After his undergraduate studies at Ecole Normale Supérieure de Cachan in France, Gilles Pijaudier-Cabot obtained a doctorate degree from Université Pierre et Marie Curie in 1985 and a Ph.D. from Northwestern University in 1987. It was during his stay at Northwestern University that the non local damage theory was developed, bridging the gap between continuum mechanics and fracture mechanics in solid materials. His first paper entitled “Non local Damage Theory” (by Pijaudier-Cabot and Bazant, 1987) is at the origin of the development of a new class of constitutive relations for failure analyses: non local models based on local strains. His work has entered today in the state-of-the-art practice in computational analyses dealing with concrete, geomaterials and quasi-brittle composites. According to the web of science, published papers with keywords “non local damage” or its subsequent outcome “gradient damage” amount to more than 1000 since 1990.
Gilles Pijaudier-Cabot's research activities turned toward durability mechanics and chemo-mechanical issues in 1999. With other colleagues at MIT, Georgia Tech., University of Colorado, TU Wien and TU Delft, he promoted research in Durability Mechanics focusing on cementitious materials but also on biological materials. His activities encompassed experimental - theoretical and computational studies on problems like calcium leaching effect in concrete for nuclear waste storage, durability of nuclear vessels, durability of self compacting concrete or self healing of advanced cement based materials.
Recruited by the Université de Pau et des Pays de l’Adour in 2007, he led pioneering works on electro-hydraulic fracturing techniques viewed as potential alternatives to hydraulic fracturing within the joint laboratory with CNRS and TOTAL (LFCR-UMR 5150). In 2008, he received an advanced grant from ERC focused on fracture and fluid flow in porous materials (rocks, concrete). He extended the classical poromechanics framework towards microporous materials and engaged research on multiscale mechanics of geomaterials (elasticity, fracture, time-dependent response and transfer properties coupled to damage). He was elected as Senior member of Institut Universitaire de France in 2012, holding a chair on geomechanics dedicated to this topic.
Gilles Pijaudier-Cabot has published over 125 refereed papers which have received over 3600 citations (h-index = 29).