Physicist born in 1952 and died on 15 June 2013, Emmanuel Rosencher had been ONERA's Scientific Director since October 2010 and a professor at the École Polytechnique.
Former student of the Ecole Polytechnique (1972) and the Ecole Nationale Superieure des Telecommunications, he completed a PhD in applied mathematics in 1978. Researcher at the Laboratory of Solid State Physics of the Ecole Normale Supérieure from 1978 to 1979, he joined CNET in Grenoble (1979) first as a researcher and then as head of the Laboratory "Physics of microelectronic components." Thereafter, he joined Thomson-CSF (now Thales) as Head of the Laboratory of Physics.
In 1998 he joined the ONERA as head of the “Optics and Plasma Diagnostics” Research Unit. In 2003, he became Director of the Physics branch where he had a scientific point of view on four departments and more than 350 people. In October 2010, he was appointed Scientific Director of ONERA (DSG). As such, Emmanuel Rosencher prepared the Scientific Strategic Plan. He was also responsible for the allocation of grants to doctoral students, the promotion of scientific personnel and the national and international scientific influence of ONERA.
He has been also, since 2004, professor of the Department of Physics at the École Polytechnique.
He was the author of over 300 publications, including 160 articles in international refereed journals such as "Nature" and "Science" in the fields of materials and heterostructures in semiconductor physics, nonlinear optics, laser, infrared detection and plasmas.
Emmanuel Rosencher was known for his pioneering work in opto-electronics, discipline he had contributed to spread within the community of students and researchers. His discovery of asymmetric quantum wells had paved the way for the realization of infrared detectors used today in many fields.
He wrote and co-authored over 180 articles in the field of nonlinear semiconductor heterostructures, optics, laser physics and infrared detection. His research led him to apply for more than twenty patents.
Numerous awards capped a leading scientific career:
- 1991 : prix Foucault 1991 (Experimental Physics, Société Française de Physique)
- 1997 : Thomson Best Patent Price
- 1998 : Fellow of the Institute of Physics (IoP)
- 2000 : prix Montgolfier (Arts Physiques, 2000)
- 2001 : prix Arnulf-Françon 2001 (Société Française d'Optique)
- 2002 : Fellow of the Optical Society
- 2003 : grand prix EDP-Sciences de physique appliquée (Société française de physique)
- 2003 : chevalier dans l’Ordre National du Mérite
- 2003 : Fellow of the Optical Society of America (OSA)
- 2005 : Fellow of IEEE (Laser and ElectroOptics)
- 2009 : chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur
- 2010 : grand prix France Telecom de l’Académie des sciences
Beyond its undeniable scientific qualities, the man was enthusiastic, always ready to meet new challenges. It was a free spirit, open and curious. He lived his life and career, eager to advance science as conceived humanists: a factor of human progress. Accessible, attentive to his colleagues and his students, his sense of humor and his great human qualities were unanimously appreciated. His death is a great loss to Onera.