Week Five

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Friday, June 30, 2017


Luis Royo Romero

Half way there.

This week, I felt like a tourist again. Monday morning, I met the directors of Physical Measurement Laboratory of NIST. They both spoke about all the incredible research that goes on at NIST and also how their personal lives have been impacted by their jobs. One person asked how does the transition between a research position to an administrative position is and how much research is done at each step? Their response was memorable. At the beginning, James Olthoff, started at NIST as a post-doc working an extensive number of hours doing research inside the lab. This means full joy and commitment doing true science. He then progressed to becoming a chief division leader, leading a smaller group and maintaining some contact with first-hand research. He remembers this time to be positive yet taught time inside NIST. He had the freedom to go into research mode whenever he was free from his administrative duties. However, the next step up the administrative later was the point at which he would step away from first-hand serving. Becoming a deputy director of NIST's Electronics and Electrical Engineering Laboratory, and later PML's Deputy Director for Measurement Services, where the work became fully administrative. He gets to direct and coordinate where research goes globally, which has its perks as he talks about Paris as a second home.  Now, he will be starting a new chapter as the Acting Associate Director for Laboratory Programs. However, the passion for science is still present in his voice and eyes.

In conclusion, sometimes we like to plan our future, but we can never know where exactly we will end up. This touches a vain in my life because I am still unsure of my plans after this internship. Yet, as long as I know where I want to go, there will always be many paths to take to get there.

Luis Royo Romero