Stefano A. Livi
Author: MEDIANAF TV
2022

Stefano A. Livi

Planetologist

Planetary instruments, insights, and inspired minds

meet stefano

Stefano Livi holds a PhD in Space Physics and works as institute scientist for Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio, Texas. He collaborates with NASA and European Space Agency on many projects to explore the sun and all the planets in the solar system. His first PhD in Physics at the University of Florence, was working at Max-Plank Institut Fuer Aeronomie in Katlenburg-Lindau (Germany) to develop Ulysses, the first instrument to characterize particles emitted from the sun’s poles. For his second PhD at the Center for Astrophysics in Massachusetts, he worked at developing an instrument capable of determining the characteristics of solar wind at its origin.

Planetary instruments, insights, and inspired minds
Nominated by: Benjamin Alterman TM'20
Class of 2022 Location USA

My research interests range from the sun to planets, in the development of new instrumentation and the analysis and interpretation of existing data. These are intimately correlated. Designing an optimal instrument requires a deep understanding of the type of data to be collected as well as the physical mechanisms that affect the data. The two instruments that I am currently leading include Strofio on BepiColombo studying the tenuous atmosphere of Mercury, and HIS on Solar Orbiter investigating the link between solar activity and interplanetary phenomena. which started in 2018 delivering a wealth of data. These missions and measurements are going to lead to major advances in space weather, forecasting major solar events, and characterizing solar system evolution.

“Not all of my students choose science as their career, but all of them learn to be curious and to approach and solve problems in a systematic and scientifically sound way.”

- Stefano A. Livi

An essential part of my work is teaching. There is nothing more gratifying than seeing the light turning on in the eyes of my students when I share with them the beauty and the mysteries of what goes on around the Sun. Not all of my students choose science as their career, but all of them learn to be curious and to approach and solve problems in a systematic and scientifically sound way. My most important contribution, and the one that I am most proud of, is creating and nurturing the next generation of creative and critical thinkers.

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