PhD Students

Xiang Li
Natural unalloyed metallic uranium, coated with an AlSi bonding layer and an U(Al,Si)3 anti-diffusion layer, and encapsulated ultimately in an aluminum container, is used as nuclear fuel of Belgian Reactor 1. One feasible solution for the long-term management of these fuels, which will eventually become waste, is the geological disposal in which a direct embedding of these spent fuels in a cement-based material could be used. The main goal of my PhD thesis is to investigate the corrosion behavior of BR1 fuel in a cement-based material.

Senior scientists / postdoctoral researchers

Marie-Stéphane Colla, Dr, Senior scientist - Fracture of steels
graduated in chemical and materials science engineering at the Université catholique de Louvain in 2009 (Belgium). Then, under the supervision of Prof. Thomas Pardoen (iMMC) and Prof. Jean-Pierre Raskin (ICTEAM), she accomplished a PhD on the study of the mechanical properties of thin films, more specifically on the plasticity and creep of freestanding nanocrystalline Pd films. The lab-on-chip technique developed previously at the UCLouvain was adapted to deform Pd thin films. After the PhD, she worked for more than two years at the CRM Group in Liège on the development of industrially viable thin film solar cells on steel. Since June 2016, she is back at the UCLouvain as a research engineer involved in projects dealing with the understanding of fracture behaviour of high strength steels under a wide range of strain rates.​

Michaël Coulombier, Dr, Senior scientist - Thin film mechanics and lab on chip testing
graduated as a material science engineer from UCLouvain in 2006. He finished his PhD in 2012 under the supervision of Prof. Thomas Pardoen (iMMC) and Prof. Jean-Pierre Raskin (ICTEAM) developing a lab on-chip technique for nano-mechanical characterisation of thin films. Since then he has been a research assistant in iMMC involved in various projects dealing with material science, nanomechanical testing and tribology.

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.

Ankush Kashiwar, Dr
Ankush Kashiwar graduated with a Master degree in Materials Engineering from Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, India in 2014. During his master’s research under supervision of Prof. Dipankar Banerjee, he focused on 3D microstructural characterization to investigate morphologies and complex arrangement of phases in some Ni and Ti based alloys for aerospace applications. In 2015, he was offered a full-time doctoral scholarship by German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) to pursue a PhD under supervision of Prof. Christian Kübel and Prof. Horst Hahn at the Department of Materials and Geosciences, Technical University of Darmstadt in close association with Electron Microscopy and Spectroscopy Laboratory at the Institute of Nanotechnology, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology in Germany. He defended his PhD in 2022 and joined Electron Microscopy for Materials Science (EMAT) group at the University of Antwerp in association with UCLouvain for his postdoctoral research under supervision of Prof. Hosni Idrissi and Prof. Nick Schryvers. His research is mainly centered around experimental nanomechanics of nanostructured materials including nanocrystalline metals, alloys and minerals to investigate the deformation processes at nano/atomic-scales using in situ or ex situ transmission electron microscopy (TEM) techniques. His research is also focused on microstructural evolution in a variety of alloys for structural and aerospace applications under thermomechanical processing to investigate crystallographic texture, precipitation, oxidation behavior and grain coarsening mechanisms. His areas of expertise include state-of-the-art in situ TEM nanomechanics, precession electron diffraction-based orientation mapping in TEM as well as aberration-corrected scanning TEM.

Salah Eddine Naceri, Dr

Morgan Rusinowicz
graduated from the PHELMA engineering school (Grenoble-INP UGA, France) in 2019, specialising in materials science. He then completed a PhD at the SIMaP laboratory of the University of Grenoble, supervised by Prof. Muriel Braccini and Prof. Fabien Volpi, which he obtained in 2022. The topic was the characterisation of the mechanical and electrical behaviour of ceramic/glass thin films (Cu2O, Si3N4, SiOCH) used in functional devices by an approach combining nanoindentation experiments coupled with electrical measurements and numerical simulations using the finite element method. Since February 2023, he is working as a post-doc at the iMMC of UCLouvain with Prof. Thomas Pardoen, Prof. Jean-Pierre Raskin, Prof. Hosni Idrissi and Prof. Laurent Delannay on electromechanical couplings in nanolaminate materials.

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.