Stan Sýkora's Curriculum Vitae
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Formal CV (en)
CV formale (it)


Mom 1940

Me, 1941

Dad 1959

Student 1962

Lucia 1972

The kids 1979

Burned out 1994

Dressed-up 2003

December 2008

September 2011

Born on May 25, 1941 in Olomouc (Czech Republic).

1958-1963: Attends the Faculty of Technical and Nuclear Physics of CVUT (Czech Technical University) in Prague, following a curriculum in physics and a specialization in nuclear chemistry. Graduates in June 1963, gaining the degree of Engineer in Technical Physics (Ing) after presentation of a thesis on Adsorption of Cations on Tin Oxide [1].

1964-1967: Post-graduate study at the Department of Spectroscopy of the Institute of Macromolecular Chemistry of CSAV (Czechoslovak Academy of Sciences). In September 1967 terminates with a thesis on Configurations and Conformations of PolyMethylMethacrylate and PolyVinylChloride [4, 5, 8] and gains the title of Candidate of Sciences (CSc), equivalent to a PhD, in the field of chemical physics.

While working on the PhD thesis, becomes fascinated with Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) as a self-standing research field [2, 3, 11], an interest which will accompany him for the rest of his life..

In this period he is also exposed for the first time to electronic computers (the historic Zuse, serial number 25, and the Russian Minsk 22). Develops his first software packages, such as an Assembler compiler for the Misk, a simplified Fortran compiler for the Zuse, a package to simulate high-resolution NMR spectra and one of the earliest programs to calculate energies and conformations of molecules [4, 6, 9, 10, 11]. In his subsequent carrier, scientific and technical programming will play a central role.

1967-1968: Research work and routine NMR service for chemists at the Spectroscopy Department of the Institute of Macromolecular Chemistry in Prague.

1968-1970: Shortly after the invasion of Czechoslovakia by the Soviet Union's Red Army in August '68 emigrates to Italy. His permanence in Czechoslovakia would have been risky due to his prior active oposition (during 1963 military service) to the nuclear armament of the Country and to his involvement in the anti-invasion resistance.

Research work at the Istituto di Chimica Industriale of Politecnico di Milano and then at the Istituto di Chimica delle Macromolecole of CNR (National Research Council) in Milano, always within the group of Prof. Giuseppe Zerbi (IR and NMR spectroscopy) whose personal help was essential for the continuation of his scientific carrier. Publishes his first papers on nuclear relaxation [12, 13, 14].

From 1968 on maintains permanent residence in Italy.

1971-1974: Post-doctoral fellowship in the group of the late Prof. H.S. Gutowsky at W.A.Noyes Lab, Dept.of Chemistry, University of Illinois. Research in the field of solid-state NMR [15] with occasional digressions towards other spectroscopies [16, 17] and basic physics [12]. Heavy involvement in software development and first exposition to NMR 'home-made' hardware.

In 1972, during a brief interruption of the sojourn in USA, obtains political asylum in Italy, becomes an apolide and marries Lucia Parretti.

1974-1975: Under a special one-year waver from the Swiss government ("third-country refugees" were not supposed to work in Switzerland), undertakes post-doctoral work at the Physics Istitute of the University of Basel (group of Prof. Pieter Diehl).

The collaboration with Pieter Diehl is very fruitful. It centers on extremely precise determination of molecular geometry by means of NMR spectra of molecules dissolved in partially oriented liquid crystals and some of the related mathematical problems [19]. Heavy involvement in the development of special NMR software. Still unique is the package combining vibrational normal coordinates calculations with the calculation and fitting of HR-NMR spectra of oriented molecules, used to correct distortions of apparent molecular geometry due to vibrational effects [23]. Another project constitutes the first successful attempt towards automatic analysis of HR-NMR spectra [20, 21] .

In 1974 is born doughter Francesca.

1975-1980: Definitive return to Italy and transition into an industrial environment. Directs Bruker Spectrospin Italiana, a branch of what is todays Bruker Biospin. The Company evolves from a simple office to a subsidiary with its own characteristics and research in applied NMR [24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30] and polarography [22].

Continues his involvement with software development. During the period 1977-78 develops, together with Dr.Juergen Vogt, the program PANIC for Bruker minis (ASPECT). It is an efficient package for the simulation and iterative adjustment of high-resolution NMR spectra. Develops also a Fortran 77 compiler for the Aspects. All running on a computer with 48 kBytes of RAM!

