Academic staff

Hosni Idrissi (Head of division)

The overall objective of the research activity of Prof. Hosni Idrissi is a fundamental investigation of the physics of defects dynamics in inorganic materials dominated by internal or external interfaces such as nanocrystalline metallic and metallic glass thin films, hybrid multilayers combining crystalline and amorphous systems, bulk coarse-grained metals and alloys involving twinning-induced-plasticity (TWIP) and transformation-induced-plasticity (TRIP) as well as defects in advanced alloys produced by additive manufacturing. The core questions concern the competition or the synergy between the nanoscale elementary mechanisms, which ultimately control the strength and ductility of these materials. The overall research approach is based on the design and use of quantified new nanocharacterization tools including nanomechanical testing methods (lab-on-chip, nanoindentation, etc.) coupled with advanced transmission electron microscopy (TEM) techniques (aberration corrected high resolution TEM imaging and spectroscopy, electron tomography, orientation and nanostrain mapping in TEM, in-situ TEM nanomechanical testing, etc.) to unravel the mechanisms under interest.

Aude Simar


Aude Simar has as main research topic the mechanical behavior of light metallic alloys (mainly aluminum, but also magnesium and titanium). Her focus is on material processing in particular by additive manufacturing (Selective laser melting) and friction stir welding and processing. She studies the link between the material structure, the process conditions, the resulting microstructural features and the mechanical properties including damage, fatigue, impact and toughness. She recently received an ERC starting grant (ALUFIX project) to develop new self-healing aluminum based materials and mitigate damage in existing aluminum alloys.

Juray De Wilde 

Prof. De Wilde works in the field of reaction engineering and chemical reactor analysis and design. His research expertise includes kinetic modeling, the use of dynamic methods, and the multi-scale modeling and simulation of complex single- and multiphase flows with reactions.

His research focuses on novel reactor concepts allowing process intensification and alternative processing routes. Detailed numerical and experimental studies in specially designed lab-scale equipment and pilot plants are combined to develop and validate models and simulation tools that facilitate reactor optimization and scale-up. Technologies and applications studied include steam methane reforming using structured catalytic reactors, chemical looping combustion and reforming, advanced surface coating using a low-temperature atmospheric-pressure plasma enhanced chemical vapor deposition reactor, and production, coating, agglomeration and drying of particles in high-G operated vortex chambers.

Thomas Pardoen

Thomas Pardoen is full professor and President of the Institute of Mechanics, Materials and Civil Engineering (iMMC) at the Université catholique de Louvain (UCL). Outside UCL, he is the Chair of the Scientific Council of the Belgian Nuclear Research Center SCK•CEN. He did his engineering studies (1994) and his Ph. D. (1998) at UCL, where he also got a master in philosophy (1996), and was a postdoctoral researcher at Harvard University before returning at UCL in 2000 as faculty member. He is a member of the EUROMECH, MRS and ASME societies. His research interests span the area of the nano-, micro- and macro- mechanics of materials and systems, with an emphasis on multiscale experimental investigations and modelling of deformation and fracture phenomena, as well as coupled functional-mechanical properties and irradiation effects, from both fundamental and applied perspectives. His research activity is articulated around the mechanics of three classes of materials: (i) composites, hybrids, multimaterials, and adhesives, (ii) thin films, coatings and mems, (iii) high performance metallic alloys. He has supervised ~40 Ph. D. students, with 28 thesis accomplished, and ~20 post docs. He is a member of the editorial advisory board of J. Mech. Phys. Solids, Engng. Fract. Mech and Int. J. Damage Mech. He has published over 175 papers in peer reviewed international journals, with current h factor = 47 (Google). He received the Grand Prix Alcan of the French academy of sciences in 2011 and a Francqui Chair from Université de Liège in 2015. He has been nominated Euromech Fellow in 2015.

Pascal Jacques

Professor Pascal J. Jacques' research focuses on the physical and mechanical metallurgy of several engineering alloys: advanced high strength steels for automotive applications with also concerns about hydrogen embrittlement; new high strength metastable titanium alloys for aerospace applications; new thermoelectric or magnetocaloric Heusler compounds for energy harvesting or magnetic cooling; bioresorbable alloys for cardiovascular implants; high entropy alloys with improved toughness; new alloys with improved properties specifically designed for 3D printing.


Joris Proost

The scope of Joris Proost's research activities relates most generally to unraveling thermodynamic, kinetic, structural, electronic and mechanical aspects underlying the reactivity of metals and metal oxides in both gaseous and aqueous environments. Fundamental questions in this respect are being adressed for a number of model systems of direct relevance for energy conversion and electronic applications, as well as in the field of environmental electrochemistry. They can be classified into the following 4 categories : (1) electrochemical synthesis of nanoporous anodic oxides ; (2) reactive sputter deposition of transparent conducting oxides ; (3) interaction of hydrogen with nanocrystalline metallic thin films ; (4) 3-D porous electrodes for electrochemical hydrogen production.

A particular research interest relates to the precise in-situ measurement and control of the internal stress evolution in ultrathin films and multilayers. This has allowed uptil now to provide, for the above-cited model systems, direct and quantitative evidence of mechano-chemical and/or mechano-electrochemical coupling effects in both gaseous (i.e. hydrogen-containing) and aqueous reactive environments.

Patricia Luis Alconero

Patricia Luis Alconero's research interests address CO2 capture and recovery, process intensification in the chemical industry by applying advanced separation technology (membrane technology) and, exergetic and environmental analyses. She has authored more than 70 publications in these fields with more than 1000 citations. Since 2013 she is member of the Editorial Board of the ‘Journal of Chemical Technology and Biotechnology’ and, since 2014, member of the Editorial Board of the journal ‘Separation and Purification Technology’.