Sébastien Lalonde, new Mechanical Engineering Professor

Driven by curiosity

Wednesday, May 22, 2019
professeur sebastien lalonde
Professor Sébastien Lalonde knows ÉTS very well. In addition to having been an undergrad and graduate student here, he was even a part of the Evolution student club.

Sébastien Lalonde knows ÉTS well, because it is where he earned his Bachelor and Master’s degrees in Mechanical Engineering. He was even a member of the Évolution student club for a year! After splitting the last six years between his work and the completion of his Doctoral studies at Université de Sherbrooke, Sébastien has chosen to return to ÉTS. He will assume the position of Professor-Researcher in the Mechanical Engineering Department.

“ÉTS was a natural choice for me. Like most of the students here, I started my Engineering studies after earning a Technical DCS. I really enjoy the applied side of the education and the research that we did here” Professor Lalonde explains.

Sébastien was working as a CNC Machine Technician when he decided to focus instead on university studies. “I like solving problems, and it occurred to me that I didn’t have all the tools I needed to do so”, he recalls. So he quit his job in order to study full-time at ÉTS. He was expecting to finish his Bachelor degree quickly, and then return to the labour market with his newly acquired knowledge. However, the co-op work term that he completed at Bombardier, where he focused on damage to aircraft, piqued his interest in studying structural fatigue resistance.

His natural curiosity caused him to stay in school longer than he had planned! Once he earned his Bachelor degree, he chose to pursue his studies at the Master’s level, where he studied the propagation of cracks in gears.

With a hunger for exploring structural damage in diverse contexts, Sébastien focused on fatigue affecting electrical conductors in power lines, which subsequently became the subject of his Doctoral studies. He then developed an expertise in the mechanics of stranded solids, or in other words, the cables that can be found in many types of structures, such as cable-stay bridges, lifting apparatus, robotic machines and electrical transmission lines.

In addition, because he was working as Director of Engineering, Research and Development for a company in the electrical transmission lines sector, while also pursuing his Doctoral studies, Sébastien was able to use his expertise as a researcher to benefit his company. The research problems that he encountered had a direct application with respect to existing issues in industry. Sébastien Lalonde is a firm believer in Engineering for Industry.

Now a full-time Professor-Researcher, Sébastien plans to continue his work on cable mechanics. He wants to gain a better understanding of the static and dynamic stress conditions they are subjected to in order to establish links to fatigue-related damage. His objective is to see his research result in a more accurate characterization and prediction of the behaviour of cables in a variety of contexts. In this way, his goal is to contribute to the optimization of cabled systems and structures in order to ensure durability, which is a real need in industry!

In terms of teaching, Sébastien would like to focus his activities on mechanical design. He will begin his teaching career with a course for new undergraduate students, entitled Développement de produits assistés par ordinateur (computer-aided product development). Backed by 10 years of experience working in industry, Sébastien Lalonde plans to establish links between what he teaches in class and the reality of the labour market. In addition, like others did for him, Sébastien hopes to stimulate the curiosity of his new students.

Communications Service ÉTS 
Chantal Crevier 
514 396-8800, ext. 7893

All the news