Christine, geophysician

To validate our scientific approach in our online content, our on-site activities with children and our games, we called on scientists and researchers from different backgrounds.

We also asked them to tell us their motivations and their daily lives in the hope of arousing the curiosity of all the little budding scientists.

Christine Crambes is a specialist in geophysicsShe is our ambassador for the Lithosphere. She has validated the information in our 7 SPHERES™ card game.

I am

My name is Christine Crambes. I have a PhD in Geophysics and I teach Physics at an Engineer School in Paris. I enjoy teaching physics and supervising scientific and technical projects within the school. I am also responsible in the Physics Department for the first university cycle (bachelor).

Science and technology have always attracted me and so I naturally turned to scientific studies. I did a PhD in Earth Science. More specifically, I studied volcanic systems at the “Institut de Physique du Globe” in Paris (IPGP) in the Geological Fluids Dynamics group.

I am a mother of two French-English bilingual children. I live near Paris in France.

I explain

During my PhD, I was able to carry out field missions in the United States, in Bulgaria and on the Tibetan Plateau to collect samples of volcanic rocks to study their chemistry and petrology at the laboratory on my return to Paris. Our goal was to understand their provenance and to try to follow their history between their formation, their rise to the surface through the earth’s crust until their ejection to the surface during explosive volcanic eruptions or in lava flow .

In parallel with this study of volcanic rocks, I carried out experiments in fluid mechanics in my laboratory in order to try to create an experimental model that would explain part of the rocks history: how the magma could interact chemically with the rocks of the earth’s crust during its ascent to the surface.

I tell

One year, I supervised a project led by 4th year engineering students. This project consisted in producing clean electricity from plates containing piezoelectric sensors. These plates were intended to be integrated into sidewalks. Whenever pedestrians walked on them they pressed the piezoelectric sensors and created electricity. The idea was to store this generated electricity and reuse it for local urban lighting.

The students put their video on YouTube and later, it was noticed by science journalists who wanted to animate an episode of a French television science show for children called “We are not just guinea pigs”. The episode was on “How to generate electricity while dancing”. Since my students had since become engineers and were busy working in companies, it was me, their mentor, who presented their project on television.

I have

I’ve always wanted to study science, but which one? At school I tried several fields such as physics, chemistry, biochemistry and bacteriology. In the end, it was physics that fascinated me.

I am curious about all areas of physics. Since I am now specialised, I read a lot of popular science journals to keep abreast of new developments.

I know

To become a Geophysicist, I first took a course in fundamental physics and then a course in Earth Sciences.

I therefore studied different areas of physics such as solid mechanics and fluid mechanics, quantum mechanics, thermodynamics, statistical mechanics, electromagnetism, atomic and subatomic physics, electronics, electrical engineering , geometrical optics, etc.

I studied different areas of Earth Sciences such as seismology, geology, gravimetry, cartography, etc.

I also did a lot of maths!

I do

As a teacher, my work days consist of:

  • Preparing my classes on the computer and teaching them to the students.
  • Always being available to answer students questions.
  • Preparing and correcting tests/exams.
  • Supervise and monitor student science projects.
  • Be a jury member on students projects.

As the person in charge of the physics undergraduate degree, my job is to:

  • Work as a team with my colleagues on the best possible pedagogy.
  • Maintain the teaching team by recruiting future physics teachers.
  • Follow students who work in a company whilst studying.
  • Evaluate students applications and interview future students.
  • Promote the school by participating in Open Days to meet future students and their parents.

I support


I support the UN Sustainable Development Goal number 4 which is about a “Quality Education”.