French-Australian International Emerging Action on Engineering


Prof. Vittorio Sansalone

Prof. Peter Pivonka



Figure 1. CT scan of a patient affected by Adolescent Idiopatic Scoliosis (AIS)

Figure 2. Patient-specific Finite Element Model of a vertebral body


The IEA ROSIA (Remodelage Osseux et Scoliose Idiopathique de l’Adolescent : mieux comprendre les mécanismes de la maladie à travers des analyses expérimentales et l’application d’un modèle théorique / Bone remodeling and adolescent idiopathic scoliosis: to better understand the mechanisms of the disease through coupled experimental and theoretical approaches), managed by Prof. Vittorio Sansalone (MSME, UPEC) in collaboration with Prof. Peter Pivonka (BSRG, QUT), will be effective between 2020 and 2022.

    Missions and research themes

    Adolescent idiopathic scoliosis (AIS) is a sideways curvature of the spine (Figure 1) affecting the structure and mechanical properties of the bone tissue. There are a few studies addressing this subject and the biophysical mechanisms underlying this disease remain poorly understood. The main goal of our project is to improve our understanding of the bone remodeling (i.e. the process of functional adaptation of bone) in AIS.

    We propose to address this problem through experimental and modeling approaches. On the one hand, we will perform biopsies of the vertebral bodies of patients affected by AIS undertaking surgery (we have already obtained the agreement of the ethical committee). On the other hand, we will use this unique database to develop a reliable model of bone remodeling. This synergistic approach between experimental testing and computational modeling will provide unprecedented opportunities to understand the fundamental mechanisms of bone remodeling in AIS and to support clinical practice.


    Adolescent idiopathic scoliosis (AIS) is a sideways curvature of the spine (Figure 1) affecting the structure and mechanical properties of the bone tissue. The most severe and progressive deviations in adolescents can have significant impact on the life of patients with AIS, linked to the presence of disabling diseases accompanying scoliosis. In fact, in the most severe cases, the spine can press on certain organs, such as the lungs, and thus prevent proper breathing. In addition to being a very heavy intervention, the operation, which is inevitable today, does not systematically succeed and sometimes has unpredictable long-term consequences.

    At present, the diagnosis and treatment of AIS is made difficult mainly by a lack of understanding of the underlying causes of this spinal deformity. This project aims to better understand the mechanisms leading to the development of AIS, including mechanical and biochemical abnormalities in the growth process of the vertebral bodies and the functional adaptation of bone tissue (bone remodeling).

    We propose a novel methodology which combines longitudinal clinical studies and computational modeling. In the experimental part of the study, we will analyze longitudinal MRI data to investigate growth patterns of the spine in health and AIS subject. Furthermore, we are going to perform vertebral body biopsies in AIS patients which have to undergo surgical correction due to severe spine deformity. In the computational part of the project, we will use this unique database to develop reliable and personalized in-silico models. This dual approach will offer unprecedented opportunities to better understand the fundamental mechanisms of AIS and thus support the clinical practice of this pathology in the short and medium term.

    This collaborative research project between France and Australia in the field of engineering for health is the result of a collaboration between the MSME laboratory in Paris and the Queensland University of Technology (QUT) and the Queensland Children’s Hospital (QCH). The clinical protocol at the QCH has already been validated and tested and we started collecting the first clinical data that allowed to set up preliminary patient-specific numerical models of individual vertebral bodies (Figure 2).

    institutions and laboratories involved


    • Prof. Vittorio Sansalone and Natalia Mühl Castoldi. Modélisation et Simulation Multi Echelle (MSME UMR 8208 CNRS), Université Paris-Est Créteil Val de Marne (UPEC)
    • Dr. Madge Martin, École des Mines de Saint-Etienne, Centre CIS


    • Prof. Peter Pivonka and Natalia Mühl Castoldi. Biomechanics and Spine Research Group (BSRG), Queensland University of Technology (QUT), Brisbane
    • Queensland Children’s Hospital (QCH), Brisbane


    • Natalia Mühl Castoldi (PhD student, 2020-2023)
    • Alexis Arslan (MSc intern, ENSAM, 3rd year, 2019-2020)
    • Laure Stickel (MSc intern, École des Ponts ParisTech, 2nd year, 2018-2019)



    French-Vietnamese International Collaboration Project in Electrical Engineering

    Dr Gilbert Teyssèdre

    Dr Thi Thu Nga Vu

    IEA ModHVC

    Electric Power University

    Laboratoire Plasma et Conversion d’Energie – Laplace


    The IEA/PICS ModHVC (International Scientific Research Program), managed by Dr Gilbert Teyssèdre (Senior Researcher at CNRS, Laboratory on Plasma and Energy Conversion –Laplace, Paul Sabatier University of Toulouse and CNRS) is developed in collaboration with Dr Thi Thu Nga Vu (Lecturer, Electric Power University, Hanoï Vietnam) and was awarded for the period 2018-2020.


