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Engineering a French connection

8 February 2006

Two French PhD students are undertaking part of their research in Monash's Engineering faculty this year and two Monash PhD researchers will study in France, as part of the international collaboration program Cotutelle.

Mr Clement Roy and Ms Bronwyn Stewart.

Mr Clement Roy of the Université de Provence in Marseille is working at the Clayton campus, while Monash researcher Mr Martin Griffith is at the Université de Provence.

Monash PhD student Ms Bronwyn Stewart will leave for the Université de Provence later this year, while Mr Sebastien Le Coustumer, of the Institute National des Sciences Appliquees in Lyon, will arrive at Monash later this month.

The four researchers will divide their three years of PhD work between France and Australia.

At the successful completion of their studies, they will be awarded doctoral degrees from both universities.

Mr Roy, who started at Monash in November last year, plans to stay for 12 months. His work focuses on the problem of the whirling air or vortices in the wake of aircraft.

"With the new, larger commercial aircraft, there is a requirement to dissipate the vortices more quickly to ease pressure on the waiting times for subsequent aircraft to be able to take off," he said.

"For me, postgraduate studies really give me the opportunity to investigate deeply a subject I am interested in. Also, spending this year in Australia is a very enriching experience because it combines work, travel and learning English."

Ms Stewart, who completed a Bachelor of Science/Bachelor of Engineering (Mechanical) with first class honours in 2004, is looking forward to a year's work in southern France.

"The encouragement offered by Monash and my supervisors to attend international conferences and meet experts in their field during my undergraduate years has been invaluable in preparing me for my doctoral studies in France," she said.

Ms Stewart is using computational fluid dynamics to study how particles in fluids move when close to walls.

"This work supports research into finding how leukocytes (white blood cells) roll and adhere to blood vessel walls -- an important part of the body's immune process," she said.

Mr Griffith is conducting bioengineering research, looking at the problem of blockages in blood vessels, and Mr Le Coustumer is examining ways to improve urban stormwater filtration systems.