Master’s degree in Earth sciences, 2008
Geologist and geophysicist at ConeTec Peru S.A.C.
“The network of professionals available to us students in order to mentor and guide us in our work was excellent. I felt supported throughout my course, even when there were inherent difficulties in relation to my research.”
After completing his university studies in Paris, Bruno Boussicault wanted to do an internship in order to gain more concrete research experience in his field of expertise and to complete his European postgraduate diploma (DESS). He discussed with Professor Marc Richer-Laflèche, scientific head of the Applied Geosciences Laboratory at INRS, who initially offered him a six-month internship in Québec, including a month’s wilderness camping in James Bay for geophysical exploration work.
“I had never been to Québec before my internship,” he recalls with a smile. “It was a wonderful way to get to know Québec differently.” He remembers his time in the North as “not easy, but unforgettable.” Gaining hands-on experience was a fundamental part of preparing for his profession. “It allowed me to develop essential skills that are not necessarily acquired with theoretical training,” he adds.
It was following this internship that Professor Richer-Laflèche suggested that he enrolls in a master’s degree at INRS, which Bruno accepted with enthusiasm as he was eager to stay in Québec for some time. In addition to the quality of the programme, which he considers excellent, Bruno remembers his time at the Centre Eau Terre Environnement in Québec City with great joy, especially for the friendships he developed with his foreign colleagues and for the network of professionals at his disposal who also helped him write his master’s thesis. “I had access very quickly to a professor who helped me with the revision of my thesis, which improved its quality.” He adds: “Throughout my course, I received excellent support from professors and highly qualified people at INRS, and I was at the same time completely autonomous in my research and master of my own projects. I also had all the tools at my disposal to do my work: van, geophysical equipment, which was very beneficial.” The opportunity to be independent, to have equipment readily available, greatly enhanced the development of the skills needed for his work and thus prepared him well for his professional career.
Indeed, after obtaining his master’s degree, Bruno looked to France and Québec to begin the next chapter of his professional life and quickly obtained a position as a geologist with Golder Associates, a consulting firm specializing in geothermal and soil mechanics and now part of the global firm WSP. His position with this firm led him to work in various Canadian provinces and eventually to a new adventure in Peru, with Golder, and then ConeTec, a Canadian company offering geotechnical site investigation services, where he has been working for several years.
Bruno concludes that “INRS has been a bridge between the academic and professional fields. We should not hesitate to use the human resources of INRS. The exchanges with the professors but also with our colleagues are excellent sources of practical teaching.”
[As interviewed in May 2022.]