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LAST NAME, first name MASSONNET, François
Citizenship Belgian
Date of birth 22nd of March, 1986
Marital status Married, two children
Work address Place Louis Pasteur 3, bte L4.03.08
Tel. (work) +32 10 47 33 04


Short bio

I am an Engineer in Applied Mathematics from the Université catholique de Louvain (2009). I obtained my PhD in Sciences in 2014 from UCL. During my PhD, under the supervision of Profs T. Fichefet and H. Goosse, I developed various metrics to evaluate sea ice models used in the framework of climate reconstructions, predictions and projections. I participated as a contributing author to the IPCC WG1 AR5 and was involved in several national and international research projects about climate prediction and predictability. I also implemented data assimilation methods in large-scale sea ice models for state and parameter estimation.

In 2014, I started a F.R.S. -FNRS Postdoctoral fellowship as a scientific visitor at the Catalan Institute of Climate Sciences (Spain). My main collaborators there were Francisco Doblas-Reyes and Virginie Guemas. I focused my research on the prediction of climate at seasonal to interannual time scales using the European community climate model EC-Earth. In 2015, I obtained 2-yr Juan de la Cierva Formación grant from the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitivity. I explored various aspects of seasonal-to-decadal polar and extra-polar prediction, including attribution of extreme events, improved initialization techniques, novel aspects of forecast verification and linkages of the Arctic system with lower latitudes. In particular, I implemented an ensemble coupled sea ice data assimilation method in the General Circulation Model EC-Earth for initialization of near-term predictions in both the Arctic and Antarctic regions.

Since December 2016, I am a F.R.S.-FNRS Postdoctoral Researcher at the Université catholique de Louvain. My work is focused on the use and assessment of climate general circulation models for prediction at time scales from the month to the decade.

Research and publications

I authored or co-authored 33 publications from the peer-reviewed literature. I participated as contributing author to the 5th assessment of the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report. I have given more than 50 poster or oral presentations in international conferences (invited 8 times, 3 keynote). A detailed list of these publications is available here.


  • 2009: Master degree in Engineering, orientation Applied Mathematics at Université Catholique de Louvain, Belgium (La Plus Grande Distinction). Master thesis: Trafic autoroutier: analyse, gestion et stabilité au niveau microscopique. (supervisors: G. Bastin and G. Campion). Full text (french) or Short version (french).
  • 2007-2008: Exchange at the Simon Fraser University (Vancouver, Canada)
  • 2004: High school degree at Collège Saint-Michel, Bruxelles.

Scientific involvements

  • Leader of the SIPN South project
  • Member of the leadership Sea Ice MIP panel of CMIP6 
  • Work package leader in the APPLICATE H2020 EU project, scientific involvement in the PRIMAVERA H2020 project
  • PI for UCL in the SQUARE4ECVs contract (Copernicus Climate Change services)
  • Co-convener of the SCAR Open Science Conference session "Antarctica in a Global System" (August 2016)
  • Co-convener of the IUGG General Assembly session "Evaluation of the Cryosphere in CMIP5 models" (June 2015)
  • CliC fellow for the Year of Polar Prediction
  • Belgian National representative of the SOOS and SORP projects.
  • Member of the Southern Ocean Regional Panel (SORP) of the WCRP/CLIVAR/CLiC project.
  • Member of the Sea Ice Prediction Network (SIPN) Sea ice Outlook team. (See contributions here and here)
  • Contributing author to the IPCC AR5 (Chapter 12, Long-term projections)

Teaching experience

I supervised five MSc theses and am currently in the jury of two PhD students: Christophe Calone (LGGE, Grenoble) and Sylvain Marchi (UCL, Louvain-la-Neuve).

I was/am a teaching assistant for the following courses:

  • LPHY1212: Exercices intégrés et data processing
  • PHY1113: Physique générale
  • FSAB 1202: Electromagnétisme et mécanique (partie mécanique)
  • FSAB 1101: Mathématiques 1

Computer Skills

Operating Systems: UNIX (Shell programming), Windows

Programming: Matlab, Fortran, R, Python

Production: Word, LaTeX, Power Point


Language Skills

Mother tongue: French; fluent in English (EU level: C1) and Dutch (B2); notions in Spanish.


  • Tennis, soccer, cycling, running (3 marathons)
  • Piano, photography, cooking.