LIST doctoral students honoured at the graduation ceremony

Published on 22/12/2023

Two doctoral students from LIST were recently honoured at the University of Luxembourg's graduation ceremony held from 11 to 15 December. Antoine Adjaoud and Alfredo Blazquez Martinez, both from LIST's Materials Research and Technology (MRT) department, received the honours for their contributions through their respective PhD theses.

Antoine Adjaoud: From Green Chemistry to sustainable materials

Antoine Adjaoud received the “Excellent Thesis Award”, for his research which delved into the global issue of plastic pollution and its impact on human health and the environment. His thesis, titled "Design and synthesis of new lignin-based benzoxazine vitrimers” looked into making plastics more environmentally friendly.

The focus of his thesis is on a specific type of plastic called polybenzoxazines, which are known for their excellent properties. Following the principles of Green Chemistry and inspired by the circular economy, Adjaoud’s research aims to develop renewable and recyclable polybenzoxazines. The goal is to use bio-based materials, with the ultimate aim of incorporating lignin, a natural waste product, into the plastic.

Acknowledging the role of his supervisor, Dr Pierre Verge, Adjaoud said, “Dr Verge provided me with scientific knowledge, support, and guidance during the development of this research work. The trust and the liberty to thrive and learn he gave me have been beneficial to increase my research competencies, progressing in my research career, and pursuing revolutionary research.”

When asked how he feels about winning the award, he said, “Given only to around 10% of PhD candidates from the University of Luxembourg, the Excellent Thesis Award rewards the scientific achievements accomplished within a PhD project. I am delighted to have received this prize that recognizes the commitment and determination that went into my doctoral project. This achievement would have been impossible without the help and the support of many people within the MRT department, and I am lucky to be in such a productive team. I will continue to do my best to further advance science.”

Alfredo Blazquez Martinez: Advances in thin film technology

Alfredo Blazquez Martinez was honoured with the prestigious Foundation Auguste Laval Prize for his thesis, titled "Photoferroelectric effects in polycrystalline bismuth ferrite”. His work focused on the fabrication of functional thin films using cost-effective solution deposition techniques and the study of their physical properties, with a specific emphasis on converting light into electricity through the bulk photovoltaic effect and manipulating light propagation using electricity via the electro-optic effect.

Blazquez Martinez’s research resulted in six scientific articles, covering diverse topics such as the development of high-quality ferroelectric films, the analysis of their charge transport properties, and the study of electro-optic characteristics. His work also led to the filing of two patents, showcasing innovations in material fabrication and the development of transparent devices for electro-optic applications.

Under the guidance of his supervisor, Dr Torsten Granzow, and with support from Dr Sebastjan Glinsek, Blazquez Martinez received the award with gratitude. He said, “I feel honoured to have been conferred this award. It represents the culmination of the hard work and dedication that went into my research. This recognition is not only a personal achievement, but also acknowledges the invaluable support and guidance I received from my supervisors as well as from my colleagues at the MRT department. It motivates me to continue contributing to my field and pushing the boundaries of knowledge and technology.”

This achievement marks the third consecutive win for PhD students in the MRT department and the second consecutive win for a member of the Ferroic Materials for Transducers group.

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