Tomas Monopoli, an electrical engineer from Italy, took part in the 2019 CERN Entrepreneurship Student Programme (CESP) for a 5-week practical and theoretical training.
Passionate about sustainability and renewable energies, Tomas became interested in entrepreneurship after participating in innovation conferences last year.
“I have always wanted to do my part in society and perhaps make a small, but real difference in the world.” Attending the entrepreneurship programme was Tomas’s opportunity to take a step in that direction.
At CERN, Tomas worked with colleagues from 11 different countries - all the way from Egypt to Indonesia and to Mexico. Together they learnt from expert mentors and attended lectures where he “could really notice how much [he] had learned by the end of each day.”
During the CESP programme, Tomas worked in a team to create the first real-time micro-plastic detector using CERN technologies, with the aim of providing information on the quality of everyday drinking water. From prototyping, to market assessments, and technology sessions, the entire team gained invaluable experience at CERN.
He remembers vividly, “there wasn’t just a continuous exchange of ideas and notions but rather an interface between different mentalities and ways of thinking. It was as if the different perspectives that we were in contact with broadened our own mind and understanding. I returned home a different person.”
Now back home in Italy, Tomas is still in touch with his team-members, and they plan to continue working on the project and to launch their venture by 2022.