Estelle le Sache, PhD

Catalytic Research Engineer

Estelle le Saché is a research fellow at the University of Surrey, UK. She holds a dual master’s degree from the University of Caen and the National Graduate School of Engineering of Caen, France, in chemistry and chemical engineering.

She received her PhD in 2019 from the University of Surrey, UK, where she was awarded the Vice Chancellor’s award for Postgraduate researcher of the year. Her research has been recognized by European federation of catalysis with the EFCATS student award in 2017.

Currently, she is sponsored by the SPace Research and Innovation Network for Technology program to develop micro-catalytic reactors for mono-propellant thrusters in small satellites. Her research interests include the development of novel catalysts for CO2 utilisation, clean hydrogen production, pollutant removal and membrane technology.

Get to know Estelle

Name a favourite scientist, inventor or researcher and tell us why you like them?

Dmitri Mendeleev, father of the periodic table of elements. He managed to envision a system to organise the known elements and predict the characteristics of elements yet to be discovered. His creativity and deep understanding led to the development of our modern chemistry.

What do you think is the most interesting area of research for the future? (Yes, it’s broad).

Electrochemistry is a booming research area. Current needs to reduce anthropogenic CO2 emissions are driving research towards “clean energy vectors”. Hydrogen vehicles and electric cars are the future of the transport sector. These technologies rely specifically on electrochemistry, whether on electrolysis for hydrogen production, electrocatalysis for chemicals and fuel production, energy storage in batteries or electricity production in fuel cells.

Tell us one of your favourite quotes?

"Don't judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds that you plant." -Robert Louis Stevenson

What gadget or piece of technology are you most excited by?

Artificial intelligence and machine learning, although scary, will allow a lot of new scientific discoveries at record speed.

If you could put SSL’s filter in anything, where would you put it?

In any closed place with air recirculation, plane, underground, offices.

Which book have you given away the most. Why?

The red and the black from Stendhal which is a french classic from 1830. It depicts how hard work and ambition can lift you to the top but how vanity and hypocrisy is often associated with it and will cause one’s downfall. I believe this trait of human nature and its consequences are particularly relevant in today’s society.

I love to bring new sustainable technologies to society. It’s great working in such a dynamic environment.

Estelle le Sache, PhD

Fun Filtration Facts

Juice with or without pulp/bits? (i.e. filtered or unfiltered)

Unfiltered, I love everything nature offers me.

Do you filter your coffee? If so how do you take it? (moka pot, espresso machine, french press etc.)

Yes, I am not a fan of turkish-style coffee. I like a rich mocha or a hearty oat milk latte, my new favorite.

Where/what was the best water you ever tasted? (i.e. tap water in Lisbon or Volvic water etc.)

I did try the famous spring water in Sofia, Bulgaria. There is a fountain next to the mineral baths that delivers hot mineral spring water. This source has been in use since the 4th century BC and legend says it brings health and longevity. It tasted a bit sweet and I feel really healthy now, coincidence?

What’s the freshest air you’ve ever experienced? (i.e. on a mountain in the Pyrenees).

On a mountain in the Alps.

If you could put SSL’s filter in anything, where would you put itIf you had to get rid of one tiny particle, which would it be? (i.e. cat hair, pollen)

I would definitely target black carbon particles. A lot of restrictions have been imposed on the transport sector regarding NOx and SOx pollution but pollution caused by heating is disregarded. Carbon particles are emitted by diesel vehicle exhausts, industry and solid fuel heating and are harmful to our health and the environment.

If your air purifier had to emit an odour instead of absorbing them, which smell would you choose?

Fresh linen. A fresh and clean smell that you won’t notice.