When did you decide to be a chemist?
When I was at university, physics was one of my favorite classes. During those studies, I had the opportunity to do a first internship at the Institut Curie (Paris) where I was fortunate enough to work within a real scientific team. Our research was carried out to find new cancer treatments, and the primary focus was the development of hybrid organic-inorganic materials. Innovation really is at the crossroads of various scientific areas and being part of such a project was very exciting for me!
When did you start working at Solvay?
After graduating from ESPCI ParisTech with an engineering degree in Physics and Chemistry, I started a PhD funded by Solvay in Materials Science in the École Polytechnique, France. It was then natural for me to join the Group afterwards, in 2005.
I then had the opportunity to work as a Project Manager during several years as a researcher in lab. At the same time, I would also lead in Shanghai newly created R&I teams working on electronic applications.
With time, Inorganic Materials became one of my areas of expertise, from their synthesis to their key features. This was recognized as a scientific expertise position.
Today, I am in charge of an R&I Department in Solvay. I am mainly working on Advanced Inorganic Materials for various market segments such as Catalysis, Electronics, Batteries, Insulation, and Specialties.
What are your key domains of expertise?
My main area of expertise is what we call today “Inorganic Materials.” The discipline covers the structure-property relationships, as well as synthesis routes, and the design of simplified application tests. The diversity of products and applications already tackled by our teams helps us developing differentiation in new domains such as mixed oxides as catalysts for automotive emission control.
Do you think it is important to collaborate with other top scientists?
Yes, of course! We all belong to a common expert network that helps us sharing our ideas and experiences. Our mission is to foster a community of people with different backgrounds in order to connect scientific skills and competencies, and move on to identify and develop new opportunities. I see this experts’ network as a great way to share and bring transversality between people and labs. Mentoring new talents is also a must. I am pleased to see young scientists of my team making an impact during meetings with our customers, and developing new ideas for future businesses.