    Energy transmission networks involving High Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) are currently being developed throughout the world notably for strengthening interconnection between existing networks and for connecting to distributed electrical energy sources issued notably from renewable energy (wind farms, solar power plants, etc.). Very often, part of these HVDC links are submarine or buried, requiring insulated cables. Polyethylene materials tend to be generalized for HV cable insulation due to processing ease. One of the key issues with these materials under DC stress is the prevention space charge accumulation, which represents an early failure mechanism for cables. Specifically, accessories like cable joints and terminations represent weak points in the cable, particularly as regards the hazardous field distribution resulting from the association of insulations of different nature. Indeed, the difficulty is raised by the resistive nature of the field distribution. The aim of this project is to provide modelling approaches of transient and steady state processes occurring in HVDC cable systems, with consideration of non-equilibrium thermal conditions on the cables.


    The development of a reliable tool for anticipating stress endorsed by the system in service is a necessary step for the design of reliable energy links. A sensible point in these technologies when cables are involved is the joint between consecutive cable sections along with terminations of cables. A workshop has been organized (Sept. 2018) with broad audience at EPU in order to prospect for potential DC links in Vietnam and identify a relevant case study. The project aims at settling reliable model of the stress distribution in 200kV cable joints. The reliability of the model is based on 3 important aspects that are:

    – The relevance of data characterizing materials being used. This encompasses the temperature and field dependence of the conductivity along with the thermal properties of materials;

    – The form of the model, i.e. macroscopic electrical involving permittivity and resistivity vs. charge drift-diffusion model involving charge generation

    – The implementation of relevant modeling tools. A commercial software based on finite element method will be used. Steady state stress as well as transient conditions, both electrically and thermally are considered.

      institutions and laboratories involved

      • Dr Gilbert Teyssèdre and Dr Séverine le Roy (Laboratoire Plasma et Conversion d’Energie – UMR 5213 CNRS-UPS-INP)

      • Dr Thi Thu Nga Vu and Dr Tung Tran Anh (Electrical Power University Hanoï)

      Drawing of a joint between two sections of HVDC cables.

      Crédits:  Gilbert Teyssedre

      Temperature and field distributions after 3′ and 8h simulated in a cable joint while the cable is energized under a current of 1kA and a Voltage of 200kV. 

      Crédits: Thi Thu Nga Vu

      IRP ALPhFA

      IRP ALPhFA

      French-Australian International Research Program in Photonics

      ALPhA: International Associated Laboratory in Photonics between France and Australia

      IRP ALPhFA

      Project coordinator or director:
      Christian Grillet

      Coordinator partner or co-director:
      Prof. Arnan Mitchell

      IRP ALPhFA

      IRP ALPhFA publications

      15 peer-reviewed publications in high impact journals
      See here

      Si photonics. Crédits:



      job offer

      Apply for the cotutelle PhD program ECLAUSion in nanotechnology science ( photonics, biotechnologies, functional materials , computing architecture…). Within this programme funded by the EU, Ecole centrale de Lyon and RMIT (Melbourne), PhD fellow will will spend ~ 2 years in ECLyon (France) and ~ 1 in RMIT (Melbourne) in Australia


      The IRP ALPhFA (International Associated Laboratory in Photonics between France and Australia), managed by Christian Grillet (CNRS, INL) in collaboration with Prof. Arnan Mitchell (RMIT) started in 2014 and was renewed in 2018.

      The IRP ALPhFA seeks to integrate fundamental research, technological innovation, and training in the field of photonics between major French and Australian photonic laboratories.

