Dylan Cattiaux (1994 – 2021)

Impassioned by mechanics, Dylan has engaged in a mechanical engineering degree after high school. As an undergraduate, Dylan has traveled the world to develop an acute technical expertise in high precision thermodynamics applied to automotive systems. In 2016, he chooses to complete his final internship in the Cryogenics for Fusion Laboratory (CEA/SBT/UGA) in Grenoble, where he becomes familiar with fundamental physics.

This experience raises intense curiosity leading him to embark for doctorate studies at the Institut Néel, with the outstanding perspective to investigate the quantum thermodynamic properties of solid state mechanical systems. This incredibly ambitious objective simultaneously requires the mastery of state-of-the-art cryogenics, the development of measurement techniques capable of detecting quantum noises, and advanced theoretical analysis background. In other word, the perfect synthesis between a high-tech engineer, and a fundamental physicist.

Through his flourishing talent, his extraordinary dedication, and his hard work, Dylan managed to develop and tame a particularly complex machinery for establishing what will remain a milestone for the french Optomechanics and Nanomechanics community, namely the observation of the quantum ground state of vibration of a solid state mechanical object, and the characterization of the associated thermodynamic properties. With this unique result, Dylan brilliantly defended his thesis on the 3rd March 2021, becoming a Doctor of Philosophy of the Université Grenoble Alpes.

Tragically, Dylan was caught in a mountain accident later that month, passing away at the age of just 26, while having a whole life in front of him, and so many invaluable contributions to bring to science and technology. Through leaving his name to our Optomechanics & Nanomechanics thesis prize, Dylan, his unique personality and his tremendous journey in science will continue to inspire the upcoming generation of young scientists.