graduated as an engineer majoring in nanomaterials at Belgorod National State University (Russia) in 2013. Now, she is performing a PhD thesis under the supervision of Pr. Aude Simar at Université catholique de Louvain (Belgium). Her research is part of the ERC Starting Grant ALUFIX and focuses on healing of damage in Al alloys with help of healing agents involving eutectic particles. Friction stir processing (FSP) will be used to provide fine distribution of healing particles in the Al matrix. The experimental part on the work includes choosing the best healing material and FSP parameters by help of microstructure and mechanical properties characterization as well as the identification of the damage mechanisms involved.
is from Taiwan. He is a Ph.D. student at UCLouvain but working at SCK-CEN.
He is currently working on mechanical properties testing of irradiated miniaturized samples.
is studying the damage mechanisms, the toughness and the strain-hardening of a beta-metastable family of titanium alloys. TRIP (TRansformation Induced Plasticity) and TWIP (TWinning induced plasticity) effects are simultaneously activated in these alloys, inducing an outstanding work hardening rate. Her research is focusing on the synergy between the prevailing plasticity mechanisms and the ductility of the alloys, the term ductility encompassing here damage resistance and toughness. The post-necking deformation properties and the associated plasticity mechanisms are examined. This thesis aims to characterize and optimize the microstructure evolution, strain-hardening, damage resistance and toughness of a beta-metastable family of titanium alloys.
graduated as a materials science engineer at Université catholique de Louvain (Belgium) and at Institut Polytechnique de Grenoble (France) in 2017. Currently, she is doing a PhD thesis under the supervision of Prof. Pascal Jacques and Prof. Thomas Pardoen. Her research takes place in the context of implants failure. This aims at understanding the effect of surface defects on the failure mode in biomedical structures. Different materials are investigated among 316L, commercially pure titanium, titanium alloys, TWIP steels, ... Some controlled defects are introduced at the surface, such as grooves, indents or holes. Their effects are investigated by torsion, bending and uniaxial tensile tests as well as fatigue tests.
graduated as a chemical and materials science engineer at Université Catholique de Louvain (UCLouvain in Belgium) in 2018. Now, she is currently performing a PhD thesis under the supervision of Prof. A. Simar. Her research is part of the ERC Starting Grant ALUFIX and focuses on the development of a new healable aluminum alloy. Additive manufacturing (AM) is used to finely disperse healing particles in the aluminum matrix. Then, a heat treatment should allow the diffusion of healing agents and restore metallic continuity. The project includes selection of the best healing agents and AM parameters, characterization of the microstructure, the mechanical properties and the damage mechanisms.
Nelson Gomes Affonseca Netto
graduated as a Naval Mechanical Engineer from Brazil (2016) and has completed a Master’s Thesis in Mechanical Engineering at University of North Florida (USA) in 2018. He now has joined the Université Catholique de Louvain (Belgium) to start a PhD under the supervision of Prof. Aude Simar and Dr. Lv Zhao. His research is part of the ERC Starting Grant ALUFIX and focuses on characterization and fracture investigation of metal matrix composites (MMCs) in the presence of shape memory alloy particles.
Friction stir processing (FSP) will be used to manufacture composites on 7xxx aluminum alloys and to homogeneously distribute the shape memory alloy particles in the aluminum matrix. The research goal is to introduce localized residual stresses in the metal matrix to delay or deviate the crack propagation under static or fatigue loading, and thus delay failure in structures made of high strength aluminum alloys.
