Brantut Receives 2015 Mineral and Rock Physics Early Career Award

Nicolas Brantut will receive the 2015 Mineral and Rock Physics Early Career Award at the 2015 American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting, to be held 14–18 December in San Francisco, Calif. The award is for promising young scientists in recognition of outstanding contributions achieved during their Ph.D. research.


The Mineral and Rock Physics focus group of the American Geophysical Union is pleased to honor Dr. Nicolas Brantut as the recipient of the 2015 Mineral and Rock Physics Early Career Award. Nicolas earned his master’s and Ph.D. from the École Normale Supérieure in Paris in 2010, working with Professor Alexandre Schubnel, Professor Yves Guéguen, and Professor Toshihiko Shimamoto (at Kyoto University). Following his Ph.D., Nicolas moved to University College London (UCL), where he worked as a postdoctoral researcher with Professor Philip Meredith. Nicolas’s research has ranged from experimental studies to complementary theoretical advances.  Over his short career, he has made several important contributions to our understanding of fracture and friction and has shown in elegant ways how mineral chemistry and physics interact during coseismic deformation. At the present time Nicolas is completing a prestigious Natural Environment Research Council research fellowship, after which he will accept a faculty appointment at UCL.  Congratulations, Nicolas!

—Philip A. Skemer, Washington University in Saint Louis, Saint Louis, Mo.



I am deeply honored to receive this year’s Mineral and Rock Physics Early Career Award. I would like to thank my Ph.D. adviser, Alexandre Schubnel, for setting me up on a great research topic, his invaluable insight, and his patience with me. I am also grateful to Yves Guéguen, who made me discover rock physics during his fantastic lectures at École Normale Supérieure (ENS), and to Toshi Shimamoto for his support during my visits in his laboratory in Kyoto and then Hiroshima. I have had the immense luck to study and then work at ENS in Paris, where I received a high-level, free education and found an incomparable research environment and a friendly atmosphere.

My research is multidisciplinary and collaborative, and in the past few years I have been involved in a number of projects in the United States, France, and the United Kingdom. I would like to acknowledge the strong support I have received from everyone I have worked (and continue to work) with. In particular, I am forever thankful to Jim Rice, who welcomed me in his group at a critical time after my Ph.D. and from whom I learned a lot despite the short time allowed. A special mention goes to Phil Meredith, who gave me total freedom during my postdoc with him and who continues to support me in a variety of ways (including understanding the arcane details of the British culture and research system).

This Early Career Award is a mark of trust and an encouragement for future work, and it gives me further motivation to do the best possible work in the coming years.

—Nicolas Brantut, University College London, London, U.K.