Prof. Helena Van Swygenhoven

Full Professor

Helena Van Swygenhoven studied physics in the Free University of Brussels, was research assistant in the University Center of Limburg, received her PhD degree in physics from the Central Jury in Belgium on radiation damage in materials (1983). She then went back as postdoctoral fellow at the Free University of Brussels.

After a professional break for motherhood (1989-1991), she joined the Fusion Technology Division at the Paul Scherrer Institute with a Marie-Heim Voegtlin stipendium from the Swiss National Science Foundation. She moved to the Neutron Spallation Source department, starting a research group in the field of nanostructured materials (1993), involving as well experimental research as computer modelling.


Research Area

Group leader at the Paul Scherrer Institute in Villigen (PSI), NUM department.

The research aims to develop synergies between in-situ X-ray/neutron diffraction experiments and computational material science.

In-situ mechanical testing experiments are carried out at the Swiss light source (SLS) and the Swiss spallation neutron source (SINQ) to investigate structural/functional and mechanical properties of materials. The research includes small scale plasticity in confined metallic systems, the relation between microstructure and mechanical behavior in interface dominated metallic alloys and the role of residual stresses in the performance of advanced alloys and steels. The research is supported by large scale atomistic computer simulations to guide the experiments. Computational tools are developed  to be used as bottom-up approach for the interpretation of monochromatic powder diffraction and white beam Laue diffraction patterns.



BM 4101 (Bâtiment BM)
Station 17
CH-1015 Lausanne