Where are they now? Stephanie Couvreur

Years ago, the MyScienceWork team met Stéphanie Couvreur who was in the last year of her PhD in physics at the University Paris Diderot. For 3 years, she conducted research on the dynamics of liquid rivulets – an area as rich in fundamental questions as in applications.

In our PhD Student Summer Saga, we asked our ex-PhD Student "what are you doing now?" She answered thoroughly from her research activity... to her time on a bicycle tour along Silk Road.

(Find the newsletter this is written for here.)

Could you introduce yourself in a few words?

I am Stéphanie, I graduated with a physics PhD 5 years ago. After my PhD, I worked for 3 years in outreach at Paris-Saclay University. It was a new structure with many challenges. I really loved it!! I worked with a lot with groups and got different kinds of people to work together, this is how I got more and more interested in group behaviour. I specialized in collective intelligence. For 1.5 year, parallel to my job, I studied groups dynamics, a fascinating topic!

After these few years in science communication, I wanted to get more involved in ecology in a more direct way than through citizen knowledge. I applied at my electricity supplier, a cooperation working with green energy, and I got a job creating new cooperatives in French regions. I went from citizen empowerment through science to energy.

After few months, I got the opportunity to work as a product manager in the cooperative. I acquired new skills and used the technical expertise I have thanks to my physics PhD. Although there is no direct link between physics and any of the positions I have occupied, I really think I could make all these  quick changes thanks to my PhD. There, I learned how to handle a new complex topic rapidly.

And now, what's your current position ?

3 months ago, I quit my job to go on a bicycle tour along the Silk road. My boyfriend and I began in France and are now in Central Anatolia in Turkey, living in a nomad and slow way outside of consumption. It is amazing to see how continuously people and culture change. We plan to go to Central Asia and maybe to Singapour! We have a blog (in French though) if you want to follow us: http://www.tandemonde.fr 

During my PhD, I was not sure if I wanted to go on into research or not. Now, I'm sure I made the right choice (this is not every case, but applies to me!). I am much happier in my job, and I feel much more useful to society. Today, I am very involved in outreach--I felt that I was a little disconnected from big issues we need to collectively face such as climate warming and all the ecological disasters which already impact us and will impact us more and more.

Want to watch the Knock Knock Doc Episode with Stéphanie Couvreur ? It's just bellow (activate subtitles!). Find here her first interview article



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