routine get you down.

-What are your hopes for the coming future? 

In the current situation, I have to say the obligatory hope to get back to normal life, but the real triumph will be if we were able to move forward being aware that we are part of the planet, not its owners.