Prof. François Avellan

Full Professor

Prof. François Avellan, director of the EPFL Laboratory for Hydraulic Machines, graduated in Hydraulic Engineering from Ecole nationale supérieure d'hydraulique, Institut national polytechnique de Grenoble, France, in 1977 and, in 1980, got his doctoral degree in engineering from University of Aix-Marseille II, France. Research associate at EPFL in 1980, he is director of the EPFL Laboratory for Hydraulic Machines since 1994 and, in 2003, was appointed Ordinary Professor in Hydraulic Machinery. Supervising 37 EPFL doctoral theses, he was distinguished by SHF, Société hydrotechnique de France, awarding him the "Grand Prix 2010 de l'hydrotechnique". His main research domains of interests are hydrodynamics of turbine, pump and pump-turbines including cavitation, hydro-acoustics, design, performance and operation assessments of hydraulic machines. Prof. Avellan was Chairman of the IAHR Section on Hydraulic Machinery and Systems from 2002 to 2012. He has conducted successfully several Swiss and international collaborative research projects, involving key hydropower operators and suppliers, such as:
- Coordination for the FP7 European project n° 608532 "HYPERBOLE: HYdropower plants PERformance and flexiBle Operation towards Lean integration of new renewable Energies" (2013-2017);
- Deputy Head of the Swiss Competence Center for Energy Research – Supply of Electricity (SCCER-SoE) to carry out innovative and sustainable research in the areas of geo-energy and hydropower for phase I (2013-2016) and Phase II (2017, 2010) to be approved.
- EUREKA European research projects: N° 4150 and N° 3246, "HYDRODYNA, Harnessing the dynamic behavior of pump-turbines", (2003-2011), N° 1605, "FLINDT, Flow Investigation in Draft Tubes",, (1997-2002). N° 2418, "SCAPIN, Stability of Operation of Francis turbines, prediction and modeling";
- Swiss KTI/CTI research projects with GE Renewable Energy (anc. ALSTOM Hydro), Birr, ANDRITZ Hydro, Kriens, FMV, Sion, Groupe E, Granges-Paccot, Power Vision engineering, Ecublens and SULZER Pumps, Winterthur.
- ETH Domain, HYDRONET Project for the Competence Center Energy and Mobility, PSI Villingen.
Furthermore, he is involved in scientific expertise and independent contractual experimental validations of turbines and pump turbines performances for the main hydropower plants in the world. In recognition for his work as Convenor of the TC4 working group of experts in editing the IEC 60193 standard he received the "IEC 1906 Award" from the International Electrotechnical Commission.


Research Area

The EPFL Laboratory for Hydraulic Machinery is dedicated to the enhancement of knowledge in the field of hydrodynamics applied to turbines, pumps, pump-turbines, hydraulic systems and system performance validation for the next generation of hydropower plants; these power plants being the key components for the development of the future power generation mix of renewable energy. Advanced numerical simulation methods and unique experimental infrastructures enable the EPFL Laboratory for Hydraulic Machines to harness complex hydrodynamics phenomena such as 3D unsteady turbulent separated flow, rotating stall, cavitation, hydro-acoustics and fluid-structure coupling.
The EPFL Laboratory for Hydraulic Machinery is internationally renowned for the independent experimental validations of the hydraulic performance of the turbines and pump-turbines performed for the major hydropower plants in the world. The scientific and technical expertise as well as the experimental and computing infrastructure make EPFL a center of scientific excellence in the field of hydraulic machinery and systems and bring the Laboratory research activity at the edge of the turbine technology developments as it is highlighted through its industrial relationships.


François AVELLAN
AU -1 7024 (Aula des Cèdres - sous-sol)
Av. de Cour 33bis
CH-1007 Lausanne