What do additive manufacturing and gardening have in common?
Guillaume Debaille, MSc 2020 | ITER
Meet Guillaume Debaille, Skoltech MSc alumnus, Computer-aided Engineer, and a winner of the Karfidov Lab prototypes competition. Guillaume was an international student at Skoltech and still uses the knowledge and skills he gained in his current work at International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor. Enjoy his story!
about me
Before entering Skoltech, I was both completing an MEng in Mechanical Engineering at Arts & Métiers ParisTech and an MSc in Nuclear Science and Plasma Technologies at Aix-Marseille University. I was very interested in prototyping, mechanics, electronics and manufacturing, aiming to apply those technologies to cutting edge projects such as Nuclear Fusion in Tokamaks.

I was studying in France (my home country) as an aspiring engineer in what we call a "Grande école d'ingénieurs" (Historical engineering institutes with selective admission). I followed a traditional education that aims to provide a complete set of skills (industrial processes, mechanical studies, electrical machinery, IT etc).
why Skoltech?
The first time I have learned about Skoltech was in fact by meeting its students in France. I joined the European Robotics Cup as a competitor and I met the Skoltech team there. I was quite amazed by their work, so I read about Skoltech. As I wanted to study in Russia at that time, it was a perfect match.

To me it appeared directly that Skoltech provided a very modern way of learning, multicultural classes with top-level scientists, masterclass teachers, and motivating challenges. It seemed to me that this modern approach combined with the renowned technological traditions of Russia, such as mechanical engineering, was exactly what I was looking for. Moreover, I always wanted to study in a university that continuously grows, along with its students, and I think it's a perfect definition of Skoltech.
highlights from my studies at Skoltech
I ended up applying and joining Skoltech's Advanced Manufacturing Technologies Master's program.

During my time in the program, I really enjoyed the class-based projects around technological problems. In fact, it's the perfect mirror of what happens in professional life, within groups of dozen people where managers, technical specialists, and scientists naturally emerge from the group to tackle project difficulties. I can also cite the Innovation workshop as one of the richest experiences I had, as well as many courses in Materials Science, which were pleasant journeys in Physics.

From the many experiences that helped me in my professional life, getting involved in industrial subjects, and getting out of the comfort zone was a must.

Advanced Manufacturing Technologies
The program is established with a focus on the development and implementation of new simulation-driven design and manufacturing paradigms for the development of advanced materials, structures, and engineering systems with enhanced lifecycle, mechanical and physical characteristics demanded in high-tech industries. The program is created to prepare the next generation of researchers, engineers, and practitioners to assume the role of technical leadership in the research and innovation of high-tech sector. Learn more>>
How I won a competition of prototypes with Karfidov Lab
Back in 2019, Skoltech announced a new scholarship from Karfidov Lab —an industrial design company co-founded by a fellow AMT graduate Dmitry Vasilev. Participants had to submit a prototype of a physical they had developed at Skoltech and submit it for consideration to the company. The winners got a pleasant scholarship for 150 000 RUB.

I remember that I was literally living in Masterskaya (Skoltech Fablab). I developed a device that produces customized filament for 3D printing for one of my courses and presented it in my scholarship application.

I was very glad when I realized that I won. More than the prize, the highest reward was to have promoted and defended my subject up to 1st place, considering that other applications were really impressive. The prize itself helped me to invest in tools and a workshop that I still use widely today. I am producing more and more projects and never stopped to design from this time. I am still learning every day and I never fear to pivot from a project to another to enrich my skills.
сurrent work and projects
I am currently working at the ITER (International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor) project as a full-time CAE Engineer through a European technical consortium contributing to the project. In a few words, my everyday work is to design structures, to perform mechanical calculations as a CAE expert. I also work to facilitate technical discussions and reviews of design among specialist teams every day.

We are all amazed by the elegance of the facility design, which aims to combine cutting-edge technologies in numerous fields as high-energy plasmas, cryogenics, vacuum, superconducting materials, ultra-fast control systems, high-tech civil works. I recommend you to learn more about the project as it is a major joint effort of many countries, including Russia, to achieve a technological breakthrough. This work reminds me of Skoltech a lot as we work in multicultural teams only, with modern values, English-based communication and top-level scientific knowledge. My Russian language skills sometimes help a bit!

I also recently switched to a new personal project (related to additive manufacturing), even though now it will take longer to realize without Skoltech's Fablab. I hope that you will hear about it someday!

my free time
I really enjoy sports, such as mountain bike and running, and I am gardening every day. Gardening is a great hobby as it reflects the idea of experimenting and constant growth. Also, it's a good way to relax. I wish to all international students to discover the Russian Datchas during their weekends, and to feel the joy of gardening too! I am also quite passionate about several topics in literature, such as the history of Europe and Asia.
future plans
One fact that I learned in Skoltech is that innovation is something quite paradoxal because it implies building intensively and iteratively a concept without having a clear vision on it from the beginning. I guess this can be extrapolated to anyone's goals and plans.

I have a clear passion about CAE, manufacturing and prototyping. While collecting skills on these topics and intensively training, I would enjoy to combine them to produce a technological disruption.
and now about Skoltech
We are Skoltech – a new international English-speaking STEM university that was founded by the group of world-renowned scientists in 2011 in Moscow, Russia. In just 8 years, we united dozens of researchers and globally renowned professors, built a stunning campus, set up world-class labs and made it to the top 100 young universities in the Nature Index. Read more >>
Discover Skoltech in less than 3 minutes
more stories? sure: