Interview – Prof. Véronique Michaud

The research objective of the LPAC (Laboratory for Processing of Composite Materials) is to establish the scientific base for the next generation of materials and processes in the fast-growing fields of polymers and composites. This involves novel approaches to tailoring material systems and process cycles and the development of new materials with controlled rheology, solidification kinetics and surface characteristics.

LPAC develops advanced processes for thermoset and thermoplastic composites, based on a fundamental understanding of flow, chemical and interfacial mechanisms, with the aim to bring additional functionalities that go well beyond structural performance criteria, while ensuring sustainable life cycle strategies. We thus develop smart composites, bioinspired composites, UV-curable composites, nanostructured materials, multilayer films, functional surfaces, and life cycle engineering approaches. While a large part of our activity finds applications in the traditional fields of mobility, sports, energy generation, we have also been active since a long time in the field of food packaging, recently focusing on the use of novel bio-sourced materials and composites, providing adequate mechanical resistance as well as oxygen and vapor barrier properties and reducing their overall environmental impact.

We have also worked on the rheology and processing of food grade materials, such as gelatins for engineered food products, and we currently carry out research activities linked with the use of agricultural waste as a source of raw materials and consumables for composite processing.


To know a bit more about you…

  • What treat would you take to a desert island?

I love cheeses of all sorts, and in particular goat cheese, so I think I would take a goat with me if possible (and the book on how to make cheese) !

On a serious note, we all know that food systems are under pressure…

  • As a consumer, is there any particular point that stands out to you in the current food systems?

Beyond the obvious issue of the large amount of waste which either could be avoided or valorized, a particular point that became obvious and worrisome to me these past months is the issue of food logistics across the globe, and our vulnerability to any disruptions that may take place at any time from natural or other disasters.

We must find a good equilibrium between the need to produce food most efficiently at large scale, and that to optimize and secure the distribution and storage of goods. This also means that consumers should be more aware of the need to grow and consume local products. We should perhaps refer again to Voltaire, both in the literal as well as figurative sense, when he made Candide say that we must cultivate our garden !