Testimonial by Tamar

Interview

Tamar,
PhD student

Ecole Normale Supérieure

A student at the Ecole Normale Supérieure, Tamar's intention was to pursue an academic career, but her curiosity led her to carry out an internship in industry. After three months at Saint-Gobain Recherche, she decided to carry out her PhD here, in collaboration with the Paris Laboratory of the Chemistry of Condensed Matter (LCMCP).


"My PhD is on self-cleaning glass for the inside of buildings," Tamar explains.
"This type of glass is already sold by Saint-Gobain and uses the photo-catalysis phenomenon. The photo-catalyst used is titanium dioxide (TiO2). It is deposited on the glass as a thin film. The TiO2 film which is excited by the sun's ultraviolet radiation is able to break down the organic contaminants on the glass. However, inside buildings, there is no ultraviolet source. My goal therefore is to develop a material that could be activated with light in the visible spectrum, i.e. lamps for example. Currently, a great amount of academic and industrial research work is being devoted to finding this kind of material."

During her PhD work, she is guided by a Saint-Gobain Recherche engineer." He is my main contact within the company. He, too, is working on photo-catalysis in other research projects. I benefit from his expertise and he helps me to set up my experiments and prepare my presentations. I also meet regularly with the group leader and the department manager to inform them of my progress and my results. "

Dividing her time between LCMCP and Saint-Gobain Recherche, Tamar takes advantage of the academic and industrial expertise of each organisation. On completion of her PhD, she will be taken on by Saint-Gobain Research.

"I really like basic research and gaining an understanding of phenomena. What I like about Saint-Gobain Recherche is being able to satisfy this need for knowledge, while at the same time knowing that if I find a solution, it will have practical applications."

Tamar joined Saint-Gobain Research since June 1st, and got her thesis on July 1st, 2011.

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