Christophe Eloy

I am a Professor of Fluid Mechanics at Centrale Marseille, and my research activity is carried out at the IRPHE institute in Marseille.

My research addresses various fundamental problems of fluid and solid mechanics, including fluid-structure interactions, hydrodynamic instabilities, animal locomotion, aeroelasticity, rotating flows, and plant biomechanics. It generally involves a combination of analytical modeling, experiments, and numerical work.





There are several examples of convergent evolution among swimming animals (sharks, dolphins, and ichthyosaurs, for instance). This raises several important questions: What is the relation between form and function for these animals? Can the fish shapes be understood in terms of hydrodynamics only? Can we design performant swimming robots inspired from fish? (Right picture: Carp swimming through weeds in a stream, by Ando Hiroshige.)


Flag Flutter


A flag starts to flutter when it is placed in a flow with sufficient speed. This model problem of fluid-structure interactions has been extensively studied since the pioneering works of Rayleigh in the 19th century. Yet, its nonlinear dynamics is still poorly understood and efficient methods to extract energy from this aeroelastic instability remain to be developed.


Tree Architecture


In his notebooks, Leonardo da Vinci observed that “all the branches of a tree at every stage of its height, when put together, are equal in thickness to the trunk”. Yet, the mechanisms underlying this Leonardo’s rule are still debated today. One hypothesis is that branches sense wind-induced loads and adjust their diameters to resist fracture, while keeping biomass investments to a minimum.

Media Coverage

Flagella and Cilia


Flagella and cilia are slender organelles used by eukaryotic cells to produce or sense flow. Although their internal structure, the axoneme, has been remarkably conserved throughout evolution, their kinematics can be very diverse. We have studied whether these kinematics could result from a minimization of energetic costs.



  1. Eloy, C., Fournier, M., Lacointe, A., Moulia, B., Wind loads and competition for light sculpt trees into self-similar structures. submitted (2016).
  2. 2016

  3. Arbie, M. R., Ehrenstein, U., Eloy, C., Stability of momentumless wakes. J. Fluid Mech., 808, 316-336 (2016).  
  4. Lagrange, R., Meunier, P., Eloy, C., Triadic instability of a non-resonant precessing fluid cylinder. C. R. Mécanique, 344, 418-433 (2016).  
  5. Paraz, F., Schouveiler, L., Eloy, C., Thrust generation by a heaving flexible foil: Resonance, nonlinearities, and optimality. Phys. Fluids, 28, 011903 (2016).  
  6. 2015

  7. Morin, A., Caussin, J.-B., Eloy, C., Bartolo, D., Collective motion with anticipation: Flocking, spinning, and swarming. Phys. Rev. E, 91, 012134 (2015).  
  8. 2014

  9. Lopez, D., Eloy, C., Michelin, S., de Langre, E., Drag reduction, from bending to pruning. Europhys. Lett., 108, 48002 (2014).  
  10. Paraz, F., Eloy, C., Schouveiler, L., Vortex patterns generated by a heaving flexible plate. J. Vis., 17, 295-297 (2014).  
  11. Paraz, F., Eloy, C., Schouveiler, L., Experimental study of the response of a flexible plate to a harmonic forcing in a flow. C. R. Mecanique, 342, 532-538 (2014).  
  12. Ehrenstein, U., Marquillie, M., Eloy, C., Skin friction on a flapping plate in uniform flow. Phil. Trans. R. Soc. A., 372, 20130345 (2014).  
  13. Arellano Castro, R., Guillamot, L., Cros, A., Eloy, C., Non-linear effects on the resonant frequencies of a cantilevered plate. J. Fluids Struct., 46, 165-173 (2014).  
  14. 2013

  15. Schouveiler, L., Eloy, C., Flow-induced draping. Phys. Rev. Lett., 111, 064301 (2013).  
  16. Lauga, E., Eloy, C., Shape of optimal active flagella. J. Fluid Mech., 730, R1 (2013).  
  17. Ehrenstein, U., Eloy, C., Skin friction on a moving wall and its implications for swimming animals. J. Fluid Mech., 718, 321-346 (2013).  
  18. Eloy, C., On the best design for undulatory swimming. J. Fluid Mech., 717, 48-89 (2013).  
  19. 2012

  20. Eloy, C., Lauga, E., Kinematics of the most efficient cilium. Phys. Rev. Lett., 109, 038101 (2012).  
  21. Eloy, C., Optimal Strouhal number for swimming animals. J. Fluids Struct., 30, 205-218 (2012).  
  22. Eloy, C., Kofman, N., Schouveiler, L., The origin of hysteresis in the flag instability. J. Fluid Mech., 691, 583-593 (2012).  
  23. 2011

