November 7, 2023

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Meet Damien Becat-Mateu

Engineering with a Taste for Adventure.

Damien is a 30-year-old Bayonne, France native who relocated to the Netherlands to join Thorizon. He now calls the vibrant city of Utrecht his home. Balancing an appreciation for the finer things in life as a true Frenchman, Damien is equally committed to making a significant impact on society. He firmly believes that “You can achieve anything if you put your mind to it”.

From lazy mornings to marathons
If Damien could change one thing about himself, it would be to transform into a morning person. His slow morning start, however, doesn’t hinder his pursuits – he’s an enthusiastic runner and even completed his first marathon. Quite the achievement for someone who jokingly labels himself as “lazy.” He likes sports (recently attended a World Cup rugby game) and enjoys good food, his perfectly mastered coffee brew, and his cat.

The mysteries of neutronics
As a neutronics and core physics engineer, Damien plays a pivotal role in ensuring the safe generation of heat from fuel while addressing the complex issue of nuclear waste disposal. He compares the field of neutronics to alchemy, where science and ingenuity converge.

When asked about his favorite isotope, Damien laughs and thinks of C-14. He remembers his first encounter with radioactive decay, a technique for dating fossils of a few thousand years.

“My favorite isotope is probably C-14, or at least it is my first encounter with radioactivity through mammoth remains.”

From Chaos to the Cherenkov light
What Damien likes most about Thorizon is the shared drive of his colleagues to make Thorizon a success. As an area for improvement, he mentions chaos during meetings.

“We can be a bit chaotic all together. We have a smart team with individuals that bring their unique strengths to the table.”

Damien envisions himself with Thorizon in 5-10 years, either in Amsterdam or Lyon, depending on the weather.  He wants to contribute to the safe disposal of nuclear waste and hopes to see the Cherenkov light from the salt.

Dutch directness and French tact
Damien has been our French pioneer in Dutch culture. He has been instrumental in Thorizon’s France 2030 pitch, and regularly helps the Thorizon management team to improve their French. He has been our pioneering French colleague and can tell you all about working at Thorizon, luckily in a very international team!

We are currently looking for colleagues in Lyon. If you are interested in working in engineering, nuclear physics, chemistry or thermal hydraulics please reach out at info@thorizon.com.