The European Ceramic Society
YCN Industry in the Spot: Granutools - Powder flow characterization by Stéphane Caubergh
YCN Newsletter 11 - December 2021
Interview lead by Nicolas Somers, YCN committee member
Can you briefly describe your personal background and your actual work?
I graduated from the University of Liège as a Master in Chemistry in 2016, after a stay in 2014-2015 at Lund University (Sweden). In the fall of 2016, I obtained a FRIA research fellowship from the F.R.S.-FNRS and joined the GREENMAT group (ULiège) to work on the synthesis, crystal chemistry (polymorphism) and photoelectrochemical properties of an iron-tungsten oxide. With this research, I graduated as a Ph.D. in September 2020 and joined the company GRANUTOOLS a month afterwards as Sales Manager.
Granutools is a Belgian company that specializes in powder flow characterization. At Granutools, we are a team of chemists, physicists and engineers who bring scientific solutions to industrial problems involving powders of various types. Our sectors of expertise are, but not limited to, the additive manufacturing (ceramics, metals, polymers, etc.), the pharmaceutical (formulation, tablets, DPI) and the food industry sectors.
How did you operate this transition from academic research to a management position?
The transition came from a personal will to take a turn in my career towards more applied cases. During my education, I had the chance to synthesize and handle a large variety of powders (organic, inorganic, metallic) and acquire skills to understand these material properties from chemical and physical point of views. However, a point was missing as I never could apply or test these materials in real life devices and applications. The company Granutools could offer me this opportunity, and that’s how it all started.
Can you briefly describe your day-to-day job and responsibilities?
I can surely answer your question but a day as Sales Manager at Granutools is never like the previous day. On Monday, you may be addressing a routine issue with a plant technician, the day after you may be flying overseas to implement R&D methods with the CEO of a company. The common basis of my responsibilities is to address each customer application and provide the most suitable solution to the person I have in front of me. As said before, we work with very diverse sectors, all involving powders. Our goal is to deliver leading edge physical characterization methods, from instruments to personalized services, and provide answers to each question.
Do you still perform research in the lab?
Strictly speaking, I am not performing research in the lab. However, we have a team of scientists working every day in our lab on R&D and day-to-day analysis for our customers. I am in very close contact with this team for several reasons. First, we speak the same scientific language and one can never deny its passion for science. Secondly, we can challenge each other, and it creates a synergetic environment allowing for the emergence of new developments and new products or services.
Dr. Stéphane Caubergh
Sales Manager – GRANUTOOLS
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