Dominique Grebille (1957–2009)

[Dominique Grebille]

Dominique Grebille passed away on January 27, 2009, at the age of 51, in Caen. He received an engineers diploma from the Ecole Centrale (Paris) in 1980, joined the Chimie-Physique du Solide Laboratory and defended his PhD entitled 'Etude de produits boehmitiques peu cristallisés obtenus à partir de gels d'oxychlorure d'aluminium' in 1982. At that time, military service was still an obligation in France, unless you performed alternate services. For two years he taught Braille at the Group of Blind and Amblyopic Intellectuals, a skill which he used to help others throughout his working life. Dominique became an assistant professor at the Ecole Centrale, teaching physics and crystallography, and habilitated in 1992. He joined the CRISMAT Laboratory at ENSICEAN as full professor, and animated the crystallography team.

His main research interest was in modulated, incommensurate, composite and aperiodic structures of superconductors, magnetoresistive or thermoelectric compounds. He was a pioneer in the analyses of new commensurate and incommensurate structures of high temperature superconducting oxides. For this analysis he developed new crystallographic tools. His studies of modulated, and composite crystals using the superspace formalism are among the most highly regarded. Recently, he concentrated on high resolution characterization of multilayers and superlattices exhibiting multiferroic properties, and materials irradiated by heavy ions. He has more than 75 publications in international journals.

Dominique was a kind and generous teacher who supervised eight PhD students now working in various laboratories. He served the crystallographic community as vice president of the French Crystallographic Assn, by organizing a crystallographic congress in Caen, and conducting an employment survey involving crystallographers in many fields of science and industry. Dominique was a brilliant scientist, a modest humanitarian, and a gentle human being who was supportive of the blind and critical of bureaucracy. His premature death ends a brilliant career, but his spirit will remain in our memory forever.

Olivier Pérez, Daniel Chateigner, and Jean-François Berar