French physicist and engineer, co-discoverer of giant magnetoresistance, awarded degree in special ceremony
On Thursday, Sept 08, researcher Jean-Marc Broto, an international reference in transition metal nanoparticles and carbon nanotubes, was awarded the title of Doctor Honoris Causa from PUCRS. The honorary degree was proposed by Professor Sandra Einloft, Dean of School of Technology, and was unanimously approved by the University Council in August. The award was given by the President of PUCRS, Br. Br. Evilázio Teixeira.
Broto, a physicist and engineer, discovered giant magnetoresistance along with his adviser, Dr. Albert Fert. The discovery won Fert the Nobel Prize in Physics, in 2007. Broto has published over 180 articles, with more than 10,000 citations. In addition to being a researcher, he has a strong career in management, having served as the Dean of the Faculty of Sciences at the University of Toulouse III (2007-2016). He currently serves as president of the International Conference of Deans of Science Schools from French-speaking countries and President of the University of Toulouse III.
The ceremony was held at the Theater of Building 40, and was attended by faculty, students and academic leaders. The President of PUCRS, Br. Evilázio Teixeira, the Senior Vice President, Mr. Manuir Mentges, and Dr. Sandra Einloft were in the honor table. Other PUCRS representatives who were present at the ceremony were members of the University Council, Vice Presidents, Deans and Marist Brothers. The event was also attended by the Vice President of the University of Toulouse II, François Martin, University of Antioquia (Colombia) professor, Dr. Jeanete Corredor, and Universidade Federal Rio Grande do Sul (Brazil) professor, Dr. Mario Baibich, a Brazilian physicist who was part of Albert Fert’s team when he won the Nobel Prize in Physics.
The ceremony also featured the music arrangements of the string quartet formed by Márcio Ceconello, Renata Bernardino, Álvaro Aguirre and Tácio Vieira.
In his speech as a laudatio, the coordinator of the School of Technology’s Graduate Program in Engineering and Materials Technology, Dr. Eduardo Cassel, highlighted the career and importance of Broto for the development of science. The professor also highlighted Broto’s claim that it is necessary to build strong universities integrated with society, with high-quality research being a fundamental principle for them.
“The courage to investigate the unknown leads to novelties in science that will have consequences on society. But first, it is necessary to have the courage to undertake. At a time when academic rigor and free investigative inspiration are in decline due to a logic of immediate application of research findings to the market aspirations, Dr. Broto’s career is an example of academic achievement and a little light for reflection”, Cassel said.
The President of PUCRS, Dr. Evilázio Teixeira, reinforced how honored the University is in awarding the title of Doctor Honoris Causa to Jean-Marc Broto. “We are honored to have you as a friend of this University, which will now become your home. May your work continue to enlighten all those who seek knowledge and wisdom so that nature and humanity, through technologies, form a single body, materializing the preservation of all forms of life and harmony for a more sustainable world”.
During the ceremony, Broto thanked PUCRS for the title and made mention of the exchanges and academic partnership with Dr. Sandra Einloft. “10 years ago, Sandra met Professor François Martin at the Atomic Energy Commission. Back then, Martin served as director of a laboratory in Toulouse, and a member of the science faculty of which I served as Dean. Despite developing research in totally different areas, they decided to join forces. This collaboration had the contribution of the then President of PUCRS, Dr. Joaquim Clotet, and Elisabeth Soulié, general secretary of the GET laboratory in Toulouse. In fact, this is such a small world because Sandra, like me, had the chance to work and join teams whose directors won Nobel prizes, one in Chemistry, professor Yves Chauvin, and another in Physics, Professor Albert Fert”, he said.
Broto also highlighted the collaboration between PUCRS and the French university in doctoral programs and scientific articles.
“These exchanges between universities are very important for international research policies,” Broto says.
The Honorary degree is awarded to people in view of their expertise and contribution to arts, sciences, philosophy, languages or even to a better understanding between peoples. It is a degree that is highly valued in the academia, awarded to people who embody such qualities.
Check out the images