Rheology of Earth Materials :

Closing the gap between timescales in the laboratory and in the mantle

Team Members

in order of appearance



Professor of Physics  @ ULille and Institut Universitaire de France, Project leader of the TimeMan Project

Trained as a materials scientist, Patrick Cordier has worked mostly in the field of mineral physics. His research interests are related to the mechanical properties of solids with a special focus on dislocation theory. Specialist of transmission electron microscopy he has pioneered the application of Large Angle Convergent Beam Electron diffraction to defect characterization in minerals and now Precession Electron Diffraction. Since 1995, he has, with his students, elucidated the slip systems and dislocations of most high-pressure phases of the Earth’s mantle. For that purpose, he has developed and performed high-pressure deformation experiments in the multianvil apparatus (mostly using the large-scale facilities of the Bayerisches Geoinstitut). These experiments have also been applied to materials science studies (silicon, silicon carbide, quasicrystals). Recently, he has developed with Philippe Carrez and PhD students a new approach of plastic deformation under extreme pressure based on multiscale modeling within the ERC funded RheoMan project (2012-2018). Patrick Cordier is President of the International Mineralogical Association (IMA). From May 2019 to Mai 2020: P. Cordier is invited professor at the Université Catholique de Louvain, Belgium. Patrick Cordier is Senior Member of the Institut Universitaire de France.

ResearcherID: D-2357-2012 - ORCID: 0000-0002-1883-2994 - Scopus Author ID : 7005436365 - Curriculum vitæ - Publications



Philippe CARREZ

Professor of Physics @ ULille

Professor in the Physics Dpt of the University of Lille since 2015, Philippe Carrez is in charge of the numerical modelling of dislocations in mineral phases. His researches focus on the atomic structure of dislocation cores, on the dislocation mobility and on dislocation interactions at the mesoscale. Together with Patrick Cordier, he is involved in the recent development of a multi-scale model of plasticity for mantle minerals under pressure and temperature conditions relevant of the Earth interiors.

ORCID: 0000-0003-1295-9377


Alexandre MUSSI

Lecturer @ ULille

Alexandre Mussi is lecturer in the IUT A Dpt of the University of Lille. He uses the transmission electron tomography technique on dislocations to characterize the fundamental plastic deformation mechanisms of minerals (such as olivine) deformed under mantle conditions, in relationship with numerical modeling. He also uses automated crystal orientation mapping in a transmission electron microscope to characterize plastic deformation mechanisms from complex dislocation microstructures

ORCID: 0000-0003-2093-0144



Lecturer @ ULille

Karine Gouriet is a lecturer in the Physics Dpt of the University of Lille. Her research interests cover the numerical modeling of deep Earth mineral plasticity. Karine‘s main responsibility in TimeMan project is to investigate the plasticity of mantle’s minerals like olivine, ferropericlase, bridgmanite,..., using dislocation dynamics.

ORCID: 0000-0003-3148-8849


Pierre HIREL

Lecturer @ ULille

Pierre is a lecturer at the Physics Department of the University of Lille since 2016. After studying physics at the University of Rennes, he modelled the plastic deformation of metals at the atomic scale during his PhD in Poitiers, France. Then, during a first post-doc at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology in Germany, he investigated the interplay between dislocations and functional properties in technologically relevant materials, such as the perovskites SrTiO3 and KNbO3. In 2012 he joined the RheoMan project and investigated the plastic deformation of bridgmanite, the most abundant mineral in the Earth's lower mantle. Over the years, Pierre also developped Atomsk, a code to produce data files for atomic-scale simulations.

ResearcherID: A-9054-2018  | ORCID: 0000-0002-7488-8466  |  Atomsk



Post-doctoral researcher @ ULille

After graduating (Master) in quantum physics at the Faculté des Sciences of Tunis (Tunisia), Sami Mahmoud has prepared his PhD at the Université de Montréal (Quebec, Canada) under the supervision of Prof. N. Mousseau. He defended his thesis entitled “Numerical study of point defects diffusion in nickel-based alloys” in May 2019. In TimeMan, Sami Mahmoud will use the activation-relaxation technique to model defects in minerals.

ORCID: 0000-0003-0903-6221



Chercheur qualifié FNRS @ UCLouvain

The overall objective of the research activity of Prof. Hosni Idrissi is a fundamental investigation of the physics of defects dynamics in different classes of inorganic materials including minerals,  nanocrystalline metallic and metallic glass thin films, hybrid multilayers combining crystalline and amorphous systems as well as bulk coarse-grained metals and alloys involving twinning-induced-plasticity (TWIP) and transformation-induced-plasticity (TRIP). The core questions concern the competition or the synergy between the nanoscale elementary mechanisms, which ultimately control the strength and ductility of these materials. The overall research approach is based on the design and use of quantified new nanocharacterization tools including nanomechanical testing methods (lab-on-chip, nanoindentation, etc.) coupled with advanced transmission electron microscopy (TEM) techniques (aberration corrected high resolution TEM imaging and spectroscopy, electron tomography, orientation and nanostrain mapping in TEM, in-situ TEM nanomechanical testing, etc.) to unravel the mechanisms under interest.

