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Alejandro A. Franco

Alejandro A.

  • Professeur des Universités, Université de Picardie Jules Verne
  • Junior Member of Institut Universitaire de France (Octobre 2016-Septembre 2021)
  • Alistore Theory Group leader

Tél. : 0033 3 22 82 53 36

Main Research Activities

Alejandro A. Franco is now Full Professor at LRCS, and since October 2016 Junior member of the Institut Universitaire de France. He headed the Modelling Group of Electrochemical Systems at CEA (Grenoble) in the period January 2006-January 2013.

more than 16 years, his research consists in developing multiscale models for the numerical simulation of electrochemical devices for energy storage and conversion, such as lithium air and lithium sulfur batteries, redox flow and lithium ion  batteries, polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells and electrolyzers. These models, based on theoretical approaches pioneered by himself, allow to perform in silico studies of the physicochemical mechanisms taking place at multiple spatiotemporal scales in these devices during their operation  In addition, they allow to establish links between chemical and microstructural properties of the materials, and their performance and durability. In combination with dedicated experiments, and thanks to their predictive nature, these models prove to be very helpful to optimize the design of the next generations of batteries and fuel cells.

Prof. Franco was/is coordinator and/or Work Package leader in several national and european projects (
10 as PI, 12 as a partner), and has ongoing collaborative projects with companies such as Renault, SAFT and IRT-Saint Exupery. He is author of more than 60 publications, 10 invited book chapters, 19 granted patents, and edited 3 books and 2 journal special issues. He delivered more than 44 Invited Presentations (including several keynotes) in international conferences and 31 invited seminars in first class institutions (e.g. MIT, ANL, LBNL, Stanford Univ.). He organized 10 international conferences and 2 international schools.

He is the recipient of the P.E.D.R.
, of the Chercheur Haut Niveau Laureate (Region Hauts-de-France) and he is awardee of a ERC Consolidator Grant 2017.

His teaching activities include two lecture-series he created (44 h/y) where he implements cutting-edge teaching methods, using
in particular Virtual Reality technology: one on fuel cells (M.E.S.C.) and one on non-equilibrium thermodynamics (UPJV Doctoral School).

Academic Training

•    ERC Consolidator Grant 2017 Awardee
•    Membre Junior de l’Institut Universitaire de France (Octobre 2016-Septembre 2021)
•    Professeur des Universités (Université de Picardie Jules Verne, LRCS UMR CNRS 7314, 2013-présent)
•    Ingénieur chercheur (Commissariat à l’Energie Atomique est aux Energies Alternatives/LITEN, 2005-2013)
•    Thèse de doctorat (Commissariat à l’Energie Atomique est aux Energies Alternatives/LITEN,
•    2003-2005, Multiscale modeling of polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells)
•    Visiting scientist (Commissariat à l’Energie Atomique est aux Energies Alternatives/LITEN,
•    2002, Direct Methanol Fuel Cells)
•    Master Sc. In Theoretical Physics (Universidad Nacional del Sur, Argentina, 2001)

Professional skills

Multiscale modeling, physical electrochemistry, electrocatalysis, batteries, fuel cells, electrolyzers.

Running Projects

ARTISTIC (Advanced and Reusable Theory for the In Silico optimization of composite electrode fabrication processes for rechargeable battery Technologies with Innovative Chemistries)  (ERC Consolidator Grant,  duration: 5 years, started on 1st of April 2018). Topic: Modeling of Fabrication Processes of Lithium Ion Batteries. Professor Franco is the Principal Investigator of this project.

MAGIC (CNRS PEPS, duration 1 year, started in September, 2017). Topic: Redox Flow Batteries with particle suspensions. Prof. Franco is involved in this project as the Leader.

Pedagogy Innovation Project (Université de Picardie Jules Verne, started in September, 2017, project coordinator). Topic: Use of Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality for the teaching of energy materials, energy conversion and storage.

Project on modeling of mechanical properties of silicon-based electrodes for lithium ion battery applications (Thomas Jefferson Fund project, duration 1 year, started in September 2017). Partners: Prof. Franco (LRCS) and Prof. P. Mukherjee (Purdue University).

POROUS4APP (EU H2020, duration 4 years, started in March, 2016). Topic: Carbonaceous materials for chemical reactors and electrochemical energy storage applications. Prof. Franco is involved in this project as the Modeling Work Package Leader.  

CELIA (National Project coordinated by IRT Saint Exupery, duration 3 years, started in January 2016). Prof. Franco is the supervisor of the PhD student (Caroline Gaya) involved in the Work Package on the development of lithium air batteries for electric aircrafts.  The PhD is funded by IRT Saint Exupery (involving the companies Airbus and Zodiac).

SAFT (bilateral collaborative PhD project with SAFT Batteries, duration 3 years, started in October, 2015). Co-funded by SAFT Batteries and the FEDER. Topic: physical modeling of lithium ion batteries. Prof. Franco is co-supervising a PhD student with SAFT Batteries (Mariem Maiza).   

WONDERFUL (Region Picardie/Hauts de France, duration 3 years, started in October 2015). Topic: Multiscale Modeling and Experimental Characterization of Slurry Redox Flow Batteries. Prof. Franco is the project coordinator.  

HELIS (EU H2020, duration 4 years, started in July 2015). Topic: Design and Optimization of Lithium-Sulfur Batteries for Automotives Applications. Prof. Franco is involved in this project as the Computational Modeling Work Package leader. 

MASTERS (Project "Accueil Chercheur Haut Niveau", Region Picardie/Hauts de France, duration 3 years, started in October 2014) Topic: Lithium Air Batteries multiscale modeling and experimentation. Prof. Franco is the Laureate and Project Coordinator.

Entering the Augmented Era: Immersive and Interactive Virtual Reality for Battery Education and Research

Alejandro A. Franco, Jean-Noël Chotard, Emilie Loup-Escande, Yinghui Yin, Ruijie Zhao, Alexis J. Rucci, Alain C. Ngandjong, Simon Herbulot, Benjamin Beye, Jan Ciger, Romain Lelong

Batteries & Supercaps, 2020

Effects of a virtual reality game on learning performances and motivation: example of Nanoviewer in the field of energy storage

Emilie Loup-Escande, Simon Herbulot, Alain Ngandjong, Romain Lelong, Guillaume Loup and Alejandro A. Franco

Psychology and Education, 2020

X-ray Nanocomputed Tomography in Zernike Phase Contrast for Studying 3D Morphology of Li–O2 Battery Electrode

Zeliang Su, Vincent De Andrade, Sorina Cretu, Yinghui Yin, Michael J. Wojcik, Alejandro A. Franco, and Arnaud Demortière

ACS Applied Energy Materials, 2020

Accelerated Optimization Methods for Force‐Field Parametrization in Battery Electrode Manufacturing Modeling

Teo Lombardo, Dr. Jean‐Baptiste Hoock, Dr. Emiliano N. Primo, Dr. Alain C. Ngandjong, Marc Duquesnoy, Prof. Dr. Alejandro A. Franco

Batteries & Supercaps, 2020

Mesoscale Effects in the Extraction of the Solid-State Lithium Diffusion Coefficient Values of Battery Active Materials: Physical Insights from 3D Modeling

Mehdi Chouchane, Emiliano N. Primo, and Alejandro A. Franco

The Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, 2020

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