UCI’s Marconi Young Scholar

A Henry Samueli School of Engineering doctoral student Salvatore Campione, 27, received one of the three Marconi Young Scholar awards worldwide last October for his outstanding research focused on methods of correcting new material to improve human life.

Campione, an electrical engineering and computer science graduate student, focused on electromagnetics, which includes the components of medical diagnostics and solar cells that he anticipates, will be able to predict illnesses before they are harmful to the community. Similarly, he mentions the importance of finding solutions to destroy unhealthy cells while maintaining the useful functions of cells vital to the human body.

“There is an issue in the human body that reacts with materials that are not made in it. So everything you put inside is seen as a threat and the human body just tries to kill it,” Campione said.

For the past 15 years, Campione lived in Sicily, Italy where his interests for the field heightened during his childhood because of his father. As a toddler, Campione saw his father as his role model who had technical interests.

“Even though he was unable to get a college degree, he likes the technical part. He is a technician, so he is able to repair everything. Since I saw him doing this in my childhood, I really liked it and I was already into the topic. So it just came naturally,” Campione said.

Campione moved to central Italy to receive his high school diploma. While in Italy, his transition northward to Turin gave him the opportunity to settle there for five years to complete his college degree. In addition, he experienced life outside of Italy when he fulfilled his masters partly in Italy and Chicago. Now seeking a Ph.D at UC Irvine of what is his fifth year, Campione’s career goal is to become a professor.

Most of all, Campione’s interest to teach is to interact and gain various student perspectives as well as providing factual information from his research. Previously, he obtained a position as a teaching assistant for EECS 182, “Monolithic Microwave Integrated Circuits” (MMIC) winter quarter of 2011.

“I want to become a professor because I like the way the professorship is seen in the U.S. It is seen as teaching future generations, and that is incredible. Transmitting your knowledge and making sure that future young people are able to enjoy what you do,” Campione said.

Over the course of his research, Campione published 35 papers. His first published journal paper was completed in 2010. From thereon, he collaborated with various people all over the U.S., some of which include Spain and Italy. Of all else, some of the obstacles he faced were unknowingly seeing the results of his papers. He stressed the importance of adequately interpreting comments, and will continue to produce research papers to fulfill his career as a professor.

When not involved in research, Campione’s hobbies include hiking, watching movies and swimming while enjoying a day with friends. Campione makes it a goal to go out twice a week and as much as he can during the night while in the day, he attempts to continue research.

In addition, Campione is in the process of completing his dissertation. When Campione graduates, he will move to Albuquerque, New Mexico upon receiving a post-doctorate position in Sandia National Laboratories. Having been in New Mexico for two summers as an intern, he has familiarized with some parts of the area and looks forward to a pleasant transition. “It’s like completing a chapter of my life,” Campione said.

Moreover, Campione states his research will be a continuation of his work. He will continue to delve into research of developing next-generation computer systems.

“I want to focus on biomedical applications because I think it’s very important to provide to the population in the world some novel things to cure illness. Not only that, there is a lot of research done with cells. Most of the time, you want to separate cells or treat specific cells. To do this separation, you need to do a lot of optical techniques and then intertwine in what I am interested in. So I would like to combine those two and be helpful in doing those things,” said Campione.

Upon completing his dissertation, Campione hopes to return back to Irvine when possible and teach. He finds Irvine an incredible place to live in and appreciates the professors he collaborated with who gave him the guidance and skills through his research.

Most importantly, Campione encourages students to stay motivated on career goals, remain diligent and overcome obstacles by being persistent. “Just enjoy what you do because it really helps you finish. I really enjoy what I do and whatever kind of difficulty I find, I don’t stop. Find what you like and that will suffice.”