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Pitet receives Award for Doctoral Thesis Excellence

Louis Pitet, Ph.D., is the first recipient of the Department of Chemistry's Award for Doctoral Thesis Excellence.

Pitet received his doctorate in chemistry from the University of Minnesota in 2011, working with his adviser Professor Marc Hillmyer. Currently, Pitet is a post-doctoral fellow at the Institute for Complex Molecular Systems at the Eindhoven University of Technology in the Netherlands, working under the guidance of Professor E. W. (Bert) Meijer.

While at the University of Minnesota, Pitet's research encompassed exploring new ways to exploit metathesis polymerization to address contemporary challenges in polymer science, especially in designing novel multicomponent block copolymers that self-assemble into nanostructured morphologies. His doctoral thesis was entitled, "Functional Materials from Nanostructured Block Copolymers Prepared via Ring-Opening Metathesis Polymerization."

"Collectively, my experiences at the University of Minnesota could not have been better,"  Pitet said. 'I enjoyed the camaraderie of my fellow graduate students and post-docs, with whom I share wonderful memories. I look forward to a life-long friendship with many of my colleagues and my adviser, for whom I have great admiration and respect. The facilities, ambitions, and innovation at the U of M allows graduate students and post-docs to pursue any line of research they wish. This was especially true within the arena of polymer science, owing largely to the collaborative environment cultivated by the polymer group faculty. My imagination was certainly encouraged throughout my graduate career, which fostered a deep appreciation for the pursuit of knowledge through science," Pitet said.

In the future, he hopes to pursue a tenure-track faculty position at a United States university.

Before coming to the University of Minnesota, Pitet earned his bachelor and master degrees in applied chemistry from the Colorado School of Mines.

The Award for Doctoral Thesis Excellence is designed to honor outstanding Department of Chemistry graduate students for their doctoral thesis research. A committee of seven faculty members evaluated all of this year's award candidates. Pitet's thesis research stood out as the very best in the group of outstanding thesis packages. Committee members also awarded an honorable mention to Shencheng Ge, Ph.D., from the Christy Haynes research group. The best thesis award includes a $500 honorarium and an invitation to present postdoctoral research results at a future Department of Chemistry seminar.