In classical ballet, artistic creativity is combined with strict discipline. Bacteriologist Emmanuelle Charpentier knows this all too well. Trained in classical ballet and piano, she says it’s not a bad background to have as a researcher citing this as the source of her meticulous accuracy and persistence through repetitive efforts. And, she adds, a scientist needs to cultivate her/his artistic side, be creative and a little bit crazy — at least sometimes.
Leisure: “I have been very busy with work in recent years and even more as a result of all the attention surrounding CRISPR-Cas9, but I really try to keep up with other interests too, such as sporting activities. I am very much interested in culture, art and design. I can at least find the time to listen to music while working, walking and thinking, and I enjoy listening to debates by philosophers and sociologists that question the world and our society. This is where I find my energy and balance.” Best mode of transport: “Bike! I cycle wherever I am – Paris, New York, Vienna, Umeå, Braunschweig – and currently on a daily basis in Berlin.”
“I was and remain very passionate about the MIMS concept at Umeå University. It focuses on a very high level of education and research, with regard to both high-quality research and insight into how to promote fundamental research and the education of postgraduate students in the long term. The concept also takes into account that good research takes time and requires good working conditions in which a community pools its energy and the administrative burden is small. I appreciate that The Nordic EMBL Partnership for Molecular Medicine gave me the academic freedom I needed.”
These photos remind me my time in Tsinghua. The slogan on the auditorium indicates that these photos must be made many years ago. I love the straight road between the second gate and the west gate with ginkgo trees along both sides. There is a lotus pool beside the road, which is famous because of the article “The Moonlight in the Lotus Pond”. This article was in our text book of middle school in my age, I am not sure if this is still the case now.
Today’s news that Chang’e 5 landed on the moon and planning to
bring a sample of lunar soil back, called to my memory of my time in Tsinghua.
As I remember this Chang’e mission started about 15 years ago, almost the same time that I started in Tsinghua. If you are not a soil mechanics expert, you may not be able to imagine how this mission could be linked to soil mechanics. Actually, at the very beginning of the Chang’e mission, we were involved. The first task was to estimate the response of soil to the reentry capsule when it landed as planned somewhere in Inner Mongolia. (The planned landing spot for Chang’e 5 this time is still in Inner Mongolia.) The second task was to build a test area in Beijing, modelling the soil in Inner Mongolia, so that some experiment could be carried out in Beijing instead of Inner Mongolia. During those time, discussion on lunar soil sampling project already began, it is about 15 years ago. Now, finally, we see this mission carried out.
To model soil that does not exist on the earth is difficult. Our focus is on the mechanical behaviours of soil so that to provide basis for design of sampling machine and lunar vehicle. Some of issues that need to be considered include low gravity (1/6 of earth), vacuum condition and dry condition. The issue of gravity is especially concerned, because it effects confining pressure so that effects the strength. And this issue effects design of some experiments . For example, when design a triaxial test, distribution of confining stress due to the size of soil sample is always neglected, but when the confining stress is very low, this kind of difference due to soil sample size may not be negligible.
本来也是打算英文写的，但是考虑到后面这一大串都是英文，就改用中文写吧。 这个时候看到这个新闻，多少总还是会觉得wow！，虽然其实也和你没多大关系。很多时候科学家的故事，如果都能让你也觉得很值得思考，那么很可能你也是一个科学家，或者至少是热爱科学的。 上一次觉得诺贝尔化学奖有点联系的时候，还在2000年：The Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2000 was awarded jointly to Alan J. Heeger, Alan G. MacDiarmid and Hideki Shirakawa “for the discovery and development of conductive polymers.” link：The Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2000 从发现到开始商业化，经过了约30年。 我相信很多人做出诺奖级别的贡献的时候，他们的目标自始至终可能都不是诺奖，而是对科学本身的热爱和对未知领域的好奇心。 Emmanuelle Charpentier在众多的发言场合，提到最多的就是curiosity。 I realized that being a research scientist would fit the many aspects of my personality — my curiosity, intellectual drive for knowledge, enjoyment of communicating knowledge to others and working as a team, and my desire to turn complex scientific discoveries into practical applications that would help society. I was excited about being a scientist.
Emmanuelle Charpentier Receives Aachen Engineering Award 07/09/2018
It is the first time that I put on a post to say “Hey! Join
us, if you are interested in.”
We are doing amazing research here with incredible enthusiasm
and broad interests.
There are tons of reasons that people choose to do research; it could be a hobby, or to make a living, or any reason you name it, but my favourite reason is always that you love it. If you love your job, then you will do it with passion and happiness. 996 is never a problem only if you love it. (Well, it doesn’t mean 996 in our team…I never advocate that. See the photo, people played badminton; and we should do it more later on.)
My interests include (but not limited to)
1. Impact of electricity on clay minerals
By applying electric voltage on clay minerals, we look at
the variation of its mineral structure and engineering behaviours. This could
be a scientific research on clay mineral level (chemical & micro level); it
could also be linked to potential engineering application in the area of geotechnical
and geoenvironmental engineering.
2. Soil remediation and ground water treatment
This is a research area on removal of pollutants from
contaminated soil or protection of ground water. This research topic can be
linked to EK technique as well. And another possibility is to use Fe-rich clay
minerals as redox materials for ground water treatment.
3. Dewatering and consolidation
This topic is about removal of water from very fine-grained
soil, like sludge, slurry, clay, etc. These kinds of materials have very low
hydraulic conductivity, but electro-osmosis can be an effective method for dewatering
and consolidation of them. We are looking at the challenges of this EO technique
in large scale of application.
We are interested in application of geosynthetics.
1) Reinforcement, which is a very popular application for
decades and lots of people from academy and industry are doing it.
2) Filtration and drainage. This topic is related to
dewatering and consolidation. One of the special issues that we are especially
interested in is the clogging problem of geotextiles. There are lot of things
to do, include mechanism of clogging, update of manufacturing and design code,
invention of novel types of geotextiles.
3) One more thing about geosynthetics, which is special for
our research is EKG. This novel material presents a new category of
geosynthetic and I’ve been staying in this topic for over decade.
5. Unsaturated soil, constitutive model and numerical
We are carrying out this research partially also because of
EK technique. When applying EK technique, it is related to unsaturated soil and
suction. Therefore, we’ve been developing completely new constitutive model and
trying to apply it in suction measurement, EK design and also trying to develop
code for numerical modelling and software for EK design.
6. Mining, tailing, liquefaction, etc.
More researches that are related to my basic interests previously
mentioned are being explored, we will see more ideas and fantastic work coming
“Soil Mechanics arrived at the borderline between science and art. I use the term “art” to indicate mental processes leading to satisfactory results without the assistance of step-for-step logical reasoning…To acquire competence in the field of earthwork engineering one must live with the soil. One must love it and observe its performance not only in the laboratory but also in the field, to become familiar with those of its manifold properties that are not disclosed by boring records…”