Thibault, sandwich course internship

What is your path of studies?

I passed my baccalauréat in Science and Laboratory Techniques, with an option in chemistry. I then joined a sandwich course for a University diploma in physical measurements. I am currently on an internship as part of my second year course.

A sandwich course incorporates a placement as part of the training. In my case, I shall be spending a whole year at Ifremer and then 2 months at university. I will then return to Ifremer for a few months to complete my training. The benefit of a sandwich course is to build up your work experience, enhance your employability and establish contacts in your chosen industry more rapidly.

My supervisor at IFREMER is Livio Ruffine, researcher and expert in the field of gas hydrates.

What are you currently studying at Ifremer?

I am currently working on gas hydrates, solid and crystalline compounds composed of gas molecules trapped within a cage of water molecules. Sedimentary hydrates constitute the largest methane reserve on Earth. I am studying the kinetics of the formation of these gas hydrates (methane hydrates in this case) in different salts in order to apprehend the influence of salts contained in seawater on the accumulation speed of these crystals in marine sediment.

Consequently,  I am observing the formation timescale of hydrates on the basis of criteria which may improve the contact between the gas and water.

The study of hydrates leads to a greater understanding of the carbon cycle of the oceans. They are present on nearly all continental margins and the methane they contain encourages the development of very specific ecosystems. They play a role in the stability of ocean beds and consequently it is important to be aware of the factors which develop them and also those which may unsettle them.


I have been fascinated by water and the sea since childhood and I wish to pursue a career in this environment. I enjoy navigating and have joined an association called « Général Leclerc » which organizes sailing in the Bay of Brest and participates in maritime festivals and sailing challenges.