Source: COST Annual Report 2017 | April 10, 2018

COST has chosen the histories of Luca Argenti as one of the 10 success stories featured in its 2017 Annual Report. It is an example of an early career investigator who, thanks to his involvement in COST XLIC Action activities, got a new research position, had opportunities to learn from their more experienced peers across Europe and contributed to new scientific breakthroughs.

Luca Argenti was part of a COST network that was a ‘virtual institute’ of worldwide experts in his field. He joined the ‘XUV/X-ray light and fast ions for ultrafast chemistry’ (XLIC) Action from its start in 2013.

The Action, chaired by Manuel Alcami (Universidad Autonoma de Madrid and IMDEA-Nanoscience) aimed to coordinate European scientists to find possible applications for novel light sources and particle accelerators.   XLIC created a network of experts in ionisation and laser physics from 150 groups in Europe, the USA, Australia and Ukraine. Together, they developed  theories, research techniques and computer programs that can help scientists better understand and control how molecules interact with x-ray light waves or with high-energy ions – molecules with an electric charge.

Argenti’s commitment to the Action led to personal success. “COST presented me to the world. I met all the experimentalists and theoreticians with whom I did my most impactful works, landing papers in Science, Nature and Nature Communications”, he says.

The contacts led to a major career step. In 2016, he became an assistant professor in the University of Central Florida, where he is now creating his own research group. “This was thanks to the COST Action,” he says.

Although he is now in the USA, he still has close ties with XLIC colleagues and would like to be involved in future COST Actions. “COST takes researchers out of seclusion and gives real meaning to ‘synergy’. It is a good incubator for long-term projects with a high impact,” he concludes.

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