In 1976 obtains Italian citizenship.

In 1978 is born son Martino.

1981: Becomes independent and starts the first, one-man version of Stelar company, centered on hardware and software maintenance, development of small NMR accessories and consulting.

1983-1985: Strong involvement in the promotion of medical applications of NMR (it is the period when MR imaging starts its penetration into medicine). Is invited to talk about the physical and technical aspects of MRI at tens of medical congresses and seminars, some of which held directly at hospitals around the Country. Eventually sums up the topic in a dedicated monograph [31] and occasionally keeps returning to it in later years [33] .

1985: Together with Ing.G.M.Ferrante, founds the present Stelar, an Italian Company producing NMR equipment. Initially, Stelar covers special niches, produces data upgrades and NMR software for obsolete HR-NMR systems, and produces special accessories such as pulsed field-gradient units.

1994-1998: Stelar starts a determined drive towards the development of first industrially produced fast-field-cycling NMR relaxometers. The effort is crowned with success [35] and the technique 'catches-on'.

1996-2000: Participates in two European Union research projects in the field of fast-field-cycling NMR relaxometry. The first project (ERB FMGE CT95 0002) is oriented towards the development of the techique in itself, the other one (BMH 4960051) aims at the development of better contrast agents for magnetic resonance angiography.

1999-2004: Sells his share in Stelar and founds the software house Extra Byte with the intention to produce technical, scientific and educational software. At the same time, however, technical involvement with Stelar and with NMR Relaxometry continues to take up a considerable part of his time and of Extra Byte activity.

1999 and 2000: Holds a series of lectures on Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Instrumentation at the University of Bologna (Department of Physics) for 4-th year students specializing in Medical Physics.

From 2005 on: I decide that it is time to consider myself a grown-up, publish (before it is too late) at least some of my physics and math ideas accumulated over the years in dusty drawers and, in general, to start having some real fun. Consequently, I start this web site and drop the attitude of speaking about myself in third person! The website has two branches - one for Extra Byte, and one more personal for me and Lucia, nicknamed Log Cabin. The website's home page is therefore named Stan's Hub.

April 2005: I add a third branch to the website, making it ever more a hub: the free scientific e-Zine named Stan's Library. Tired of present day publishing hassles, I will publish all my stuff here (unless indicated otherwise), hoping to attract with time also other contributors.

July 2005: University of Bologna registers an Italian patent (#BO2005A000445) authored by myself and Paola Fantazzini. Titled "Sequenza di impulsi per acquisire dati di risonanza magnetica nucleare in funzione del rilassamento longitudinale" (nickname PERFIDI), the patent is a side result of a research collaboration with University of Bologna.

December 2005: I start a collaboration with the Spanish Company Mestrelab Research. My primary task is to develop number-crunching C++ libraries for simulation & fitting of high-resolution NMR spectra. The collaboration involves also consulting and smaller, one-shot data-evaluation algorithms.

June 2006: I become a multi-national retiree, even though I have no inclination to stop working and my one-man Extra Byte is going on, active as ever. I get 770 Euros/month from Italy (27 years of work), 22 Euros from Switzerland (1 year), 12 Euros from Czech Republic (5 years) and 0 Euros from the USA (4 years).

July 2006: I start web pages dedicated just to PERFIDI.

September 2006: First public presentation, at the annual GIDRM meeting, of the long-term project in Magnetic Resonance Astronomy. Presented again (in an extended form) at 22nd NMR Valtice in April 2007.

2007: Intensive work with/for Mestrelab on spin systems simulation and fitting, as well as generic data processing. Invited talk about NMR software structure at the SMASH 2007 meeting.

2008: Continuing collaborations, participation on many NMR meetings (ENC, EUROMAR, Valtice, GIDRM), editorial work on the Web site (registration in the DOI organization, publication of several historic documents).

2009: A decisive drive towards automatic molecular structure verification by means of NMR spectra, in close collaboration with Mestrelab. Onset of an earnest drive towards detection and exploitation of spin radiation. Start of a crusade against the present oversimplification of NMR spectroscopy as well as MRI theory. Return to the basics of quantum physics and its interpretation and start of a crusade against the mounting amount of pseudo-scientific, sterile myths in present physics.

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