      To achieve this vision, our mission is to create an Associated Laboratory capable of enabling photonics innovation while providing a nurturing education and training environment and exposure to industry. ALPhFA2, while driven by science projects, will endeavor to create a new ecosystem for French and Australian photonics industry to collaborate, train students and wherever possible to expand markets. Our intention is that upon the completion of ALPhFA2, the collaborative links will be strong enough to warrant an IRL (International Research Laboratory) in strong partnership with a “club des industriels” underpinned by photonics technologies. The universities and industry partners in ALPhFA2 will provide beneficial collaboration through unique, complementary facilities and expertise.


      ALPhFA2 focuses on developing the next generation of fully functional integrated photonic devices from visible to infrared wavelength operation. We firmly believe that France and Australia have a unique opportunity to maintain their scientific and technological leading edge in photonic through ALPhFA2 especially considering the potential impact in terms of scientific outcomes, students’ mobility and training, and potential industrial transfer.

      The scientific program of ALPhFA2 is built around the strength, complementarities and resources of its members to address some of the most pressing and topical subjects in fundamental photonics and applications including mid-IR photonics, Functional integrated silicon photonics, metasurfaces/metamaterial/plasmonics and possibly biosensing.

      outcomes 2018-2019

      3 awarded cotutelles PhDs / 5 starting PhD cotutelles

      Rémi Colom (AMU Fresnel/ Sydney University) 2018
      • Kaizad Rustomji (AMU Fresnel/ Sydney University) 2018
      • Milan Sinobad (INL/ RMIT) 2020

      15 peer-reviewed publication in high impact journals

      Funded grants (including 3 H2020 below, ANR, ARC discoveries, PhC FASIC, IDEX, IEA…)

      H2020 ITN-MSCA « SUPUVIR » (FEMTO ST, Université de Rennes, Sydney University)

      H2020 FETOPEN-01-2016-2017- RIA – Proposal number: 736937 – MetaMaterials antenna for ultra-high field MRI “M-Cube” (Fresnel, ANU)



      Workshops and mobility

      5 workshops organized by ALPhFA members:

      ALPhFA workshop, organized by RMIT/INL, Melbourne December 2018 (~20 ALPhFA speakers, 50 participants)
      ECLAUSion workshop hosted by RMIT in 2018, with 15 participants
      • E3I ECLAUSion information day 28/01/2019, Lyon
      WOMBAT (international Workshop on Optomechanics and Brillouin scattering: Fundamentals, Applications and Technology), co-organised by FEMTO, USydney, ANU in Tel-Aviv (March 2019)
      LIA ALPhFA & ECLAUSion meeting during SPIE ANZCOP conference Melbourne 8th to 12th of December 2019

      Support for the mobility of 25 French researchers/researchers-teachers-students in Australian laboratories and 6 Australian researchers/researchers-teachers-students in French laboratories in 2018 & 2019.

      institutions and laboratories involved

      • INL (CNRS-UMR5270)
      • Institut Fresnel (CNRS-UMR7249),
      FEMTO-ST (CNRS-UMR6174),
      C2N (CNRS-UMR9001)

      • Micro Nano Research Facility (RMIT); Head Prof Arnan MITCHELL;
      • Department of Physics and Astronomy (Macquarie University); Head: Prof. Mike STEEL;
      • Laser physics center (ANU), Photonic device team; Head: Prof. Steve MADDEN;
      • Nonlinear physics center (ANU); Head: Prof Yuri Kivshar, Prof. Dragomir NESHEV;
      • The School of physics (Sydney University); Dr. Antoine Runge;
      • The Center for MicroPhotonics (Swinburne University); Head Prof David J. MOSS.



      French-Australian International Research Program in engineering

      Pr. Nicolas Saintier
      Pr. M. Dargush
      Pr. Aijun Huang


      Numerical materials and 3D architectured materials

      Numerical materials and 3D architectured materials

      Typical lattice structures produces by ALM [1]


      The IRP AMHELIE (Additive Manufacturing for High PErformance MateriaLs and lattIce StructurEs / Additive Manufacturing for High pErformance materiaLs and lattIce StructurEs? is a project between the I2M  Laboratory – UMR CNRS  5295 (Pr. N. Saintier) and the Australian universities of Queensland (Pr. M. Dargusch) and Monash (Pr Aijun Huang).

      Missions and research themes

       One of the major interest of additive manufacturing is the possibility of making shapes of complex geometries difficult to access by other methods. Among them, lattices structures are of major growing interest. They have the advantage, at iso local material properties, of proposing structures or micro-structures with variable density and allow to consider new engineering solutions in a wide range of applications (medical, aeronautics, space or transport sectors).