Antoine Hilhorst graduated as a materials science engineer at the Université Catholique de Louvain (Belgium) in 2017 and began his PhD thesis the same year under the supervision of Pr. Pascal J. Jacques. His research subject is the fracture toughness of high entropy alloys (HEAs). HEAs are derived from a new alloy design philosophy where, contrary to conventional alloys, there is no principal element with minor alloying additions but multiple principal elements in high concentration. Besides the metallurgical interest of investigating this large composition range never explored before, HEAs have picked the interest of scientists and industries alike due to their exceptional properties such as corrosion and irradiation resistance, high strength and good ductility, and impressive fracture toughness. Moreover, mechanical properties improve with decreasing temperature, including fracture toughness, which is a rare behavior in metallic alloys. His research goals are the characterization of the fracture toughness of CrMnFeCoNi-based HEAs at room and cryogenic temperature as well as the understanding of the mechanisms responsible for the observed properties. The originality of his work is the use of the essential work of fracture method to measure the plane stress fracture toughness as well as the use of diffusion multiples as a design tool for novel Cantor-based HEAs.
graduated as a materials science engineer at Université catholique de Louvain (Belgium) in 2014 and began a PhD thesis in September 2014 under the joint supervision of Prof. Pascal J. Jacques and Prof. Thomas Pardoen from UCL.
The research work, in collaboration with company ArcelorMittal, is about the characterization and the modeling of the plasticity, the damage and the crack propagation resistance of Dual-Phase steels and third generation steels. A minimum level of fracture toughness is required in the automotive industry to prevent the propagation during forming operations of small edge damage or cracked zones induced by cutting. Therefore, unravelling the relationship between fracture toughness, microstructure and damage mechanisms is essential to develop advanced steels with superior forming ability. Furthermore, reaching superior fracture toughness could open to other potential applications.
Experimental works as well as computational modelling are used to study the behaviour of such steels. A model for the plastic behaviour and for the damage mechanisms related to the microstructure has been developed as a first step towards the modelling of the fracture toughness. A finite element based unit cell approach is used to address the plastic behaviour with a particular focus on the effect of microstructure morphology, as well as of martensite volume fraction and of carbon content. The data extracted from the elastoplastic analysis are fed into a cellular automaton approach of the damage evolution. This model introduces a statistical description of the material while using relatively simple damage evolution laws.
Matthieu Baudouin Lezaack
graduated as a mechanical science engineer at Université catholique de Louvain (Belgium) in 2017. He currently performs a PhD thesis under the supervision of Pr. Aude Simar. His research focuses on friction stir processing (FSP) performed on 7xxx aluminium alloys. FSP could enhance mechanical properties such as fatigue, toughness and crack opening resistance without losing significant strength. Based on the microstructure analysis of 7xxx aluminium series and post processing heat treatments, FSP seems to supress conventional forming process drawbacks in particular precipitates free zones (PFZ) generally observed in industrial alloys. These PFZ are weak zones acting as preferential path to failure. In addition, FSP is expected to be an efficient way to restore the microstructural homogeneity of the alloy.
has completed his master degree at China University of Petroleum-Beijing (P.R.China, 2017). He is currently performing a PhD thesis at the Belgian nuclear research center SCK·CEN under the academic supervision of Prof. Thomas Pardoen at UCLouvain. His project deals with the miniaturization of fracture toughness specimen for the characterization of the cracking resistance RPV materials. Indeed, in the nuclear field, the use of mechanics tests to measure fracture toughness of react pressure vessel (RPV) materials, is key for producing reliable integrity assessments and accurate residual life predictions. However, the space available inside irradiation facilities is extreme. Furthermore, the use of normal size specimens leads to significant of radioctive wastes. Miniature Compact Tension specimen, MC(T), as one of the geometries that offers significant advantages, can optimize the use of available material and generate meaningful fracture toughness values. But these specimens still do not comply with existing requirements due to (i) effect of geometry, (ii) effect of side grooving, (iii) effect of loss of constraint, etc. Therefore, in his research project, detailed numerical analysis combined with miniaturization tests are used. The final aim is to better qualify and validate the use of mini-CT geometry in both brittle and ductile fracture regimes.
