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Thibaut Van Acker has won the European Rising Star Award for 2023. He will receive the award on February 1 at the European Winter Conference on Plasma Spectrochemistry 2023 (EWCPS 2023) in Ljubljana, Slovenia, where he will give a keynote talk, titled, “Pushing the Limits of Elemental Mapping via Laser Ablation – ICP-mass spectrometry with a Nanosecond 193 nm kHz Laser.”
The European Rising Star Award for Plasma Spectrochemistry promotes outstanding contributions of an upcoming young scientist at the beginning of his/her career (first 5 years) within the field of plasma spectrochemistry. The European Rising Star Award for Plasma Spectrochemistry honors and promotes outstanding contributions of upcoming younger scientist at the beginning of their career within the field of plasma spectrochemistry.
The European Rising Star Award for Plasma Spectrochemistry is an important opportunity for researchers working in European labs to promote their work and share it with the community at the EWCPS.
Van Acker is from the Atomic & Mass Spectrometry – A&MS research unit of Ghent University (Belgium), and his work is focused on both fundamental aspects of laser ablation – ICP-mass spectrometry and analytical method development to explore the capabilities of the technique for high-resolution elemental mapping applications in challenging interdisciplinary contexts. Based on a number of hardware improvements, Thibaut has brought elemental mapping – that is, the revelation of the two- and even three-dimensional (3D) distribution of elements across a sample – to another level. This can currently be accomplished at a pixel acquisition rate up to 1,000 Hz and a laser spot size down to <1 μm.
So far, Thibaut is (co-)author of 23 publications in peer-reviewed international journals, and his work has been presented in more than 30 lectures at international conferences. He has also been involved early in his career in the mentorship of Bachelor, Master and PhD students and was awarded the Junior Postdoctoral Research Fellowship granted by the Research Foundation Flanders (FWO), which is securing the start of his individual carrier.