Smith Paris-bound next year as Chateaubriand Fellow

Tuesday, June 5, 2018
Civil engineering Ph.D. student Scotty Smith, who will spend six months living in Paris next year as a Chateaubriand Fellow.

Civil engineering Ph.D. student Scotty Smith is moving to France — at least temporarily.

Thanks to a program from the Embassy of France in the United States and funding from the French president’s office, Smith will spend six months living abroad and doing research at École des Ponts (ParisTech) on concrete durability and sustainability as a 2018-2019 STEM Chateaubriand Fellow.

“I’m grateful to have the opportunity to continue working directly with my adviser’s collaborator, Dr. Matthieu Vandamme, on a research problem that I have come to find really engaging,” said Smith, a second-year doctoral student who studies with Professor Kimberly Kurtis.

“I was generally interested in the program because it incorporates students in STEM, the humanities and social sciences to support French and international sustainability initiatives,” he said. “Plus, having the opportunity to travel to and live in Paris for half a year was an incredible opportunity that I didn’t want to pass up.”

Smith’s work focuses on predicting how long materials such as concretes and mortars will last in roads, bridges and other infrastructure. He was one of about 50 science, technology, engineering and math graduate students selected for Chateaubriand Fellowships next year and supported by French President Emmanuel Macron’s Make Our Planet Great Again Initiative. That funding created new fellowships to support research addressing climate change in support of the 2015 Paris climate agreement.

“Not only will this opportunity help me in a research capacity, but it will allow me to further immerse myself in a culture I came to deeply appreciate, and feel comfortable in, while taking part in Dr. Chloé Arson’s Gateways to France program during the summer of 2017,” Smith said.

“I hope that being selected for this fellowship helps continue collaboration between Georgia Tech and École des Ponts, especially between my advisers.”