Olivier Kerbrat, professor at ENS Rennes, joins IPR's Mechanics and Glasses department

Design and manufacture of mechanical parts integrating environmental considerations

Olivier began his higher education at the Ecole Nationale Supérieure d'Arts et Métiers (ENSAM). After spending two years in Angers and one year on the Paris campus, he obtained an engineering degree from ENSAM in 2004. His first professional experience in polymer aging inspired him to pursue in applied research. Between 2004 and 2006, he was a student at the Ecole Normale Supérieure de Cachan (Brittany branch). During this period, he obtained his agrégation in mechanical engineering and a Master's degree in applied mechanical sciences from the Ecole Centrale de Nantes.

Olivier completed a PhD in mechanical engineering at the Ecole Centrale de Nantes, while working at the IRCCyN (Institut de Recherche en Communications et Cybernétique de Nantes). His work focused on the link between mechanical design and manufacturing. More specifically, Olivier analyzed manufacturing complexity in machining and additive manufacturing to facilitate product design. Using experiments and simulation, he developed hybrid modular tooling for the automotive industry.

After obtaining his doctorate in mechanical engineering in 2009, Olivier left France for a one-year post-doctorate at Polytechnique Montréal (Canada), where he studied additive manufacturing techniques with the aim of finding out whether it is possible to manufacture objects using laser and electron beam technologies from silicon-rich lunar soil, so as to be able to repair tools in situ on the Moon.

In September 2010, Olivier joined the Brittany branch of ENS Cachan as Maître de Conférences. His work focused on design and manufacturing techniques using innovative technologies. He specialized in the environmental impact of product design and manufacture, with a particular focus on additive manufacturing of metal, polymer and composite materials. He pursued this line of research at the Institut de Recherche en Génie Civil et Mécanique (GeM, UMR 6183), in Nantes.

In 2018, Olivier took a research leave of absence and left for a two-year visiting professorship at Polytechnique Montréal in the mechanical engineering department. His work was centered on end-of-life aircraft design: the reuse, remanufacturing and repurposing of parts from aircraft that have completed their quota of ascents/descents and are no longer authorized to fly. Aircraft parts contain valuable materials that can be reused, for example, in engines, seats and so on. The main idea is to plan for this reuse of materials right from the design stage, to better meet environmental challenges, by integrating technical and economic criteria.

As part of a local teaching contract at Polytechnique Montréal, he gave lectures on mecanical engineering and developed other lines of research, notably on 3D-printed composite materials.

At the start of the 2020 academic year, he returned to ENS Rennes and intensified his collaboration with lecturers-researchers from the Mechanics and Glasses department at IPR. Indeed, ties and pedagogical and scientific proximity have existed since 2015, notably around the study of the surfaces of mechanical parts. Olivier put together a project to integrate IPR, and was awarded a professorship at ENS Rennes in 2023.

He is still working on environmental considerations in the manufacture of mechanical products, while also focusing on materials such as glass. The starting point for his research approach is the physics of a material and the transitions it undergoes during shaping.

Olivier joined IPR's Mechanics and Glasses department in June, and is also setting up collaborations with colleagues in other research units at the University of Rennes. His project is to work on the forming of materials by integrating technical, economic and environmental considerations, e.g. 3D printing of ceramics and machining of glass with shared resources, promoting interdisciplinarity. He uses the mechanism of material forming as the starting point, all the while seeking to understand and reduce environmental impacts.