Thomas Duhamel, PhD student under the supervision of Prof. Kilian Muñiz (ICIQ) and Prof. Ruben Martin (ICIQ), has virtually defended his PhD thesis entitled “Design of New C(sp3)-H Functionalization Through Halogen Catalysis” (assigned to the Universidad de Oviedo) publicly on November 25th.
The members of the evaluation committee were: Prof. Jose Manuel Gonzalez Diaz (University of Oviedo), Prof. Eduardo Rubio Royo (University of Oviedo), Prof. Daniele Leonori (University of Manchester), Prof. Philippe Dauban (ICSN, Gif sur Yvette) and Prof. Olivier Baudoin (University of Basel).
Dr. Duhamel is from Amiens, a town in the north of France. He did his engineering in Chemistry at the Ecole Nationale Supérieure de Chimie de Montpellier and then a Master’s in Chemistry at the same University. In 2016 he began his PhD at ICIQ in the Muñiz group which he has finished with the Martin group. He likes gastronomy and to taste new beers. He loves to play football, to do trails in the mountain and to play video games.
Why did you become a scientist? What would you want to achieve as a scientist?
I have always wanted to become a scientist since my childhood. I would like to help humanity while working in a pharmaceutical company for instance in an R&D department.
From the lessons learnt at ICIQ, which one do you value the most?
The group meetings with Kilian were really nice. I learnt a lot during these sessions about literature and the history of science. It was a source of inspiration.
What ICIQ moment you´ll never forget?
I will never forget the summer party and the Christmas dinner in ICIQ, all unified in the auditorium. There were nice moments.
What advice do you have for someone who’s starting their PhD now?
My principal advice is to be excited by chemistry. To do a PhD has to be clear in your mind from the beginning, if you hesitate, it is not a good sign. When you start, don’t feel that you know less than the others, be confident about your skills! But, stay open-minded and always be willing to learn more.
Where are you going next? What will you do there?
I am going to the University of Geneva to start a post-doc under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Mazet.
If you were a piece of lab equipment, what would you be?
I would be a Dean-Stark apparatus because I set up my first experiment using this glass equipment to perform esterifications in high school.