Winner of the INRS Career Transition Scholarship
Our 2024 INRS Career Transition Scholarship winner is Mathieu Des Roches, a master’s student in Earth Sciences under the supervision of Professor Pierre Francus. Mr Des Roches is undertaking graduate studies, fifteen years after completing his bachelor’s degree, with the aim of delving deeper into the world of research to make geothermal energy an effective tool in the face of climate change.
Mathieu Des Roches became a research officer at INRS in 2010, after completing a bachelor’s degree in automated production engineering at the École de technologie supérieure.
“Preferring to work on research projects, which represented only a fraction of my activities, I wanted to devote myself full time to them, and that’s where the idea of going back to university came from,” he explains.
He generously agreed to answer our questions about his career to date.
What brought you to INRS? What do you value about your experience?
During my career at INRS, I developed an interest in the earth sciences by working closely with my current director and researchers at the Geological Survey of Canada. When it was suggested to me that I should go back to school, it seemed like a natural next step. I decided to put my trust in my colleagues, and they have lived up to their promises!
Can you tell us about the issues involved and the impact of the research at the heart of your master’s project?
The use of electricity is an increasingly important issue in Quebec. Geothermal energy has the potential to provide energy for heating and allow the electricity saved to be used for other purposes. My project aims to improve the characterisation of the subsoil and, consequently, the prediction of the performance of geothermal systems, in order to reduce the risks and costs associated with the deployment of this technology. As ground heat is a renewable resource with low carbon emissions and this type of system is highly resilient to extreme weather events, it is a major asset to consider in the fight against climate change.
What does winning this scholarship mean to you?
When you embark on graduate studies, you inevitably ask yourself at some point whether you really belong, whether you’ve made the right choice, and so on. I think this is probably even more the case when you go back to university. This support sends a strong message that my peers believe in what I'm doing and want to see me succeed. It instils confidence and motivation to keep going!
What are your plans for the future?
I hope that my career path, and the visibility that this scholarship brings, will inspire future researchers who, like me, secretly wanted to go back to studying but were convinced that it was impossible. I’m also planning to fast-track my PhD in autumn 2024.
Congratulations to Mathieu Des Roches on his inspiring career path, which has earned him the 2024 INRS Career Transition Scholarship. We wish him every success in pursuing his aspirations.
About the INRS Career Transition Scholarship
In line with the Institut national de la recherche scientifique’s (INRS) commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion, INRS senior management has created the INRS Career Transition Scholarship. The $5,000 scholarship, awarded for the first time in the winter of 2023, is designed to support new students who are returning to higher education after a variety of personal and professional experiences. The scholarship is intended to improve the conditions of study offered by INRS to the winner.
The competition, managed by the Service des études supérieures et de la réussite étudiante (SESRE) team, closed on 5 November 2023. The selection committee was made up of Philippe-Edwin Bélanger, Director of SESRE, Joanie Lavoie, Scholarship Liaison Officer, Steven LaPlante, Professor at the Centre Armand-Frappier Santé Biotechnologie and Isabelle Lavoie, Professor at the Centre Eau Terre Environnement.
The Foundation team sincerely thanks its generous donors, as well as all those who contributed to the awarding of the scholarship. A convivial ceremony will be held this year to highlight their invaluable contribution and the achievements of the winner.