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  • 02/27/19

    Celeste Rousseau receives fellowship to study sensors in Geneva

Celeste Rousseau, a second-year graduate student working with Professor Philippe Buhlmann, has won a ThinkSwiss Fellowship, which will enable her to spend three months in the fall of 2019 as a visiting researcher in the group of Professor Eric Bakker at the University of Geneva in Switzerland. 

Professor Bakker is a renowned researcher in the field of chemical sensors, and is associate editor of the American Chemical Society journal, ACS Sensors

Celeste is interested in the development of electrochemical sensors with the ability to continuously monitor ion concentrations in environmental waters and waters used for drinking and irrigation. Continuous monitoring would provide real-time information about contamination of water sources with toxic species such as metal ions, and nutrients such as ammonia and phosphate. These sensors would need to be robust, able to stay in the field for long period of times, and requiring minimal to no maintenance.

In particularly, Celeste hopes to work on ion-selective electrodes that are calibration and maintenance free. Currently, ion-selective electrodes are large and bulky devised that include inner-filling solutions that can evaporate or change composition, or can be damaged. The inner filling also makes it hard to miniaturize or mass produce the electrodes. A key interest of Celeste's is the development of materials that can replace those internal filling solutions and can be used to fabricate sensors that provide consistent and reliable responses.

Currently, she is synthesizing a novel class of chemical compounds that are are water-insolubable redox buffers. Working with Professor Bakker and his expertise in ion transfer voltammeter and coulometry sensors, Celeste hopes to gain a greater understanding of these types of sensors and put to use in such sensors the compounds she has prepared.

"I'm extremely excited to have this invaluable opportunity to work with Professor Bakker, as he is really one of the leaders in the field of electrochemical sensors," said Celeste, "and I will be able to share ideas and gain experience with a diverse array of techniques."

Celeste earned her bachelor's degree from Eastern Michigan University.