2006 - A University of Geneva student awarded by Vacheron Constantin
Since 1948, Vacheron Constantin has awarded an annual prize to a student from the Faculty of Science at the University of Geneva. This year's Vacheron Constantin Prize has gone to Céline Lichtensteiger for her Ph.D. thesis on ferroelectricity entitled "Ferroelectricity at the nanoscale: study of size effects in lead titanate thin films". The award - an Overseas ladies' watch - took place on Friday 23 June 2006 at Vacheron Constantin's Manufactory in Plan-les-Ouates.
Céline Lichtensteiger's thesis, which makes a significant contribution to the understanding of size effects in ferroelectrical materials, focuses on the understanding of objects and phenomena at ever smaller scales.
To encourage young students to continue their studies and carry out scientific research, Vacheron Constantin has given an annual prize over the last 58 years to the writer of a particularly commendable work on astronomy, the physical sciences or mathematics.
The raison d'être for such a prize can be traced to Vacheron Constantin's own history. The company was founded by a brilliant young cabinotier, Jean-Marc Vacheron, a watch inventor as well as a humanist, fascinated by the scientific progress of his time. The company is also proud to have included in its ranks Georges-Auguste Leschot, who invented the first machines for manufacturing interchangeable parts for watch movements. Today, as then, the world's oldest watch manufactory - in continuous operation since its foundation in 1755 - relies on research-based technological progress to develop its creations.
Captions (from left to right):
Professor Martin Pohl (Head of the Physics Department), Mr J.-C. Torres (CEO of Vacheron Constantin), Miss Céline Lichtensteiger (the winner), Professor Pierre Spierer (Head of the Faculty of Science), Professor Jean-Marc Triscone (Director of the Department of Condensed Matter Physics and supervisor of Miss Lichtensteiger's thesis)