To kick off 2021, we are spotlighting a former TLCERF grant awardee, Matthieu Boudreau, who was the successfully chosen candidate in 2016. Matthieu was a mechanical engineering PhD student at the Université Laval, where he also received his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees, researching a clean and renewable technology for energy extraction from river or tidal currents. Matthieu also spent a lot of time on the West Coast, where he conducted experiments and collaborated with researcher at the University of Victoria. Since 2016, Matthieu went on to successfully graduate from his PhD and has also been thriving with his work in industry. Below is an update from Matthieu himself, describing the clean energy research he did as a grant awardee, as well as what he has been up to since:
“Right after conducting a successful initial set of experiments on our fully-passive flapping-foil hydrokinetic turbine at the University of Victoria in 2016, we already had in mind several aspects of the setup that could be optimized or even tested for the first time during a new set of experiments. The Tyler Lewis Clean Energy Research Foundation made that possible by providing the required funding to make a few required adjustments on the prototype and to ship it from our lab at Université Laval in Quebec City to where the tests were carried out, namely the University of Victoria. It also gave me the opportunity to train new graduate students on the operation of the prototype and the physics at play, which in turn allowed the continuation of the collaboration between our two universities. One of these students concluded his master degree at the University of Victoria in 2019 with one published paper dedicated to his work performed on our prototype. Two students are currently conducting their master degree on this hydrokinetic turbine concept at Université Laval and another one is conducting his master degree at the University of Victoria. On top of its pure scientific interest, this project is therefore contributing to the formation of the next generation of highly-skilled engineers in the field of renewable energies and the Tyler Lewis Clean Energy Research Foundation played an important role to make that happen.
On my side, I completed the redaction of my thesis in October 2018, which consists of 4 published peer-reviewed journal papers (http://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11794/34484) and I defended it in February 2019 with great feedback from the examining committee. Including my previous works performed during my undergraduate studies and my master degree, as well as the ongoing collaborations with students currently completing their studies, I have now published 12 peer-reviewed journal papers. In January 2019, I started working for Pratt & Whitney Canada as an aero/thermal CFD (computational fluid dynamic) expert for secondary air and oil systems of aero-engines. The expertise that I built during my graduate studies quickly allowed me to take the lead on important R&D projects. After completing a little bit more than a year in that position, I got the opportunity to join GE Renewable Energy, where I now work on the design of hydraulic turbines. I feel very lucky to work in a field that is in line with my values since I do not only get the chance to work on producing clean and renewable energy, but other environmental aspects, such as fish survival rates, are among the key drivers of our designs.
On a more personal note, I am still enjoying the outdoors as much as I can. Two of the most recent additions on my long list of favorite outdoor activities are backcountry cross-country skiing and road biking.”
The foundation would like to thank Matthieu for taking some time to provide us with an update on his research, work and life. More than anything else, however, everyone at the Foundation would like to thank Matthieu for his time, energy and enthusiasm he dedicates to clean energy endeavors. Matthieu truly embodies the ethos and spirit of the foundation and its mission.