The best of (international!) 2018
2018 was a great year for international activity at the UGA. Check out the highlights month by month below.


2018 kicks off with exciting new research into Huntington’s disease. Grenoble University hospital researchers used the techniques of microfluidics – a precise manipulation of fluids kept to a space less than a millimeter – to better understand the precise mechanisms of the disease. The results were published in the journal Cell Reports.

Also in January, the UGA partners with Latin American institutions to train students in entrepreneurship, Grenoble's ongoing partnership with Sfax in Tunisia is expressed in student work at the Institute of Geography and Urban Planning, and a new exo-planet is discovered.


February marks the anniversary of the Winter Olympic games in Grenoble. UGA student athlete Pierre Vaultier decided to observe the milestone by winning a gold medal in snowboard. Nice work!

The UGA also released an online course catalog for its incoming exchange students.


Grenoble's French language teaching center, the CUEF, celebrated the rich traditions of French-speaking around the world with it's Journée de la Francophonie. The day featured student work and intercultural exchange.


April sees a team of international researchers advanced our understanding of the earth's crust and how it is affected by earthquakes. The results, which were published in the journal Nature, are the work of scientists from Grenoble, Savoie, Oslo, and Southern California.


Grenoble's Space Center, the CSUG, gets students involved in high tech problem solving with its 2018 Hackathon Newspace events. The activities allowed students from all backgrounds – from poets to chemists – to learn about space engineering.

Also take a moment in May to congratulate seismologist Michel Campillo, who won the international Humboldt Research Award.


In June, the UGA received European funding for a new project with Tunisia. The International Credit Mobility program will allow for closer ties to our Tunisian partners, supporting 16 student and 48 faculty and staff mobilities.

June was also the month that the UGA's Ice Memory project headed to Europe to collect deep samples of ancient ice in Siberia and the Caucasus.


UGA researchers head off-world to test the predictions of the theory of relativity on the black hole at center of our galaxy. An international team of researchers at the European Southern Observatory using the ESO's Very Large Telescope array in South America demonstrates that high-level research is a truly international endeavor.


August see the UGA in the world's top 50 universities in 11 scientific disciplines: geography, physics, computer science, earth sciences and more.

Sharing this expertise with students and professionals, the health sciences department organized a specialized summer program in the creation and marketing of new medical devices.


Doctoral student Philippe le Boutellier represented the UGA at the international finals of ma thèse en 180 secondes, where competitors present their dissertation research to a general audience. Unfazed by the strict time limit, le Boutellier walked away with the audience prize and second place overall.

September also saw the the UGA expand its orientation services to populations with specific needs, opening new offices for the Reseau Universités Sans Frontières, which helps migrants in exile find their way in France.

Speaking of an international welcome, the international relations departments of Grenoble's different schools and universities organized Grenoble's first ever Partner Fair, welcoming representatives from over 15 partner universities who wanted to find out more about international cooperation opportunities.


Where can a UGA education lead you? We can't promise anything, but UGA alumnus Gérard Mourou did win the 2018 Nobel Prize in Physics for his work in state of the art laser technology.

Others are headed for the town with the highest elevation in the world. Plans for Expedition 5300 start in October, preparing the researchers for the physical challenges of extremely high-altitude research.

October was also the third edition of International Days, a celebration of all things international at the UGA.


The Innovalangues project – which aims to improve language teaching and learning – won national attention and a prize from the French government for its potential to transform higher education in France.

November was also the 20th anniversary of the Université Franco-Italienne, which celebrated by hosting an interdisciplinary conference on artificial intelligence.


Prestigious European Research funding was a major theme in 2018, with UGA researchers winning an ERC Synergy Grant, two ERC Starting Grants, and five ERC Consolidator Grants. These funds will allow the scientists to continue producing research at the highest level in the years to come.

Not just grant funding, but international prizes. Mathematician Vincent Lafforge won the Breakthrough Prize – sometimes called the Oscars of Science – for his work on the Langlands program, which connects number theory to analysis.

Published on February 20, 2019
Updated on February 26, 2019