I have both a PhD and an engineering degree granted by the École Centrale de Paris and Institut National Polytechnique de Grenoble (INP Grenoble, Grenoble National Polytechnic Institute). Trained as a hydraulics engineer, I did my doctoral work under the supervision of Pierre Evesque and co-supervision from Philippe Coussot from Dec. 1994 to July 1997 on rheology of granular flows in simple shearing. I was recruited in March 1998 as a researcher (rheology) at the Cemagref (now Irstea), which has since become the laboratoire “Storm Erosion, Snow and Avalanche Laboratory”. Parallel to this research activity, with Claude Charlier I set up a consulting firm for engineering contracting called Toraval (avalanche and torrent protection), which has become the major player in this field in France. Among other things, we developed the first numerical models based on the depth-averaged equations for engineering applications.


  • Scientific production
    • 72 articles in scientific journals since 1996, including 8 articles in Journal of Fluid Mechanics, 8 in Journal of Geophysical Research, 5 in Physics of Fluids, 4 in Journal of Rheology, etc.
    • H-index : 30 (Scopus), 29 (Web of Science), 41 (Google Scholar).
    • 6 books and 11 book chapters.
  • Scientific areas: geophysical fluid dynamics (granular flows, viscoplastic fluids, suspensions, particle transport). Application to natural flows (avalanches, debris flows, floods, bedload transport).
  • Supervision of 16 PhD students 1999.
  • 4 courses (total of 12 credits, 168 hr of teaching, with about 100-200 students a year) and one MOOC course (massive open online course) (made with Prof. F. Gallaire).
  • Services to the community: associate editor for Water Resources Research (AGU) since 2004, Journal of Geophysics Research: Earth Surface since 2015, and member of the ISTE-Wiley editorial board, series “Environmental Engineering” since 2012. I have reviewed nore 300 articles since 1999.
  • Consultant in snow avalanche engineering from 1997 to 2014. I was involved as an expert or advisor for all the disastrous avalanches in France since 1999 (from the 1999 Péclerey avalanche that killed 12 people in their dwellings to the 2015 avalanches in the Pyrénées mountain range). Involved in 197 reports from 1997 to 2014.
  • Personal note: since 2009, I have been struggling with a neurological disease, which has mainly affected muscles.