Juan Guillermo Santos Macias
is doing a PhD thesis under the joint supervision of Pr. Pascal Jacques and Pr. Aude Simar. This project aims at improving the mechanical behaviour of additive manufactured parts through a friction stir processing (FSP) surface mechanical treatment. This post-processing method significantly enhance ductility and is expected to also enhance fatigue resistance. Fatigue is a critical phenomenon in many applications, e.g. structural parts in the aerospace industry. More specifically, this research is focused on studying the effect of FSP on the microstructure (porosity and second phase size and spatial distribution) and mechanical behaviour (residual stresses and fatigue) of selective laser melting AlSi10Mg parts. Furthermore, in order to define an adequate FSP patterning strategy, the project will also feature an analysis of the influence of processing parameters through a chained thermal and microstructural model.
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.
completed his master degree in nuclear engineering and materials science from University of California at Berkeley (U.S.A., 2016) and National Taipei University of Technology (Taiwan, 2013), respectively. He currently performs a PhD thesis under the joint supervision of Prof. Thomas Pardoen and Prof. Roumen Petrov (UGent). His project is in partnership with Belgium Nuclear Research Center (SCK•CEN), and contributes to the development and qualification of irradiation tolerant tungsten and novel toughness-enhanced composites for fusion applications. Tungsten selected as the first wall armor and Tungsten-based composites for structural applications in DEMO are expected to receive doses up to 20 dpa (Fe) (for the EARLY DEMO) or even higher (full power DEMO). Under these conditions, the mechanical properties of the materials are known to degrade radically due to (i) neutron irradiation, (ii) heat transients, (iii) plasma gas uptake and (iv) nuclear transmutation. This research aims at investigation of the radiation damage and post-irradiation mechanical-thermal behavior of tungsten. This will include the experimental study of the novel and baseline grades with respect to tolerance to the neutron damage, and complementary computational assessment.
Senior scientists / postdoctoral researchers
Marie-Stéphane Colla, Dr, Chargée de recherche FNRS - 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 UCL 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 UCL 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.
Amandine Duchaussoy, Dr, Postdocotral researcher
obtained his degree in engineering in materials science from the Université Toulouse III-Paul Sabatier (in France) in 2016. Then, she accomplished his PhD in the Groupe de Physique des Matériaux (GPM) in Rouen (France) under the supervision of Dr. Xavier Sauvage and Prof. Alexis Deschamps, on the study of precipitation mechanisms and mechanical behavior of an age hardenable aluminum alloy deformed by severe plastic deformation.
Her research is now focused on the design of new titanium alloys with the aim of improving the performances of as‐fabricated structures using selective laser melting technology. The project will thus focus on the processing of new Ti alloys, on the assessment of the solidification and atomization conditions and on the resulting microstructures and mechanical properties of fabricated structures. This project is under the supervision of Prof. Pascal Jacques.
Florent Hannard, Dr, Postdoctoral researcher
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 UCL. 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.
Valentin Marchal-Marchant, Dr, Senior scientist - Thermoelectric Materials Development
obtained his degree in engineering in materials science from the Université catholique de Louvain in 2011. Then, he accomplished his PhD under the supervision of prof. Pascal Jacques, on the study of Physical Vapor Deposition of thick copper films on steel.
His research is now focused on the development of thermoelectric materials and thermoelectric generators for energy harvesting and passive electromechanical systems. It aims at using common and non-toxic materials to generate electrical power from thermal gradients. Nowadays, attention is put on large scale applications owing to more than 7 years of research about thermoelectric materials leaded in IMAP.
The big challenge of this topic is the development of new tools and equipments for material production and assembly, and specific characterization methods. Such a wide range of different tasks can only be achieved thanks to the versatility of technical and scientific expertises of the IMAP team members as well as Lacami support.
Alvise Miotti Bettanini, Dr, Senior scientist
discussed his PhD in April 2019. He worked under the supervision of Prof. Pascal J. Jacques and Prof. Laurent Delannay on the development of a high strength martensitic stainless steels for innovative automotive structural applications. He is now working at the Materials and Processing Engineering (IMAP) department within the ENTROTOUGH framework. This project, funded by the Wallonie Region, promotes the development of high toughness alloys for cryogenic applications like LNG (Liquified Natural Gas) pressure vessels. The CALPHAD method, which allows the predictions of phase stability and phase transformation in a metallic system using computational thermodynamics, drives the experimental effort, thus hastening the development cycle of new Fe-based superalloy with enhanced toughness at low temperature.
