François Ducastelle passed away

François Ducastelle passed away

It is with great sadness that we have learned of the sudden death of our colleague François Ducastelle, which happened on Friday 2 July 2021.

François joined ONERA in 1965 as a trainee and was hired as junior scientist in 1968. He prepared his two theses and spent his entire career as a researcher. From 1981 to 1997, he was head of the Solid State Physics Division in the Materials Directorate (OM), then was deputy director of the LEM until his emeritus in 2008.

An outstanding physicist, François has had a profound impact on the many disciplinary fields he has tackled: the electronic structure of metals and their alloys, the statistical physics of order-disorder and phase transitions, growth modes and spectroscopic properties of low-dimensional materials. 

Through the extensive nature of his work, his involvement in the management of the LEM and his enthusiasm for research, François has made a major contribution to shaping the laboratory of today and to its influence.     

All those who have worked with François, from the doctoral students he trained to the many colleagues he guided and who came to him for advice and enlightenment, testify to the wide range of his knowledge, the depth of his analysis, the power and elegance of his reasoning, his teaching skills and his benevolence.

Always active and involved in numerous projects, François maintained a dynamic of collective research and numerous interactions with the international scientific community.  He also interacted with young researchers on a daily basis, with great humility and humanity.

A great physicist has passed away. His memory and his teaching remain.

His death leaves a lot of sadness and a big void in the laboratory.

Our thoughts are with his family and friends, to whom we offer our sincere condolences.

Mathieu Fèvre ( is the point of contact for information about the funeral and for expressions of support to his family.

Testimonies, tributes and memories of our colleague François can be posted at the following link :



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