PhD Students

Sarah Gayot
has completed a Master's degree in Chemistry at the French University of Lille in 2018, with a major in Polymer & Composite Engineering. Since then, she has joined the Université catholique de Louvain (Belgium) to start a PhD under the joint supervision of Pr. Thomas Pardoen (IMAP) and Pr. Christian Bailly (IMCN). Resulting from a partnership between UCLouvain and the chemical company Arkema, represented by Dr. Michel Glotin and Dr. Pierre Gérard, Sarah's work aims at improving the mechanical properties of continuous glass fibre reinforced thermoplastic acrylic composites, for the manufacturing of recyclable composite parts. To do so, a dual approach has been suggested: first, a top-down analysis of real-scale composite samples should lead to a better understanding of (i) the mechanical behavior of thick parts and (ii) the origin of defects in the material - e.g. porosity . Then, adopting a bottom-up perspective should help correct (or at least control) the occurrence of such defects during the manufacturing of CFRTP.

Mélanie Horvath
Graduated as an architect at UCLouvain (Belgium) in 2019 with a special focus in materiality and eco-design. She started a thesis in September 2020 between materials engineering, architecture and environment, under the supervision of Prof. Pardoen at UCLouvain and Dr. Trachte. Her research focus on the development of a sustainable building composite material with high reuse or recycling potential, composed of recycled fibers waste, sand and lime. New construction technologies encouraged by the EU and Belgium are constantly developing as eco-construction, development of new materials derived from bio-based raw materials and circular and reversible design. The goal is to respond to current ecological challenges by developing new circular and sustainable building materials.

Nathan Klavzer
graduated as a chemical and materials engineer at UCLouvain (Belgium) in 2019, with a specific focus on materials engineering. He is currently working on a PhD thesis, which started in January 2020, under the supervision of Prof. Pardoen at UCLouvain. His research is centred around the micro/nano-mechanical behaviour of highly crosslinked epoxy resins used as matrices for fibre reinforced composites. Precisely understanding the micro/nano-mechanisms dictating the nucleation and development of deformation and fracture has become of particular interest in the composite sector, in order to improve the predictive capabilities of numerical models. Hence, the objective of his research is to unravel the origin of the heterogeneous low scale deformation and related fracture observed in epoxy resins.

Charline van Innis
graduated as a chemical and materials engineer at UCLouvain (Belgium) in 2020. She started a PhD thesis in September 2020, under the supervision of Prof. Pardoen at UCLouvain. Her research focuses on the extrinsic toughening of metal/composite joints. The goal is to investigate the impact of different toughening mechanisms on the joint toughness based on an approach combining experimentation and modelisation.

Sophie Vanpée
Graduated as a chemical and materials engineer at UCLouvain (Belgium) in 2021 with the specializations in mechanics of material and in polymers and macromolecules. She started a thesis in September 2021 under the joint supervision of Pr. Thomas Pardoen (IMAP) and Pr. Bernard Nysten (BSMA). Resulting from a partnership between UCLouvain and the Solvay company, represented by Dr. Jérémy Chevalier and Dr. Frédéric Lani, Sophie?s work aims at studying the micromechanics of crystallization of thermoplastic matrices in the interfiber regions of high-toughness composites. The goal is to unravel the influence of the composite microstructure on the kinetics and morphology of crystallization within the matrix, particularly in the neighborhood of fibers, in order to evaluate their influence on mechanical properties of the matrix and, hence, of the composite.

Vincent Voet
graduated as a mechanical engineer at the Université catholique de Louvain in 2019. He is currently performing a PhD thesis in partnership with Thales Alenia Space under the supervision of Prof. Aude Simar and Prof. Thomas Pardoen. His research focuses on thermal ageing of electronic component solder joints for space applications. Electronic equipments for satellites have to face temperature variations during their lifetime. It leads to solder joints thermal cycling due to coefficients of thermal expansion mismatches between the parts of electronic assemblies such as electronic components, solder joints and printed circuit boards (PCB). This research work aims to provide confidence interval estimates to predict the probability of succes or failure of electronic assemblies under specified conditions.

Senior scientists / postdoctoral researchers

Pierre Bollen, Dr, Senior scientist - Composites, Hybrids, coatings
graduated as engineer in chemistry and materials science at Université catholique de Louvain (Belgium) in 2010. In 2015, he obtained at UCLouvain his PhD thesis entitled hierarchical hybrid materials combining wideband electromagnetic absorption and mechanical performance, funded by a FRIA grant. After working one year as a support engineer in the field of extended finite element modeling, he came back at the UCLouvain as a senior researcher involved in applied research projects in collaboration with industry. He is currently dealing with erosion coating on CFRP as well as thermal and electromagnetic management in electrical power converter.

Vincent Destoop, Dr, Senior scientist - Mechanics of composites and adhesive bonding
made his PhD on the adhesion of tooth-filling materials to the dentine. He?s now working on composite materials to replace metals in aircraft applications. He takes part to projects studying the mechanical behavior of composite materials (mainly polymer matrix reinforced with long fibers) which are new candidate materials for modern planes. Recently, his research was oriented on biosourced composites. His investigations focus on the bulk, cracking, impact and adhesion properties.

Audrey Favache, Dr, Senior scientist - Tribology: nanoindentation, nanoscratch and thin film mechanics
obtained a PhD degree in the domain of process control in 2009 at Université catholique de Louvain (Belgium), after having graduated there as chemical engineer in 2005. Since then, she is working as a "senior" researcher on several applied research projects in collaboration with the industry in the domain of mechanics of materials. More particularly, she is interested in the link between the mechanical properties of the individual components of a complex system and the global mechanical response of this system. She applied this approach to the framework of tribology and contact mechanics for understanding the scratch resistance of coatings and multilayered systems. Her work covers both experimental aspects and finite element simulations. The whole is done under the point of view of rationale material selection.

Florent Hannard, Dr, Chargé de recherche FNRS
graduated as a materials science engineer at Université catholique de Louvain (Belgium) in 2013. He is currently doing a PhD thesis (funded by a FRIA grant), started in September 2013 and under the joint supervision of Prof. Thomas Pardoen and Prof. Aude Simar from UCLouvain. His research focuses on the contribution from microstructure heterogeneities on the micromechanisms of ductile damage and cracking in metallic alloys. In order to address these effects on damage accumulation, a combined experimental and a modeling strategy is developed. The experimental strategy relies on in situ tensile testing coupled to 3D microtomography, in situ laminography during sheet loading and a variety of more classical mechanical tests. A cellular automaton type modeling is used to capture particle size distribution and cluster effects on the void nucleation and coalescence processes. His project also involves the use of friction stir processing (FSP) in order to increase the ductility of industrial aluminium alloys of the 6xxx series. From an applicability viewpoint, this method has the potential to locally improve ductility of sheets at locations where forming involves large strains or of structural components at stress concentration points.

Olivier Poncelet, Dr, Senior scientist

Sophie Ryelandt, Senior scientist
graduated as a physical engineer at Université catholique de Louvain in 1991. After having worked for six years at the R&D center of the Spadel company, she came back at UCLouvain as a senior scientist. She is involved in various applied research projects in collaboration with the industry. Her research domains are dealing with material science, metallic composites, multilayered materials and coatings, additive manufacturing of metals, nanomechanical and mechanical testing and the link between microstructure and mechanical properties.