Marie Ruat

Detector engineer

I’ve had bright red hair since I was 22 and I’ve grown oblivious to people looking at me. After all, it is my natural colour! I’m a detector engineer. I studied physics and specialised in semiconductor materials. I like to explore: I’ve travelled and worked in many countries, practiced about 20 different sports and in my job it’s the same. Detectors are the eyes of the synchrotron. As such, they allow you to image things that are totally distant from each other. Whether one needs to track nanoparticles, follow up very fast molecular changes during a chemical reaction or very slowly detail a fossil, explore the (sub-)atomic scale properties of matter, or the wonders of a protein, painting or crystal…, there will always be an X-ray eye to assist. I love the fact that I support a wide variety of scientific studies. The environment here is very particular: the ESRF is energy-drenched and the moment I entered the ring I felt it was the kind of place that matched my own energy. The more I gained experience, the stronger this feeling grew. Also, because I work with colleagues from all over the world and all backgrounds, I feel like I travel on a daily basis. It’s a thrilling place to work and I find it sometimes challenging to tear myself away from the excitement and to disconnect at the end of the day. I’ve learned to do that through yoga. Yoga plays a fundamental role in my life as it has changed the way I work, concentrate and switch off. I practice at least three times a week and it’s given me a balance between body and mind.”

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