Université de Strasbourg

Sandrine Courtin

Marguerite Perey Chair (2023-2025)

Sandrine CourtinSandrine Courtin is professor of nuclear physics at the University of Strasbourg (France) and honorary professor at the University of York (United Kingdom). She obtained her doctorate in physics in 1999 from the University of Paris XI-Orsay, and her habilitation to supervise research in 2007 from the University of Strasbourg. Sandrine Courtin teaches electromagnetism, quantum mechanics, subatomic physics and stellar physics. She carries out her research at the Hubert Curien Pluridisciplinary Institute (IPHC), a joint research unit of the university and of the French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS) with over 400 staff members, and of which she is director since 2021.

During her career, Sandrine Courtin has been a spokesperson for numerous projects and experiments with global facilities in Canada, Italy, the United States and France. At the frontier of nuclear physics and astrophysics, her research focuses on nuclear reactions in relation to massive stars and, more specifically, the synthesis and combustion of elements such as carbon and oxygen, which are necessary for the appearance of life in the universe as we know it. Sandrine Courtin is also a spokesperson for the STELLA (STELlar LAboratory) experiment, and has numerous international collaborations, in particular with the UK, Italy, Germany, the USA and Australia. She has published over 150 articles in peer-reviewed journals, including the prestigious Physical Review Letters and Nature. She has presented her work at international conferences on more than 40 occasions.

Her projects have been supported by European Commission programmes such as Horizon 2020, the French National Research Agency (ANR), the University of Strasbourg's Excellence Initiatives and the CNRS France-Australia international agreements. Sandrine Courtin sits on the Nuclear Physics European Collaboration Committee (NuPECC) and was selected by the Harvard Business Review France in 2022 as one of the twelve women shaping the future, in the sector of science.

Sandrine Courtin is heavily involved in popularising science, and has taken part in numerous initiatives and articles for the general public such as Sciences et Vie Junior and the international report Nuclear Physics in Everyday Life (NuPeCC, 2022).

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Inaugural lecture

Professor Courtin will deliver her Inaugural Lecture as Marguerite Perey Chair on 16 November 2023, entitled “Nucleosynthesis of chemical elements in the Universe: a plunge into the burning heart of massive stars”. Read more about the topic of the lecture.

The Marguerite Perey Chair

The Marguerite Perey Chair in the natural sciences is named in honour of Marguerite Perey (1909-1975), a French physicist who is recognised for her discovery of the element francium. In her early career, she was mentored by Marie Curie and subsequently studied at the Sorbonne in Paris. She was made head of department of nuclear chemistry at the University of Strasbourg in 1949 and was the first woman to be elected at the French Academy of Sciences in 1962.

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