SPIE Career Center


Malgorzata Kujawinska
Professor of Applied Optics, Warsaw University of Technology, Poland

How do you spend a typical day?
I go with my husband and dog for a walk, drive to the University, start my meetings, lectures, discussions with my doctoral students, spend some time with my emails and at laboratory. These are usually very busy days. I write my papers and prepare lectures during the evening at home. I come back home quite late (7 or 8 pm), as I have to visit my parents. At the evening we are preparing dinner together with my husband and sometimes with my son - Jacek, who is at forth year of studies at Warsaw University of Technology (specialization Multimedia Technology). During the dinner we discuss various things: everyday items, some great politics and cultural events. Late at the evening I usually work a bit on the most urgent things, listen to good music and go again with our dog for a walk to nearby.

What do you love about your job?
Challenges which gives me science and engineering each day and which I am able sometimes to solve. Interacting, exchanging ideas and cooperating with scientists from all over the world. Working with young people always gives me fresh ideas and keeps me feeling young.

What have you learned through experience that you wish you had known before starting your career in optics?
It is difficult question and I have no unique and single answer. From science I would wish to have better knowledge of material science, from human relation point of view - to ask about everything what I would like to learn more - if you do not ask at once you may not have the second chance.
Being from Poland and starting my career during socialistic times, many things were much more complicated - what had helped me through all times is the strong believe that if you want to reach a certain goal, you work hard but at the same time you try to be very helpful to people - you are able to achieve your goals and meet your dreams.