PhD Candidate in Mining Engineering
Rock fracturing under microwave irradiation: development of analytical methods and investigation of bounded water contribution in granitoids (funded by NSF)
K-12 outreach topics
Microwave irradiation and the electromagnetic spectrum, mineralogy, fractures, mining life cycle, mineral processing, fundamentals of mining (bilingual English/French)
I was born and raised in France. I received my masters degree in geological engineering majoring in mining engineering with a minor in environmental sciences from the École Nationale Supérieure de Geologie (ENSG). I first attended Colorado School of Mines in 2015 as part of an exchange program before working for 6 months for Arrakis Inc. in Denver. I joined the Mining Geology research group in 2016 to work on my PhD. My research is partly funded by the NSF as part of an EAGER grant: Exploratory Research on Rock Damage from Geologic and Induced Thermal Loading. This project led me to develop a new integrated method to study fractures (see publications page, Nicco et al., 2018). I am now focusing on mineralogical associations and the contribution of hydrated minerals in microwave-induced fracturing of granitic rocks. Comminution (rock breaking) is one of the most energy-intensive and expensive steps in the mining life cycle. By understanding how rock breaks I hope to provide guidelines on which ores are suitable for microwave-assisted comminution, which is a potentially energy-saving application of microwave irradiation. I spend my spare time reading at home and advocating for more wine-and-cheese seminars in the department.