Sponsored Student Spotlight 


Name: Lorenzo Rossini

Year in Program: 2012-2017 (completed)

Country: Italy

Home institution: -

Sponsoring Agency: Fulbright

Field of Study: Engineering

Majors and Minors: PhD in Engineering Sciences (Mechanical Engineering)

Research projects: Veocor project


1. Why did you decide to study in the U.S.? What made you choose to come to San Diego?


Since I was a kid I have always seen the U.S. as the place where all new technologies and innovation would appear. I first was in San Diego during my undergraduate studies thanks to the exchange program between the University of California and my home University of Bologna. After returning to Italy I missed San Diego so much that I decided to come back for a PhD.


2. How did you become interested in UC San Diego and your program? What do you hope to gain out of your experience here, academically and personally?

I found out about UC San Diego during my Exchange Abroad Program (EAP, not sure if the name has changed). I came back here to pursue my studies in cardiovascular fluid mechanics and also because of the great international experience I lived with all the amazing people I met when I was an undergraduate exchange student.


3. What challenges/difficulties did you meet while preparing your stay in the U.S. or adapting to your new setting in San Diego? How did you overcome them?

I knew more or less what to expect after my first exchange experience. The difference this time was that I didn’t live in the campus “bubble” anymore. Different cities and neighborhoods in the San Diego area are very spread apart and it was quite challenging to get used to drive around all the time. I think it has been very important for me to live in areas well served by public transportation that allowed me to get on campus without always driving.


4. How do you find the academic climate at UC San Diego and within your program? Describe any highlights and/or challenges.

The academic climate was great. It is sometime hard to find time to get to know people well because of how busy everyone is, but after a first adaptation period, I found refreshing how everyone (including the faculty) is relatively open to discussion and easy going.


5. Do you participate in research? If so, describe your project/lab. Why did you become interested in this topic?

During my PhD I have worked mostly in the biomechanics lab of Prof. del Alamo and Prof. Lasheras. I studied how the blood flows in the human heart using medical images. We developed an analysis tool that could help cardiologist take better clinical decisions in patients at risk of forming a blood clot. My dad is a cardiologist and I think I somehow decided to follow his path, just from a more technical perspective.


6. What extracurricular activities do you participate in? Are you a member of any student organizations?  What is the best experience you’ve had so far? How do you spend your free time in San Diego?

I am not a member of any specific student organization. As a grad student the work load was high enough not to leave much free time for other organized activities. I did enjoy several international cafés organized by the International center at UC San Diego and a few Fulbright events between San Diego and Los Angeles.

During my free time I enjoy swimming and going to the gym in the university’s facilities, surfing the waves between Scripps Pier and Pacific beach and going hiking in the beautiful national parks around California.

Some highlights have been hiking to the top of Mount Langley (around 14,000ft) and the weekend beach-front yoga sessions in Pacific Beach, highly recommended to “balance” yourself in every day’s rush.


7. What was a defining moment in your academic career that shaped who you are now?

I think coming here the first time as a 21-year-old undergraduate definitely opened my mind and allowed me to literally see and get to know a different world.


8. What have you accomplished during your studies at UC San Diego that you are most proud of? How has this impacted you?

In collaboration with my academic advisors we are trying to bring our cardiac analysis project from the lab to the market. This has allowed me to know more about entrepreneurship, startups and how to combine the technical and the business sides of a research idea or project.


9. How will your experience here in San Diego fit in your educational/professional plan/future career?

I am deciding what path to pursue in my career after the PhD. In addition to the exceptional academic preparation received at UC San Diego, I think one of the most important factors for the future is meeting countless smart and interesting people who have contributed to making become who I am. I am sure I will encounter some of them again wherever my career will take me.


10. What is one thing you would tell aspiring Fulbright students?

After you become a Fulbright student you will always be representing your nation and culture abroad!