ABOUT

ME

Virginie_Chantry_03.jpg
Passionate About Many Things

I have a PhD in Space Science from the University of Liège, Belgium (December 2009) and I have worked for several years as a researcher in Astrophysics. But then I decided to leave the research field. In fact, I feel the need to evolve in an environment where social contacts and creativity are essential and to make myself useful on a daily basis.

Always curious and willing to learn new things everyday, I am autonomous but also able to work as part of a team as I have proven during many years of research through collaborations and team missions with, for instance, my participation to the TRAPPIST (TRAnsiting Planets and PlanetesImals Small Telescope) robotic telescope project in Chile. I was involved in the installation of the telescope and then stayed in Chile for several missions from March to June 2010. These missions were devoted to system testing and observing: calibration of the pointing model of the telescope, development of scripts for robotic operation, installation and configuration of several devices, on-sky testing and, in general, debugging of the system. It had nothing to do with my thesis main research topic which was gravitational lensing. But my experience as an observer gave me the great opportunity to be the first on-site support astronomer for TRAPPIST.

Then, after a postdoc at the University of Liège, I decided to reorient my career at the end of 2012. That brought me to experiment many different and very enriching jobs: runner and assistant location manager on a feature film, administrative assistant at a court bailiff office, sales assistant in a famous chocolate shop, assistant cook in a restaurant, manager of an ice cream and delicatessen shop, etc.

Also in November 2013, I got my first chance as a science journalist for the Walloon science and technology outreach magazine called Athena. And that was it! I've been a freelance science journalist specialized in technology outreach ever since. In the meantime I acquired experience in the delicate art of writing, in what it means to be a journalist and in making it easier for people to understand technical and scientific matters. Moreover, I have had a few experiences in writing for the "Match Avenir" section in the famous French magazine Paris Match. To read my first paper (in French), click here. And I can also write about many other topics (music, culture, events, cooking, etc) with various editorial lines (for newspapers, websites, blogs, white papers, etc). From there it made sense for me to start my own business as a freelance content writer.

I also took a one-year class in cooking, which grants me the access to the regulated profession of cook. Being imaginative and into food (all types and from all around the world), it was only logical for me to take that step. Plus I owned my very own chocolate and candy shop specialised in handcrafted Belgian quality, called La Licorne Gourmande. An unforgettable and intense experience with rich learning opportunities!

Creative and resourceful, I can adapt to any kind of situations as shown by my experience in miscellaneous fields, from cinema to astronomy through cooking, sales and journalism. I am also a quick study. And I have frequently taken charge of the planning and management of events for different voluntary associations, which puts into perspective my sense of responsibility and methodical mind.

Certifications
  • Restaurateur, caterer & banquet organizer, FPS Liège

  • PhD Thesis in Science (Astrophysics), University of Liège

  • DEA (one year degree required for doctoral studies) in Science, specializing in Astrophysics, University of Liège

  • Licence (equivalent to a M. Sc. degree) in Physics, University of Liège