ORCID: 0000-0002-1043-5409


Dominique (Nick) SCHRYVERS

Professor @ EMAT

Dominique (Nick) Schryvers is Full Professor at the research group Electron Microscopy for Materials Science (EMAT) of the Department of Physics of the University of Antwerp. His main research topic is the application of advanced transmission electron microscopy techniques to the study of phase transformations in alloys, more specifically in systems displaying martensitic transformations but also diffusional transformations and precipitation mechanisms. In recent years he got more involved in nanocrystalline metallic systems of different origin and in in-situ nanomechanical testing. He has also worked on photographic materials, historic materials, geo- and cosmological materials, composites, soft materials, etc.


ORCID: 0000-0001-9242-7375



Post-doctoral researcher @EMAT

Using advanced Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM) techniques and micro/nano-mechanical testing to investigate elementary mechanisms controlling the plastic deformation and the failure of different small-scale materials.

ORCID: 0000-0003-1351-2147



Research assistant @ UCLouvain

Michaël Coulombier received the M.S. degree in degree in material science from UClouvain, Louvain-la-Neuve (Belgium) in 2006. He finished his PhD in 2012 under the supervision of Prof. Thomas Pardoen (iMMC) and Prof. Jean-Pierre Raskin (ICTEAM) developing a lab on-chip technique for nano-mechanical characterisation of thin films. Since then he has been a research assistant in iMMC involved in various projects dealing with material science, nanomechanical testing and tribology.

ORCID : 0000-0002-0025-5711




Post-doctoral researcher @ ULille

After a master degree in physics and materials science from Université Poitiers, Marie Landeiro pursued a PhD at SRMP CEA Saclay, under the supervision of Laurent Proville, on the dislocation mobility in metals. Using numerical simulations, They developed a multi scale model to study the dislocation propagation in a distribution of vacancy-clusters over time, under stress and temperature. 


Ihtasham UL HAQ

PhD student @ EMAT

Ihtasham Ul Haq completed his M.S. in Materials Engineering from Ghulam Ishaq Khan Institute of Engineering Science and Technology, Topi, Pakistan. In 2018 he defended a M.S. thesis entitled “Effects of Copper Content and Heat Treatment on the Microstructure, Shape Memory Properties, and Corrosion Behavior of the TiNiCu Ternary Shape Memory Alloys” under the supervision of Dr. Muhammad Imran Khan. In this research work,he used atomic force microscopy (AFM) to study the surface relief effect in various composition of TiNiCu ternary shape memory alloys. At EMAT his PhD projects deals with the investigation of the nano-scale plasticity/damage mechanisms in Earth's mantle silicates by transmission electron microscopy.


Valentin DELBECQ

PhD student @ ULille

Valentin Delbecq has been trained in Physics at the university of Lille where he graduated in Condensed Matter Physics. His Master project was devoted to the study of ice using molecular dynamics. During his PhD thesis, he will model the mechanical properties of silicate glasses with the olivine composition at the atomic scale.



Post-doctoral researcher @ UCLouvain

After a master degree in mechanical engineering co-delivered by the ENISE, EMSE and Université Jean Monnet (Saint Etienne, France), Paul Baral pursued a PhD at Ecole Centrale de Lyon under the supervision of Jean-Luc Loubet (ECL), Guillaume Kermouche (EMSE) and Jean-Michel Bergheau (ENISE). He worked on the development of innovative methods to measure materials’ mechanical properties at the nano and micro-scales using nanoindentation. He defended his thesis in November 2018 and is now postdoctoral researcher at UCLouvain (Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium), working with Thomas Pardoen, Hosni Idrissi and Michaël Coulombier on the nanomechanical characterization of thin films.

ORCID : 0000-0002-8586-0733; Scopus Author ID: 57194535159


Alex PIP

PhD student @ UCLouvain

Alex graduated from the UCLouvain in 2020 as a materials science and chemistry engineer. His Master thesis focused on strain engineering in semiconductor materials including experimental measurement and simulation of strain in micro/nanoscale devices. During his PhD, he will focus on the development and the use of new micro/nanomechanical devices dedicated for quantitative in situ thermo-tensile testing inside a transmission electron microscope.




Former members of the Team



Master student  @ ULille

Project title: "Electron tomography of dislocations in beam-sensitive materials"



Michel Bertrand MAMA TOULOU

Master student  @ ULille

Project title: "Atomic scale modeling of grain boundaries in oxydes with complex crystal chemistry"