Yves Bréchet

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Yves Bréchet
Born12 October 1961 (1961-10-12) (age 60)
AwardsCNRS Silver medal
Scientific career
FieldsMaterials scientist
InstitutionsGrenoble Institute of Technology McMaster University

Yves Bréchet (French: [bʁeʃɛ]) is a physicist, specialist of materials science, former High Commissioner for Atomic Energy of France, current Scientific Director of Saint Gobain, professor (part-time) at Monash University, and a member of the French Academy of Sciences.


Yves Bréchet graduated from École Polytechnique (1981), École des hautes études en sciences sociales (1992) and obtained his doctoral degree and habilitation from Joseph Fourier University in 1987 and 1992, respectively.

He has been a full professor at Grenoble INP/Phelma between 1987 and 2012, an adjunct professor of materials science and engineering at McMaster University (Canada), a senior Research Professor at the Institut Universitaire de France, and a member of the SIMaP (Materials and Processes Science and Engineering) Laboratory with the University of Grenoble.

On 30 November 2010 he was elected to the French Academy of Sciences.[1]

He has been a member of the international scientific council of ArcelorMittal and the Commissariat à l'énergie atomique, and a scientific advisor to Rio Tinto Alcan, EDF and ONERA, as well as several editing boards of scientific journals

On 19 September 2012 he was named to the position of High Commissioner for Atomic Energy and Alternative Energies by the President of the French Republic, succeeding Catherine Cesarsky.

He resigned from this position in 2018, and is now Scientific director of Saint Gobain, while keeping a position as Distinguished Research professor at Monash university, adjunct professor at McMaster university and advisory professor at Jiaotong university. Since 2018 he has been giving a course on "Scientific analysis for political decisions" at the Ecole Nationale d'Administration. He is also president of the Scientific council of Framatome, and president of the scientific council of the non-profit "Maisons pour les Sciences" foundation for scientific education founded by Georges Charpak.

Research Activities[edit]

His activities have spanned the fields of physical metallurgy, thermodynamics, microstructures, phase transformations, plasticity, fracture micromechanics, material selection, structural materials design, biointerfaces, structural biomimetics. He has written more than 600 papers, co-authored 6 books and supervised more than 80 doctoral students..

Honors and awards[edit]


  • Y. Bréchet, Microstructures, Mechanical Properties and Processes, EUROMAT 99. Volume 3 (2000).
  • J. Agren, Y. Bréchet, C. Hutchinson, J. Philibert, G. Purdy, Thermodynamics and Phase Transformations, EDP Sciences, 2006 (ISBN 978-2-86883-889-6).
  • Y. Bréchet, D. Embury, P. Onck, Architectured MuItifunctional Materials, MRS Symposium Proceedings (2009)
  • M.F. Ashby, D.R.H Jones, Y. Bréchet, J. Courbon, M. Dupeux, "Matériaux. Tome 1, Propriétés, applications et conception", Dunod, 2008 (ISBN 978-2-10-050901-0).
  • J. Philibert, A. Vignes, Y. Bréchet, P. Combrade, "Métallurgie, du minerai au matériau", Dunod, 2002 (ISBN 978-2-10-006313-0).
  • Salvo, Y. Bréchet, M.F. Ashby, "Traité des matériaux, Tome 20, Sélection des matériaux et des procédés de mise en œuvre", PPUR, 2001 (ISBN 2-88074-473-3).
  • Y.Brechet, Lecon inaugurale au college de France " du materiaux de rencontre au materiau sur mesure" (2013)
  • Y.Estrin, Y.Brechet, J.Dunlop, P.FRatzl "architectured materials" (2019)

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ Press Release (in French) Archived July 20, 2011, at the Wayback Machine from the French Academy of Sciences (November 30, 2010)