Marta Ventosa, PhD student under the supervision of Prof. Antoni Llobet & Dr. Carolina Gimbert (ICIQ), has defended her PhD thesis entitled “Hybrid Systems for Water Oxidation Catalysis” (assigned to the Department of Physical and Inorganic Chemistry of the Universitat Rovira i Virgili) publicly on March 26th.
The members of the evaluation committee were Prof. Ludovic Troian-Gautier (Université Libre de Bruxelles), Dr. Elisabet Romero (ICIQ) and Dr. Mariam Barawi (IMDEA Energía).
Dr. Ventosa is from Tarragona (Spain). She began her degree in Chemistry at the Universitat de Barcelona, but she finished her bachelor thesis at Radboud University Nijmegen (The Netherlands). After that, she did a master’s degree in Sustainable Chemistry at the University of Copenhagen (Denmark). In 2017 she returned to Tarragona to pursue her PhD at ICIQ in the Llobet group thanks to a “la Caixa”-INPhINIT COFUND Marie Skłodowska-Curie Programme. Her favourite hobbies are climbing and hiking, but she says she also likes having a beer with friends.
Why did you become a scientist?
I’m a curious person since I was a child. I always wanted to know how the world works, how matter is made, the cause-effect of all things…
From the lessons learnt at ICIQ, which one do you value the most?
I think the seminars and lectures in different chemistry fields provided some of the best ideas because you can expand your knowledge with different chemistry fields. The topics showcased in the seminars helped me to do a better job in the lab and I’m sure will help in my career as a chemist. Also, the Christmas dinner and the PhD days are great activities that help improve teambuilding because you interact with other researchers and co-workers that for various reasons you usually don’t meet.
From your experience at ICIQ, what do you think we can improve?
We’ve seen many positive changes in the last months. I would like there was better cohesion and communication between departments and units because everything fortifies the community.
What ICIQ moment you´ll never forget? What will you miss the most from ICIQ?
Some unforgettable moments of these years were the Christmas dinners, PhD days and summer parties. I remember a summer party that we were playing some games. One of them was to pass water balloons, but our group decided to begin a water balloon war… we ended up soaking wet.
Which is the most important skill you learnt?
I think time and project management are the most important skills I learnt these years. Also, I learnt different characterization and synthesis techniques thanks to the ICIQ units.
What do you wish you had known at the beginning of your PhD?
Now that I’m finishing, I wish I would have known that humility can help you at the beginning of your career and also in the last steps. In the beginning, being humble and curious will help you not to be scared to ask questions, while at the end of your PhD, it can help you to maintain your motivation and being open-minded.
If you were a piece of lab equipment, what would you be?
I would be a stirrer because they mix everything… and can mess stuff up – like me. In Catalan, the stirrer is called “mosca”, like the insect… and I can be a bit annoying too, just like a fly!