LMA - Laboratoire de Mécanique et d’Acoustique

Waves and Imaging Team

The “Waves and Imaging” team specializes in mechanical wave propagation in complex fluid and solid media. Its research aims at imaging, characterizing and monitoring natural, biological or manufactured media in a non-destructive way based on acoustic waves. The range of research activities is wide, going from phenomenological modeling to experimental study, through the development of numerical simulation codes and high-performance computing.

Main scientific topics

  • Modeling for waves: physical, mathematical and numerical modeling, computer programs and numerical simulation tools, high-performance computing for propagation in complex media (porous, nonlinear, anisotropic, viscoelastic ...). Imaging (adjoint-based tomography, or full waveform inversion)...
  • Underwater acoustics, Seismics, Seismology: propagation and inversion in shallow water, discrimination of mobile sources in a marine environment, performance of sonar antennas, sediments and buried objects, characterization and imaging of complex geological structures based on seismic reflection analysis (strong topography, heterogeneous contact along interfaces and reflectors), seismic resolution, seismic hazard...
  • Non-Destructive Testing: ultrasonic characterization of structures in civil engineering (concrete, plaster), in aerospace engineering (composites, bondings), and energy (welding, steel), monitoring of the mechanical behavior of nuclear fuel under compression based on acoustic wave generation, sodium flow...
  • Medical Ultrasound: ultrasonic tomography for the detection of breast cancer as well as for the monitoring of growing media (bone, wood), source/object location optimization for imaging, ultrasound characterization of erythrocyte aggregation for vascular diseases, nonlinear acoustics for the prevention of decompression sickness, ultrasonic control of micro-bubble generation.

Transversality within the lab

Interaction with the two other teams:

  • Materials and Structures on the research topics called “Seismic wave propagation and bonding”, “Imaging and high-performance computing” and “Power law-based viscoelasticity”
  • Sounds on the research topic called “Nonlinear propagation in brass instruments”

Contribution to socio-economical aspects

Development of specific applications

  • Investigation of marine or terrestrial environments for societal purposes (protection of the environment as well as living beings, sea-bottom mapping, seismic hazard...) or economical purposes (seismic prospecting...)
  • Controlling the integrity of structures or the integrity of mechanical parts: welding, nuclear parts, wood industry, aeronautics, porous foams...
  • Ultrasonic characterization for prevention or monitoring of medical pathologies: erythrocyte hyperaggregation (patent no PCT/CA2008/000673), decompression sickness, detection and monitoring of breast cancer.

Awards, Distinctions, Outreach

  • Grant from the Simone and Cino del Duca Foundation, Institut de France / French Academy of Sciences in 2013
  • Ph.D. thesis award from SFEN in 2011
  • Young Scientific Award for the Best paper presented by a Graduate Student, International Conf. on Underwater Acoustics 2014
  • Associate Editor of the international journal Geophysics
  • Scientific Secretary of Section 9 of the National Committee of Scientific Research (2008-2016)
  • Membership of the Scientific Council of Engineering & Systems Institute (CNRS)
  • Direction Council of GDR Ondes 2451
  • Co-direction of GDRE-US (till 2014)
  • Membership of the Scientific and Technical Council of SHOM (2014-2017)



  • international:
    • Princeton Univ., Los Alamos National Laboratory, Columbia Univ., Seattle Univ., Florida State Univ., Virginia Univ., Louisville Univ., Delaware Univ. (USA)
    • Barcelona Supercomputing Center (Spain)
    • INOGS, INGV Trieste (Italy)
    • NTNU (Norway)
    • Univ. de St. Petersburg, IPGG (Russia)
    • Dortmund Univ. (Germany)
    • Univ. de Khémis Miliana, Univ. Houari Boumediene (Algeria)
    • Toronto Univ., Univ. de Montréal, Univ. of Alberta, Univ. de Sherbrooke (Canada)
    • Universidad de Bogotá (Colombia)
    • Kenya Polytechnic University College, Maseno Univ. (Kenya)
  • national:
    • In Marseille : ISM, IUSTI, M2P2, Institut Fresnel, CINaM, IRPHE
    • Outside of Marseille : Gipsa-Lab (Grenoble), Isterre (Grenoble), LAUM (Le Mans), IEMN (Lille), Centrale Lille, CREATIS (Lyon), LVA INSA (Lyon), LMDC INSA (Lyon),Centrale Lyon, ENSTA (Paris), LAAS (Toulouse), ISAE (Toulouse), LAMFA (Amiens), GHyMAc (Univ. Bordeaux), LCPC (Nantes)

National Labs

  • INSERM (Marseille), APHM Timone & Hôpital Nord (Marseille), CEA, CIRAD (Montpellier), INRIA (POems Paris), SHOM (Brest), IFFSTAR, SETRA ...


  • EDF, TOTAL, Thales Underwater System, SAFRAN, Saint-Gobain, société VERMON, société BF Systèmes ...



For an open application to an internship, a PhD or a postdoctoral fellowship, it’s here!


Sismologie Bulles Propagation dans le béton ASM en cuve océanique Os Cellules Sismique Déviation du faisceau US Ondes de surface en milieu anisotrope


Harold Berjamin Alexis BOTTERO Jean-François CHAIX Gilles CORNELOUP Paul CRISTINI Eric DEBIEU Nathalie FAVRETTO-CRISTINI Zine El Abiddine Fellah Emilie FRANCESCHINI Cécile GUEUDRE Régine GUILLERMIN Dimitri KOMATITSCH Philippe LASAYGUES Stéphanie LIEUTAUD Ivan LILLAMAND Bruno LOMBARD Serge MENSAH Joseph MOYSAN Erick OGAM Cédric Payan Joël PIRAUX Sandrine RAKOTONARIVO Thierry SCOTTI Quang Anh VU