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Two young PhDs rewarded for their theses

"Optimizing the shape of multiphysical systems" and "Understanding decision-making under risk and delay": these themes earned the young doctors Florian Feppon and Tomáš Jagelka the recognition of their peers. Their theses are awarded “best thesis” in applied mathematics and economics respectively.

Optimisation of the shape of a 3-d hydraulic system for maximising heat transfer.

Defended in 2019, the theses of Florian Feppon, a young researcher at the Centre for Applied Mathematics at École polytechnique (CMAP*) and Tomáš Jagelka, who completed his thesis at the Centre for Research in Economics and Statistics (CREST*), were distinguished by their peers in 2020.

Florian Feppon - Optimization of the shape of multiphysical systems

Florian Feppon is the winner of the SMAI-GAMNI 2020 thesis prize from the Société de Mathématiques Appliquées et Industrielles, which rewards the best thesis defended in 2019 in applied mathematics and scientific computing for engineering sciences.

Florian Feppon's thesis was carried out thanks to the CIFRE scheme under the supervision of Grégoire Allaire, Professor of Applied Mathematics at X and Charles Dapogny (Grenobles Alpes University) in collaboration with Safran company. It is dedicated to the optimization of the shape of multiphysical systems motivated by applications in the aeronautics industry. Shape optimization is a branch of mathematics concerned with the development of numerical methods. Using computer tools, it allows the automatic calculation of optimized shapes without any preconceived ideas. One of the main outcomes of the thesis was to extend these methods for systems in the aeronautics industry by coupling hydraulic, thermal and mechanical properties, and then to verify their validity by processing a few test cases in 3D.

Today, Florian Feppon is continuing the work he carried out at CMAP thanks to a post-doctoral position within Grégoire Allaire's research team.

Tomáš Jagelka - Understanding decision-making under risk and delay

Tomáš Jagelka is the winner of the 2020 thesis prize of the French Association of Economic Science (ASFE) with the support of the Banque de France Foundation, together with Laura Khoury who did her thesis at the Paris School of Economics.

Tomáš Jagelka carried out his thesis under the supervision of Christian Belzil, Director of Research at the CNRS and Professor at l’X in the Economics Department. His work focused on the link between economic and psychological models to explain the motivations of human behaviour. In particular, he demonstrated a link between risk and time preference - basic parameters in economic models - and three of the five main psychological traits of personality (the "Big Five"). This work has enabled him to propose a Consistency Index which predicts an individual’s tendency to make inconsistent decisions. These findings have implications for understanding how preferences, personality, and cognitive ability influence life outcomes such as inequality, health, and success in school and in the professional sphere.

From his first paper, Tomáš Jagelka's research was spotted by Nobel Prize winner in economics James Heckman, who incorporated his findings into his course at the University of Chicago. As a result, he proposed a collaboration with him to determine the number and nature of skills needed for success in school, work, and physical and mental health. Tomáš Jagelka maintains this collaboration by pursuing a post-doctoral contract at the University of Bonn in Germany with Professor Thomas Dohmen in the ECONtribute "Cluster of Excellence".

*CMAP: a CNRS-École polytechnique Joint Research Unit
CREST: a CNRS-GENES-École polytechnique Joint Research Unit