Skip to Content Skip to Search Skip to Utility Navigation Skip to Top Navigation Skip to Content Navigation
Los Alamos National Laboratory
Los Alamos National Laboratory links to site home page
Delivering science and technology to protect our nation and promote world stability
LANL

Marianne Francois—Scientific modeling of materials and climate

Her ability to model the complexity of nuclear weapons systems through advanced numerical methods play an important role in supporting nonproliferation efforts.
March 11, 2014
Marianne Francois

Francois became a postdoc at the Lab in 2002, where she is now a deputy group leader. A pilot, she (somewhat) jokingly says she chose Los Alamos because it has an airport atop a mesa.

    Francois says. “Don’t get discouraged by what others say. Stay focused. Seek opportunities to discover what you like and set intermediate and long-term goals.”

    Marianne Francois—Scientific modeling of materials and climate

    With her eyes on the sky, Marianne François left pastoral Normandy in the French countryside to study flight. She landed in Florida, where she obtained her master’s of science in aerospace engineering at Embry-Riddle, the world's largest aviation university. She followed with doctoral studies at the University of Florida. Throughout college, she was inspired by research at one of the largest scientific institutions in the world: Los Alamos National Laboratory. 

    So, in 2002, François became a postdoc at the Lab, where she is now a deputy group leader. A pilot, she (somewhat) jokingly says she chose Los Alamos because it has an airport atop a mesa.

    Fluid dynamics reveals answers to many physical processes

    In the Lab’s Theoretical Division, François helps lead the group that researches fluid dynamics and solid mechanics. Understanding how fluids flow and interact with their surroundings is important to daily life. Ocean currents, tornadoes, water vapor that an airplane or car encounters—even the flow of blood through the cardiovascular system—are all guided by fluid dynamics.

    Additionally, François and her group study materials and climate modeling and create large-scale computational simulations. They couple advanced numerical methods with models to better understand physical processes such as turbulence, heat transfer, chemical reactions, phase change and plasma behavior.

    Research supports nonproliferation efforts

    This work is applied to nuclear weapons and reactor design and safety, combustion engine design, energy industries, materials fabrication, medicine and global climate science.

    Her 2006 paper published in the Journal of Computational Physics revealing numerical methods for the modeling of interfacial flow with surface tension has been cited nearly 250 times.

    Aim high, stay focused

    A civil air patrol pilot, François also volunteers for search and rescue missions. On ground, she leads the aviation and aerospace workshop in the Expanding Your Horizons program that supports technical career development for girls.

    She urges young women to dream big and believe in themselves. “Don’t get discouraged by what others say. Stay focused. Seek opportunities to discover what you like and set intermediate and long-term goals,” says François, a recipient of the Lab’s 2014 Women Who Inspire awards.




    Innovations for a secure nation

    Novel rocket design flight tested

    Novel rocket design flight tested

    The new rocket fuel and motor design adds a higher degree of safety by separating the fuel from the oxidizer, both novel formulations that are, by themselves, not able to detonate.

    » All Innovations

    Calendars

    Contact LANL

    Mailing Address
    P.O. Box 1663
    Los Alamos, NM 87545

    Journalist Queries
    Communications Office
    (505) 667-7000

    Directory Assistance
    (505) 667-5061

    All Contacts, Media







    Visit Blogger Join Us on Facebook Follow Us on Twitter See our Flickr Photos Watch Our YouTube Videos Find Us on LinkedIn Find Us on iTunes