Interview: Michel Barsoum (Drexel University, Pennsylvania)
Categorie(s) : Education, Interviews, Life @ MINATEC, News, Research
Published : 6 June 2016
Michel Barsoum (Drexel University, Pennsylvania):
« I hope to spend more time in Grenoble in the coming years »
You are known worldwide for your work on materials, particularly MAX phases. What brought you to Grenoble for three months?
In materials science, to gain real understanding of a material you need large single crystals. The only person in the world growing MAX phase single crystals is Dr. Thierry Ouisse, my host. I also wanted to spend time with Thierry because I believe he has a very elegant explanation for why the MAX phases conduct electricity the way they do, a topic that has been puzzling me for the past 20 years that I think Thierry has solved!
Do you plan to come back to Grenoble?
I certainly will return to Grenoble in the future. The project I am collaborating on with Thierry will fund me to visit Grenoble for another three weeks between now and 2018. I am also applying—with Thierry—for a proposal that will allow me to spend much more time in Grenoble in the next three or four years. Hopefully it will be funded!
What were your impressions of the MINATEC campus, where researchers, students, and startups work side by side? How do you feel this supports innovation?
I get the impression that it is more difficult to start small companies in France than in the US. That said, the idea has worked quite well at MINATEC, as it has elsewhere!