  24. Eloy, C., Leonardo's rule, self-similarity and wind-induced stresses in trees. Phys. Rev. Lett., 107, 258101 (2011).  
  25. Eloy, C., Schouveiler, L., Optimisation of two-dimensional undulatory swimming at high Reynolds number. Int. J. Nonlinear Mech., 46, 568 (2011).  
  26. Doaré, O., Sauzade, M., Eloy, C., Flutter of an elastic plate in a channel flow: Confinement and finite-size effects. J. Fluids Struct., 27, 76-88 (2011).  
  27. Lagrange, R., Meunier, P., Nadal, F., Eloy, C., Precessional instability of a fluid cylinder. J. Fluid Mech., 666, 104-145 (2011).  
  28. 2010

  29. Eloy, C., Doaré, O., Duchemin, L., Schouveiler, L., A unified introduction to fluid mechanics of flying and swimming at high Reynolds number. Exp. Mech., 50, 1361-1366 (2010).  
  30. Buchak, P., Eloy, C., Reis, P. M., The clapping book: Wind-driven oscillations in a stack of elastic sheets. Phys. Rev. Lett., 105, 194301 (2010).  
  31. 2009

  32. Lagrange, R., Meunier, P., Eloy, C., Nadal, F., Dynamics of a fluid inside a precessing cylinder. Mec. Ind., 10, 187-194 (2009).  
  33. Schouveiler, L., Eloy, C., Coupled flutter of parallel plates. Phys. Fluids, 21, 081703 (2009).  
  34. 2008

  35. Eloy, C., Lagrange, R., Souilliez, C., Schouveiler, L., Aeroelastic instability of cantilevered flexible plates in uniform flow. J. Fluid Mech., 611, 97 (2008).  
  36. Lagrange, R., Eloy, C., Nadal, F., Meunier, P., Instability of a fluid inside a precessing cylinder. Phys. Fluids, 20, 081701 (2008).  
  37. Meunier, P., Eloy, C., Lagrange, R., Nadal, F., A rotating fluid cylinder subject to weak precession. J. Fluid Mech., 599, 405-440 (2008).  
  38. 2007

  39. Eloy, C., Souilliez, C., Schouveiler, L., Flutter of a rectangular plate. J. Fluids Struct., 23, 904-919 (2007).  
  40. Older articles

  41. Souilliez, C., Schouveiler, L., Eloy, C., Flutter modes of a flexible plate in an air flow. J. Vis., 9, 242 (2006).  
  42. Schouveiler, L., Eloy, C., Le Gal, P., Flow-induced vibrations of high mass ratio flexible filaments freely hanging in a flow. Phys. Fluids, 17, 047104, 8 pages (2005).  
  43. Eloy, C., Le Gal, P., Le Dizès, S., Elliptic and triangular instabilities in rotating cylinders. J. Fluid Mech., 476, 357-388 (2003).  
  44. Eloy, C., Le Dizès, S., Stability of the Rankine vortex in a multipolar strain field. Phys. Fluids, 13, 660-676 (2001).  
  45. Eloy, C., Le Gal, P., Le Dizès, S., Experimental study of the multipolar vortex instability. Phys. Rev. Lett., 85, 3400-3403 (2000).  
  46. Eloy, C., Le Dizès, S., Three-dimensional instability of Burgers and Lamb-Oseen vortices in a strain field. J. Fluid Mech., 378, 145-166 (1999).  
  47. Le Dizès, S., Eloy, C., Short-wavelength instability of a vortex in a multipolar strain field. Phys. Fluids, 11, 500-502 (1999).  
  48. Eloy, C., Clément, E., Stochastic aspects of the force network in a regular granular piling. J. Phys. I France, 7, 1541-1558 (1997).  
  49. Gurnis, M., Eloy, C., Zhong, S., Free-surface formulation of mantle convection, part 2: Implication for subduction zone observables. Geophys. J. Int., 127, 719-727 (1996).  


I am always open to new projects and collaborations, so feel free to contact me.



IRPHE - UMR 7342
49 rue Joliot-Curie
13013 Marseille
+33 4 13 55 20 49

Centrale Marseille
Bureau 113 - Plot 2
38 rue Joliot-Curie
13013 Marseille

Copyright © Christophe Eloy 2016.
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