BSc, École Nationale Supérieure d’électricité et de Mécanique (France)
MSc, University of Rochester, Mechanical Engineering
PhD, Northwestern University, Mechanical Engineering
KEYWORDS: • Mechanics of Biological Materials • Biomimetics • Fracture Mechanics • Composites • Experimental Mechanics • Small-scale Mechanical Testing • Multiscale Modeling
Nature produces extremely efficient natural, which are increasingly becoming a source of inspiration for engineers. In materials science, biomimetics (the science of imitating nature) is now starting to inspire novel materials with extraordinary mechanical properties.
My research focuses on the mechanical performance of hard biological materials (seashells, teeth), and on the development of novel “bio-inspired” composites. Hard biological materials are 10 to 10,000 times tougher than the fragile ceramics of which they are made. These levels of improvement are currently not matched by man-made materials, but nature demonstrates that they are possible.
Seashells and teeth are two very good examples of hard and tough natural materials. In order to determine which key microstructural features and mechanisms control their performance, we use small scale and in-situ experiments, and multiscale modeling. The focus is currently on toughening mechanisms, which are the mechanisms operating together to slow down or even stop the propagation of cracks within the material.
Using what we are learning from nature, we are developing novel bio-inspired composite materials: large scale model materials to demonstrate key concepts, high performance composites, and ceramic coatings with enhanced adhesion.