Henri van Damme, Professor am Paris Tech und CNRS-CINAM, ist belgisch-französischer, stark interdisziplinär ausgerichteter Festköperphysiker, Chemiker, und Nanotechnologe an der Schnittstelle zwischen Grundlagenforschung (er war langjähriger CNRS-Direktor) und industrieller Anwendung, zur Zeit am von ihm mitinitiierten Joint CNRS-MIT Laboratory on Multiscale , öffnet eine externe URL in einem neuen FensterMaterials Science for Energy and the Environment, öffnet eine externe URL in einem neuen Fenster.

From sand castles to urban physics : A research and education perspective in civil and environmental engineering

Civil engineering played an enormous role in shaping the economy, industry and cities of the modern world. Civil engineers provided the infrastructure that made many of the last century’s advances possible: large scale energy supply and storage, clean water supply, easy transportation, affordable habitation, efficient waste treatment, and hazard mitigation. Today, civil engineering is inseparable from environmental engineering in response to the fact that economic development and population growth are altering the Earth system on which life depends.

This situation imposes to reinvent the way we design and manufacture our construction materials in order to make them more benign, durable, stronger, and less energy intensive. It stimulates creativity in materials and structural mechanics, sometimes along biologically inspired routes. It forces us to rethink the way we build and the way we organize cities.

As far as research and education is concerned, this evolution broadens considerably the panel of disciplines that we have to incorporate into our research toolbox and in the curriculums we offer. This will be illustrated by recent progress in the science of construction materials, starting from vernacular architecture, and in the physics of cities. 

Zeit und Ort: 17.30 im Konferenzraum TUtheSky, Getreidemarkt 9, Bauteil BA, 11. Stock (Eingang Lehargasse)


Henri Van Damme is invited professor in the Civil & Environmental Department at MIT, on leave from the Ecole de Physique et Chimie Industrielle de Paris (ESPCI-ParisTech) where he has been professor since 1999, after fifteen years as director of a CNRS laboratory in Orléans.

He joined the MIT-CNRS (French National Center for Scientific Research) unit in February 2014. His current research interest is focused on the physics of source rocks and cement-based materials.

Henri Van Damme has also been scientific director of IFSTTAR, the French Institute for Science & Technology of Transportation, Development and Networks, from 2009 to 2014 and project manager in the department of Sustainable Energy and Environment of the french National Research Agency (ANR).

From 1995 to 2000, he was president of the Condensed Matter Physics division of the National Committee for Scientific Research.