Galy Ingrid Nkou Bouala, Dr, Postdoctoral researcher
obtained her PhD degree in materials chemistry in 2016 at the University of Montpellier, France. Her PhD work was focused on the experimental study of the first stage of sintering, generally studied by numerical simulation. In situ ESEM at high temperature (1000°C – 1300°C) was the main experimental technique used for the direct observation of this sintering step with submicronic grains of CeO2 and ThO2. In 2016 she was temporary lecturer at INSA of Lyon and worked on in situ and multiscale characterization (XRD, SEM and TEM) of antibacterial Zr-based thin films with Dr. P. Steyer in MATEIS. In 2018 she was a postdoc researcher with Dr. V. Parry in SIMAP at Grenoble INP and Dr. C. Boissy in APERAM on the topic of effect of mechanical treatment on corrosion of stainless steels. In 2020, she started a postdoc fellow with Prof. Pascal Jacques at University catholique de Louvain. Her research focuses on optimization of Fe-based bioresorbable alloys for cardiovascular implants. This work involves for example the investigation of structure, microstructure and mechanical properties of these alloys and their impact on bio corrosion.
Geoffrey Roy, Dr, Senior scientist
holds a Master in Mechatronic Engineering (2010) and a PhD in Engineering (2015) from the Université catholique de Louvain where he works as a senior researcher at the Institute of Mechanics, Materials and Civil Engineering (iMMC).
Within the Division of Materials and Process Engineering (IMAP), his research is focused on the development of new thermoelectric materials and systems for a range of applications going from industrial waste heat recovery to autonomous powering of smart sensors. In his research, he pays particular attention to the development of new solutions that present improved both technical and economical profiles in order to facilitate the emergence of these solutions out of the lab.
This research is followed by several companies such as: Drever International, AGC Glass Europe, Carmeuse or Engie.
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 UCL 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.
Camille van der Rest, Dr, Senior scientist
completed her PhD thesis on the optimisation of Heusler Fe2VAl-based thermoelectric compounds through innovative metallurgical processing in 2015. It was under the joint supervision of Prof. Pascal Jacques and Prof. Aude Simar. Her research topics now concern thermoelectric materials, additive manufacturing and friction stir processing technologies. Concerning thermoelectrics, the main objective is the development of low-cost, non-toxic, and powerful materials that could be used in large-scale industrial applications of heat recovery. In addition, she studies some fundamental aspects in order to improve the performances of such materials, i.e. ordering phenomena in off-stoichiometric Fe2VAl-based Heusler compounds. It is essential to make the link between (innovative) manufacturing processes, microstructures and the functional properties of these TE materials. Concerning additive manufacturing, the main contributions are on the characterisation and optimisation of the microstructures and the mechanical behaviour of Al parts obtained by Selective Laser Melting and the developpment of new materials for additive manufacturing. Again, the link between the process parameters and the final microstructure/properties is a key issue. Finally, Camille developed, together with Prof. Aude Simar and Prof. Pascal Jacques, a novel Friction Melt Bonding (FMB) process in order to weld aluminium alloys and steels. This process is still under development thanks to the collaboration with other researchers of IMAP.
He received his master and PhD degrees from Shanghai University (P.R. China) in 2016 and University of Bourgogne Franche-Comté (France) in 2019, respectively. He is particularly interested in developing aluminum matrix composites with ultra-high strength and large ductility using advanced processes e.g. solid-state cold spraying, friction stir processing and selective laser melting. From 2020, he joined the group of Prof.Pascal Jacques as a post-doc research fellow. His current research topic is focusing on developing high-strength and lightweight metallic alloys or composites by selective laser melting from the aspects of alloy design and microstructure engineering. Major attention will be paid on the relationship between processing parameters, microstructure, and mechanical properties.
