German Clavijo Mejia, doctorant lauréat au programme Eiffel

German Clavijo Mejia, doctorant dans le domaine des matériaux, nous parle de son parcours, en tant que doctorant et lauréat du programme d’excellence EIFFEL.

  1. Could you please introduce yourself ? Pouvez-vous vous présenter ?

My Name is Germán Andrés Clavijo Mejía and I was born in Colombia 29 years ago. I am a biomedical Engineer with a master in science degree on materials. As a biomedical engineer, the study of biomaterials was the research field which generates the highest interest for my goal to become a scientific and is the topic of my research during the last 6 years. During this period, I have been working in the fabrication and characterization of different types of feedstock powders and thermal spray coatings for biomedical applications. Nowadays I am a doctoral student in a co-tutelle program between the Mexican research Center CINVESTAV Unidad Querétaro and the IRCER laboratory of the Université de Limoges.


  1. Why did you decide to sudy abroad ? Why Limoges ?Pourquoi avez vous décidé d’étudier à l’étranger? Pourquoi à Limoges?

The decision to study abroad was mainly based in two reasons. Firstly, leaving my country of birth allowed me to look for opportunities to make research of high quality offered by different countries to foreign students. Usually, these countries have important investment for scientific purposes, which allows scientists to perform studies of high impact on the industry, society and the country development. Secondly, I am a person who enjoys passing through new experiences regarding culture, language and customs by studying abroad. Limoges is an excellent option to study master or doctoral studies regarding ceramic applications given that this region is very well known for having experience and development on the study of ceramic materials among them bioceramic ones.


  1. How did you arrive at the IRCER Institute ?Comment êtes vous arrivé à l’IRCER?

The opportunity to come to France was presented in a conference in United States where I met my actual co-advisor Dr. Hélene Ageorges. After discussing topics of common interests with her, we agree that I was a good candidate to start a co-tutelle doctorate and that coming to the IRCER laboratory, where the European Ceramic Center is, was an opportunity that I was about to take.


  1. What would you like to say about the Eiffel program, as a laureate? Que voulez-vous dire du Program Eiffel, en tant que lauréat en 2018?

I might say that it is one of greatest opportunities that the French government offers for foreign students to study in France.

Specifically, the Eiffel program is an excellent scholarship that gives the laureates all the facilities to perform our work in very good conditions for dealing with the needs that coming and living in France could represent.


  1. Do you remember what were your first feelings when you arrive in Limoges ? How is life in Limoges ? Vous rappelez vous ce que vous avez ressenti lors de votre arrivée à Limoges ? Comment qualifierez-vous la vie à Limoges ?

The first impression that I had from Limoges was that the city was small and quiet which was a challenge for me. This, given that I had been living in big cities during the major part of my life. I could classify the lifestyle in Limoges as a healthy lifestyle where you must be worry mainly about your work. Days in Limoges are quiet and no other sources of external stress as traffic, insecurity and long transportation times are present.


  1. What are the main differences between CINESTAV & IRCER ?Quelle sont les principals differences entre le CINESTAV et l’IRCER?

As expected the main differences between CINVESTAV and IRCER are related with the culture from the both countries where de laboratories are. After this, both laboratories work under similar goals and with excellent people working on different topics related to materials sciences.


  1. Why would you recommend to students/Phds to study abroad ? to come to Limoges ?Pourquoi recommanderiez vous aux étudiants d’étudier à l’étranger? Plus précisément de venir à Limoges?

I recommend to students at any level to study aboard because is one of the most enriching experiences which is going to give you numerous tools to use in your professional and personal life. By studying aboard, you will be able to adapt yourself to deal with different new challenges, personalities culture and problems. Regarding coming to Limoges, I can assure that the working time here will be effective and very good compared the world standards.


  1. Could you briefly explain your research topic for « beginners » ?Pourriez-vous nous expliquer brièvement le theme de vos recherches?

My research concerns about the fabrication of ceramics and coatings to be used in biomedical applications. I worked with the fabrication of two materials: a glass and a ceramic called hydroxyapatite. The first one is commonly used in applications such as tooth paste to avoid tooth sensitivity helping to regenerate the dental enamel. This glass is named bioglass because its bioactive properties. The second one is a ceramic which nature is very close to the mineral part of our bone tissue. This allows to use the ceramic in different applications such as coatings on metallic implants to increase the lifespan of the implant. Both materials are used to be deposited on metallic surfaces by thermal spray. This technique uses high temperature and velocity to deposit particles of a desired material by spray them on any surface. Finally, my research is based on the study on the fabrication of this two bioceramic materials and how to spray them on metallic surfaces for biomedical applications


  1. What is the most interesting part of your research work ?Quelle est la partie que vous préférez dans votre recherche?

To deal with new challenges knowing that my research is part of the new studies and trending topics around the world concerning biomedical technology.


  1. Where do you see yourself in 10 years ? Any plans ?Où vous imaginez vous dans 10 ans?

I see myself as an associated professor in a high-level university and leading a company of research on biomedical applications.