Giovanna, a 3rd year double-degree student at IMT Atlantique, was awarded the Estudar Leader Prize, which is awarded each year to around thirty young Brazilians who are considered to be capable of driving far-reaching change in their country.
Giovanna found her vocation very early on: "When I was 13, I saw the impact of a diagnosis and effective treatment of cancer in my family and decided to work in this field to innovate. I knew straight away that I didn't want to be a doctor, I wanted to be an engineer", explains the Brazilian who is now 22, and whose wish is to contribute to the development of nuclear medicine in Brazil and Latin America through nuclear engineering.
From the outset, Giovanna did everything she could to make her dream come true: "When I was 16, I moved to Rio on my own to study nuclear engineering. For the first two years, I set myself the goal of getting the best grades possible, and I came top of my course".
RESEARCH PROJECTS, TUTORING AND VOLUNTARY WORK: AN IMPRESSIVE CAREER PATH
The young Brazilian went on to gain a wealth of professional experience, while continuing her studies. In just a handful of years, Giovanna has been a physics tutor at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ), and a volunteer at the Ceara Cancer Institute (ICC-Brazil), helping to operate and maintain the myocardial scintigraphy and PET-CT machines. She also worked on the development of a start-up offering tools for calculating personalised dosimetry using computer modeling based on medical images. Finally, she helped the UFRJ's Elementary Particles Laboratory with the LHCb experiment at CERN.
It was during this project that Giovanna particularly stood out: "I was asked to sign up for the summer programme at CERN. There, I worked for several months on the subject of 'Development and improvement of the safety system of the Vertex Locator sub-detector in the LHCb experiment', and as a result I was awarded the Moritz Karbach 2022 prize".
« IMT ATLANTIQUE COMBINES ACADEMIC EXCELLENCE WITH GOOD PREPARATION FOR THE WORLD OF WORK»
After her experience at CERN, Giovanna decided to join IMT Atlantique as part of a double-diploma program. "I chose to continue my studies in France because it is one of the few countries that provides such a good link between research centers and healthcare institutions. I'd like to be able to set up the same thing in Brazil".
As for IMT Atlantique, the choice was quickly made: "It's a school that has strong links with industry. It combines academic excellence with good preparation for the world of work. For me, it's one of the best schools in France", says Giovanna. Currently studying for a specialized TAF DEMIN*, the young Brazilian would like to go on to do a doctorate.
45,000 APPLICANTS FOR 26 WINNERS... INCLUDING GIOVANNA
At the start of 2023, Giovanna decided to apply for the Estudar Foundation prize, which each year rewards around thirty students considered to be the most promising in Brazil. This foundation, set up in 1991, aims to provide financial and intellectual support (scholarships and networking opportunities) to help talented Brazilians make an impact in their field of activity. After careful examination of the 45,000 applications received and a series of tests and interviews, Giovanna won the prize, along with 25 other young Brazilians from prestigious universities such as Harvard, Oxford and Upenn. This award is all the more remarkable in that Giovanna is the only one of the winners to be studying in France, and to have distinguished herself in the field of nuclear engineering.
"Winning this prize has helped me to realise even more what I want to do, and to think about all the steps I need to take so that one day I can participate in the development of nuclear medicine in Latin America", enthuses Giovanna.
by Pierre-Hervé VAILLANT