Valérie Buissette is the Research and Innovation (R&I) Department Manager at Solvay Special Chem. She is also one of Solvay’s top senior scientists and a member of the Fellow Network.
When did you decide to be a chemist?
Valérie: During my studies, I was more interested in physics until I had an opportunity of a short “discovery” internship at Institut Curie, in a research team working on cancer therapy. The research was centered on the development hybrid organic-inorganic materials. I was enthusiastic to see innovation at the frontiers of different scientific areas, as well as the need of chemists to synthesize tangible new products.
When did you start working at Solvay?
Valérie: After a “Ingénieur” diploma in Physics & Chemistry from ESPCI Paris Tech, I graduated as PhD in Material Science from Ecole Polytechnique (France). My studies were sponsored by Solvay, and I joined the Group in 2005. I enjoyed several years as a researcher experimenting in the lab, and embraced project management roles. I also mentored the newly created research teams in Research & Innovation Center in Shanghai, in the field of Electronics applications. I developed my expertise in inorganic materials which was recognized as a position in the dual ladder scientific expertise. I am now in charge of an R&I Department in the Special Chem working mainly for advanced inorganic materials for various market segments such as Electronics, Batteries, Catalysis, Insulation, and Specialties.
What are your key domains of expertise?
Valérie: My main domain of expertise is the definition of new Inorganic Materials, encompassing the structure to properties relationship, as well as synthesis routes, and definition of simplified application tests. The diversity of products and applications already tackled in our teams helps us to develop differentiation in new domains, such as solid state batteries for example.
Besides your current position in the Special Chem, you are part of the Fellows Network. As a Fellow, what is your role and mission?
Valérie: Our mission is to leverage a community of multi-horizon people in order to connect scientific domains and competencies to identify and grow new opportunities.. I see this experts’ network as a great way to make connections and bring transversality between people and labs. The mentoring of new talents is also a must. I am pleased to see young scientists of my team making an impact during customer meetings and developing new ideas for future businesses.