The European Ceramic Society
YCN Newsletter : Women in Ceramics by Laurie Gaüzère
To the YCN Newsletter reader,
First of all, I want to thank the YCN committee for giving me the opportunity to share my research. My name is Laurie Gaüzère and I am now starting the 2nd year of my PhD at the Institute of Condensed Matter Chemistry of Bordeaux (ICMCB), which is located at the University of Bordeaux in France. I am financially supported by the French National Association for Research and Technology (ANRT) and by the company Galtenco Solutions.
I am working on a ceramic process called gelcasting using a new sintering technology developed by Galtenco Solutions called “pixelated sintering.” The aim of my PhD work is to study the pixelated sintering of complex and large alumina ceramic pieces prepared by gelcasting. The gelcasting is a green shaping process using a ceramic powder suspension in which a monomer and a crosslinker are present. An initiator is added in the suspension before casting in order to create a polymerization within the slurry to freeze the system in the chosen shape and get a homogeneous packing of alumina particles. The pixelated sintering is based on conventional heating. The originality comes from the architecture of the furnace and the pilotage laws. The furnace is composed with lot of resistances (around 80 for 1m) controlled independently by a thermocouple. A homemade software pilots the switching on and off of the resistances as well as their powers. With this technology, the temperature is controlled finely in each point of the furnace leading to high homogeneity or the formation of controlled temperature gradient (for samples with gradient of porosity). Up to now, I have highlighted the impact of the nature of the monomer used on the densification behaviour and the final density of the pellets. Going forward, my goal is to explain this phenomenon and to start a study to increase the thermal shock resistance of my ceramic pieces.
On a more personal note, I wanted to share my point of view being a woman in a male dominated environment such as science. During my university studies, the number of women in my area of research, and more specifically in ceramic materials was low; however, there was no discrimination from the professors. In my professional experience, being a woman in the scientific field has never been an issue. While it is true in the past men held higher positions of power, this situation is changing and women are more and more recognized for their contribution.
University of Bordeaux, Bordeaux, France
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