Lipeng Ding, Dr, Postdoctoral researcher
obtained his PhD degree (2017) at Chongqing University, P.P. China. His PhD work mainly addressed the precipitation hardening of Al-Mg-Si-Cu alloys by aberration-corrected transmission electron microscopy (TEM). He is now working as a post-doc fellow with Profs. H. Idrissi, A. Simar, P. Jacques in IMAP, Université catholique de Louvain and Prof. Nick Schryvers in EMAT, University of Antwerp. His research mainly focuses on unraveling defects behaviour of novel metallic and metallic-based materials, such as high-entropy alloys, Ti-Mo alloys and aluminium based alloys using quantitative advanced TEM techniques such as aberration corrected TEM, orientation and nanostrain mapping in TEM and in-situ TEM nanomechanical testing.
Chunjie Huang, Dr
received a Ph. D degree in Jan. 2018 from the Lab. of ICB-Lermps of Université Bourgogne-Franche-Comté (UBFC) in France. His research interests are cold spray (CS), friction stir processing (FSP) and selective laser melting (SLM).
In June 2018, he started a post-doctoral stay in iMMC under the supervision of Prof. Aude Simar funded by an ERC Starting Grant. The topic of his research is the crack propagation of FSPed Al 7075 alloy and the healing of SLMed Al alloys.
Olivier Hubert, Dr
graduated as a materials science engineer at Université catholique de Louvain (Belgium) in 2014 and began a PhD thesis in September 2014 under the supervisation of Prof. Pascal Jacques. In the automotive sector, the latest developments led to the era of third generation steels, exhibiting levels of strength up to 1200MPa, while keeping an adequate ductility. However, this new generation of steels is potentially sensitive to hydrogen embrittlement. Even though hydrogen embrittlement is studied for over 50 years now, it only starts to become an issue in the case of low alloy steels that start to reach problematic levels of strength.
The research work of Olivier, in collaboration with CRM Group (Liège), is to investigate the role and the impact of the diffusible hydrogen on the mechanical behavior of third generation steels presenting a martensitic and/or bainitic matrix together with retained austenite exhibiting a Transformation-Induced Plasticity (TRIP) effect. In order to generate such microstructures, a heat treatment called "Quenching and Partitioning (Q&P)" is carried out in hydrogen-rich atmospheres. More specifically, the role of each phase on the hydrogen capture and/or diffusivity, as well as the influence of other microstructural parameters such as grain boundaries is studied. Single phase martensitic and bainitic microstructures exhibiting different strength levels were processed. The influence of diffusible hydrogen in each microstructure is then studied either after cathodic hydrogen charging or in the case of gaseous hydrogen charging during the annealing process.
Mélodie Mandy, Dr
graduated as a materials science engineer at Université Catholique de Louvain (Belgium) in 2014. Since then, she is doing a PhD thesis under the supervision of Prof. Pascal Jacques. Her project, in partnership with the CRM group in Liège, focuses on the interaction mechanisms between atmosphere and a specific coated steel during the hot stamping process. Used in the automotive industry, this process ensures the steel to provide a high strength while allowing an easy shaping. During those high temperature operations, small amounts of hydrogen can be absorbed by the material and embrittle it. Currently, hydrogen embrittlement becomes a major issue as hydrogen susceptibility increases with steel strength. In this context, her work consists in doing heat treatments under controlled atmospheres and in measuring the related hydrogen amount. Afterwards, materials and atmospheres are also characterized.