      The understanding of the behavior of bulk and architectured materials obtained by additive manufacturing remains a major challenge, particularly regarding their durability and in particular their fatigue behavior with or without environmental effects. The mechanical response as well as the lifetime (under cyclic loading) at the macroscopic scale of a structure very strongly depend on its elastic-plastic behavior of the material at lower scales. Among the many parameters that drive crack initiation processes, orientation and the size of the grains (or lamella colonies in the case of titanium alloys) constitute  microstructural features that play a major role in the development of micro-plasticity at small scales. These effects are all the more important as the microstructures are heterogeneous and / or the characteristic lengths of the studied structures are within the order of magnitude of that of the grains of the constitutive materials. These two characteristics are present in the case of additively obtained materials obtained by ALM and architectured materials in particular : i/  microstructure of the parts obtained by this process is strongly anisotropic and marked by the existence of internal lengths associated with the thermal history of the material (size of the laser spot, melting zone size, overlapping rate,  etc …) ii/  these structures have characteristic sizes of the order the size of the grain size and thus the surface / volume effects that come into competition during fatigue damage.

      MAIN projects of research

      Target 1 : Developpement of new biocompatible titanium alloys (University of Queensland) and new high strength Aluminum alloys (Monash University)

      Target 2 : Effect of process induced defects on the durability of materials obtained by additive manufacturing. (I2M-Monash University)

      This part of the project is focused on a better understanding of natural and artificial defects on the quasi static/fatigue properties. 

      – process optimisation for defect control 
      – realisation of specimens with controled deterministic and stochastic defects
      – tomography and 3D analyses of processed specimens
      – experimental evaluation of the mechanical behavior materials with defects (QS/fatigue)
      – multiscale numerical modeling of material with defects
      – development of damage and predictability models at the structural scale including statistical analyses.
      – development of damage and predictability models at the structural scale

      Target 3 : Durability of architectured materials (I2M-Queensland University)

       We  develop experimental and numerical methodologies for the evaluation of the durability of complex architectured materials under mechanical loading (mechanical and environmental loading)

      The main aspects are :

      – realisation of complexe lattices geometries by FA (mostly ALM)
      – tomography and 3D analyses of real geometries vs theoretical CAE
      – experimental evaluation of the mechanical behavior of lattices structures
      – multiscale numerical modeling of architectured materials
      – development of damage and predictability models at the local scale, numerical materials

      institutions and laboratories involved

      • Pr. N. Saintier (Full Professor at Arts et Metiers Institute of Technology, Head Durability of Materials and Structures, I2M  Laboratory – UMR CNRS  5295)

      • Pr. M. Dargusch (Professor, Faculty of Engineering, Architecture and Information Technology. University of Queensland, Brisbane)
      • Pr Aijun Huang (Professor, Platform Manager/Associate Director, Monash Centre for Additive Manufacturing. Department of Materials Science and Engineering. Monash University)

      Tomography analyses and effect of etching on lattice structures produced by ALM [1]

      [1] Nicolas Soro, Nicolas Saintier, Hooyar Attar, Matthew S. Dargusch,

      Surface and morphological modification of selectively laser melted titanium lattices using a chemical post treatment,

      Surface and Coatings Technology, Volume 393, 2020

      Numerical Surface modeling for surface roughness evaluation on the fatigue behavior

      [2]Bastien Vayssette, Nicolas Saintier, Charles Brugger, Mohamed El May,

      Surface roughness effect of SLM and EBM Ti-6Al-4V on multiaxial high cycle fatigue,

      Theoretical and Applied Fracture Mechanics, 2020.



      IRN (ex-GDRI) WONDER - World Oilalg Network for Design of processes and strains for Elaboration of Renewable energy from microalgae - on engineering

      2017- 2020
      Jack Legrand
      Dr. N. Moheimani



      Botryococcus braunii: excretion of hydrocarbon. Credit: GEPEA CNRS

      Botryococcus braunii: hydrocarbon visualisation. Credit: GEPEA CNRS

      Oil from Botryococcus. Credit Tsukuba University


      The program of the GDRI is devoted to biofuel and material production from microalgae. To develop a sustainable and industrial production, this implies indeed biological and technological breakthroughs which would be achieved only if an important scientific effort is conducted on a large set of scientific topics such as establishment of culture method of the useful algae, gene modification for improvement of productivity, optimization of culture apparatus, development of harvesting and extraction technology, analytical and synthetic chemistry for reforming biomass products for future commercialization.  The common project for the different teams will be organized around the culture and the valorization of Botryococcus braunii, which has attracted particular interest due to its ability to accumulate extracellular long-chain hydrocarbons.  Bioproduction of hydrocarbons is one of the challenges facing post-peak oil production in the future. A credible option for the production of sustainable biodiesel or biojetfuels could be microalgae oils.

