W.W. Clyde Visiting Chair: Rodolphe Vaillon

January 31, 2016

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The University of Utah Department of Mechanical Engineering is very proud to welcome Rodolphe Vaillon – W.W. Clyde Visiting Chair, The Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS -National Center for Scientific Research) Professor. In French: Directeur de Recherche au CNRS, equivalent to full Professor).

Prof. Vaillon has been appointed the 2016 W.W. Clyde Visiting Chair in the College of Engineering hosted by the Radiative Energy Transfer Lab directed by mechanical engineering assistant professor Mathieu Francoeur.  Vaillon’s appointment runs January through December 2016.

“I have been collaborating with Francoeur for more than 10 years in the areas of near-field thermal radiation, particle characterization and thermophotovoltaic energy conversion devices. We have40 joint publications, 12 of which are peer reviewed journal articles,” says Vaillon.

A sabbatical does not exist in France for CNRS professors. However, joining a CNRS international joint unit, leave of absence or long term missions are alternative solutions for a CNRS researcher to have a long term experience abroad. The W.W. Clyde Visiting Chair is offered every year by the College of Engineering and comes with an award to facilitate the exchanges.

Vaillon added, “Thanks to Dr. Francoeur, who brilliantly defended my application, this year is the perfect time for me to arrange a one-year visit in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Utah.”

In France, Vaillon is a member of a group called “Micro and Nanoscale Heat Transfer at the Centre for Energy and Thermal Sciences of Lyon (former head of this group from August 2011 to January 2016). Vaillon’s current research interests are nanoscale thermal radiation, thermal behavior of photovoltaic devices, and electromagnetic light scattering by complex particles. He has multiple obvious connections with the research conducted by Francoeur and other faculty members in the Department of Mechanical Engineering.

Visiting abroad means also becoming familiar with the country, i.e. the natural wonders of Utah, the way of life and culture. With a smile Vaillon adds, “I’d like to explore all these aspects during my visit. I would be very glad to welcome you in my office (2467 MEK) to discuss about research or else. See you soon!”

(Contact info for Prof. Rodolphe Vaillon)


The Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Utah is committed to providing students with broad-based, rigorous and progressive education. By combining state-of-the-art facilities with renowned faculty, the department provides an education that gives students the necessary skills to become the next generation of innovators.