Andrey Orekhov, Dr, Senior scientist
Orekhov obtained his PhD degree in physics in 2016 at the University of Eastern Finland, Finland. His PhD work was focused on the analysis of nano-crystals encapsulated in the inner channel of single-wall carbon nanotubes. Since nanocarbon materials are very sensitive to beam damage and size of the crystals is about 1-2 nm, the aberration-corrected advanced transmission electron microscopy at low voltage was the main experimental technique. In 2017 he started a post-doc fellow with Prof. Nick Schryvers in EMAT at the University of Antwerp on the topic of in-situ analysis of mechanical properties of NiTi shape memory alloys at the nano-scale. In 2019 he started a post-doc fellow with Prof. Thomas Pardoen and Prof. Hosni Idrissi at Université catholique de Louvain. His research focuses on unraveling the crystal structure of amorphous hybrid nanolaminate systems as well as the elemntray plasticity mechanisms controlling the mechanical response of these systems using state-of-the-art TEM techniques such as aberration corrected TEM, high resolution STEM, EELS, EDS analysis, nano beam electron diffraction and in-situ TEM nanomechanical testing.
completed his master studies at China University of Petroleum-Beijing holding a degree in Safety Science and Engineering in 2017. He is performing a PhD thesis under the supervision of Prof. Thomas Pardoen at present. The research work, in collaboration with SCK·CEN (Belgium), is about the radiation damage modeling of reactor pressure vessel materials in the ductile upper shelf regime (From Charpy impact upper shelf energy to crack resistance curve). All current regulatory assessment procedures of reactor pressure vessel (RPV) rely essentially on the Charpy impact test, in particular the two parameters characterizing the ductile-to-brittle transition temperature (DBTT) and the upper shelf energy (USE). Such parameters are derived from the surveillance programs aiming at monitoring the vessel materials ageing and embrittlement under irradiation. Contrary to the upper shelf energy concept which is rather rudimentary, the crack resistance curve including initiation toughness and tearing resistance relies on fracture mechanics.
The research combines an experimental part aiming to collect and classify all available data on irradiation effects on the RPV materials properties with an analytical part consisting in physical understanding of the underlying mechanisms of both radiation damage and ductile fracture. It is of prime importance to understand how irradiation modifies the microstructure (nano-size irradiation defects) and this translates into the changes of the crack resistance properties.
Zhiping Xiong, Dr, Senior scientist
obtained Ph.D degree (2017) at the University of Wollongong, Australia following the completion of Bachelor degree (2009) and Master degree (2012) at the University of Science and Technology Beijing, P.R. China. He also worked as an assistant engineer (2012-2013) in CISDI Engineering Co., Ltd. P.R. China, involving in the on-site and off-site designs of pickling line, cold rolling, continuous annealing line and continuous galvanizing line.
His main research interests are in the processing-microstructure-property relationship in steels (such as dual phase steel, transformation-induced plasticity steel and twinning-induced plasticity steel) subjected to thermo-mechanical processing and impact loading. The multi-scale microstructures are characterized using advanced techniques such as scanning and transmission electron microscope, electron backscattering diffraction and atom probe tomography.
Currently, he works as a postdoc under the supervision of Prof. Pascal Jacques at the Institute of Mechanics, Materials and Civil Engineering in the Université catholique de Louvain, Belgium. His research, in collaboration with ArcelorMittal, focuses on the fracture mechanism of third advanced high strength steels (quenching & partitioning steel and carbide-free bainitic steel) evaluated using double-edge-notched tension.
Lv Zhao, Dr, Postdoctoral researcher
completed his Master and PhD degrees in Institut National des Sciences Appliquées de Lyon in 2013 and 2016. His PhD work addressed the fracture behavior of solar grade monocrystalline and multi-crystalline silicon wafers, in which a couple of innovative experimental techniques have been elaborated and new results highlighted. He is now working for the ERC Starting Grant ALUFIX as a post-doc fellow with Professor Aude Simar. He is particularly interested in the crack propagation in aluminum alloys in the presence of local residual stresses induced by healing agents such as shape memory alloy particles. His work encompasses an experimental part in which metal matrix composites (MMCs) will be fabricated by friction stir processing, and a numerical part in which cohesive zone method will be applied to address the crack path within the MMCs in the framework of finite element modeling.