Dr. Thibault Cheisson is a Camille and Henry Dreyfus Environmental Chemistry Postdoctoral Fellow in the chemistry department at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, USA. He grew up in France where he graduated from the Ecole Normale Supérieure and the UPMC in Paris. Following his interest for inorganic chemistry he earned a PhD degree in 2015 from the Ecole Polytechnique working on the synthesis, coordination, and reactivity of metal-iminophosphoranes with Dr. Audrey Auffrant.
He received a best PhD thesis award from Ecole Polytechnique for his PhD work. During his PhD, Thibault also collaborated with Dr. Greg Nocton and Prof. Karsten Meyer on the chemistry of lanthanides and actinides and developed an interest in the chemistry of these elements. Therefore, he decided to pursue his interest for the f-elements in the laboratory of Prof. Eric J. Schelter, following his selection as a Camille and Henry Dreyfus Environmental Chemistry Postdoctoral Fellow in 2016.
Thibault has nurtured a fascination for the rare earth elements owing to their (redox) reactivity, physical properties, and even interactions with living organisms – topics that are at the center of his research work. Aware of the severe and harmful ecological impact of rare earth elements mining and separation, his postdoctoral work has focused on developing new separation methods for the recycling of these technologically-essential metals. His work could help facilitate the separation of rare-earth elements from technological goods providing substantial savings in energy and waste. This work was awarded the U.S. EPA Green Chemistry Challenge award in 2017.
As a chemist and a world citizen, Thibault believes that chemistry is an essential discipline to address today’s challenges. To meet those challenges, he shares his passion for the periodic table with students from all backgrounds and the public. Thibault aims to pursue a career that seamlessly integrates chemistry and sustainability.