      Missions and research themes

      Scientific area covers: (1) further determining  and controlling reactions involved in hydrocarbon biosynthesis and secretion by environment factors or genetic engineering; (2) optimizing the culture conditions and design innovative PBR systems to improve the productivities; (3) recycling fuel gas and reuse waste water with environmental benefits; (4) recovery of liquid hydrocarbons through a continuous cell-recycle process by “milking” strategy for nondestructive oil extraction; (5) exploiting other economic metabolites and co-valorization of residues to reduce the cost, biopolymers for example.


      • Gene transfer technology
      • Whole genome and metabolome analyses of an axenic strain of Botryococcus
      • High-throughput chemical monitoring method for race A, B, L and S of Botryococcus

      Optimisation of photobioreactor in solar conditions

      • Increase of volumic productivity
      • Development of advanced control of photobioreactor
      • Development of passive temperature control
      • Study of the effect of non-absorbing cap-shaped droplets condensed on the backside of transparent windows on their directional-hemispherical transmittance and reflectance.

      Cultivation with wastewaters

      Harvesting and extracting hydrocarbons

      • Study of the physiology of Botryococcus braunii, which is a green microalga capable of generating and storing long chain hydrocarbons such as squalene and botryococcene in their matrix external to their cells.
      • Development of ‘milking’ microalgae process by using non-destructive extraction of hydrocarbons.


      • Bioenergy
      • Algae also offer a variety of natural products, especially hydrocarbons derived from fatty acids and isoprenoids, that can be coupled with novel chemistries to produce advanced polymeric materials, in particular renewable and biodegradable polyurethane products.
      • Cosmetics: development and evaluation of face, eye and body creams containing botryococcene.


      The program of the GDRI is devoted to biofuel and bioplastic production from microalgae. To develop a sustainable and industrial production, this implies indeed biological and technological breakthroughs which would be achieved only if an important scientific effort is conducted on a large set of scientific topics such as ① screening of useful algae, ② establishment of culture method of the useful algae, ③ gene modification for improvement of productivity, ④ optimization of culture apparatus, ⑤ development of harvesting and extraction technology, ⑥ Analytical and synthetic chemistry for reforming biomass products for future commercialization, etc. The global process of biofuel production from microalgae covers a large set of research areas which cannot be addressed with sufficient expertise by only one laboratory. In addition, because of the strong relation between biology and exploitation processes, there is a high need to promote collaborative research. This is then the aim of our network of national research centers to promote exchanges between the different partners which individually present expertise in the different fields requested for the setting of microalgae biofuel production industry: Algae Biomass and Energy System R&D Center (ABES) of University of Tsukuba (UT) is in the field of ①, ② and ⑥, the California Center for Algae Biotechnology (Cal-CAB, UCSD and UCLA) is in the field of ③, ④ and ⑥, GEPEA is ②, ④ and ⑤, Murdoch University (MU) is in the field of ④ and ⑤.

      institutions and laboratories involved

      • GEPEA – UMR 6144 CNRS/Université de Nantes/IMT Atlantique/ONIRIS, France (contact: Prof. J. Legrand)
      Algae R&D Centre, Murdoch University, Australia (contact: Dr. N. Moheimani)
      ABES (Algae Biomass and Energy System R&D Center) – Tsukuba University, Japan (contact: Prof. M. Watanabe)
       Cal-CAB (California Center for Algae Biotechnology) – University of California (UCLA & UCSD) (contacts: Prof. L. Pilon – UCLA, Prof. S. Mayfield – UCSD)

      AlgoSolis, the R&D facilities of the GEPEA for microalgae production and biorefinery. Credit: Frank TOMPS

      Botryococcus algue. Tsukuba Credit University

      ABES lab of Tsukuba University. Credit Tsukuba University