Maître de Conférences (Lecturer/Assistant Professor)

ISAE-ENSMA – CNRS – Université de Poitiers

Téléport 2 – 1 avenue Clément Ader

BP 40109 – 86961 Futuroscope Chasseneuil Cedex


I was born in Russia, close to Moscow, and that is where I received my education in mechanical engineering with specialization in design of spacecraft at the Bauman State Technical University.

To continue my study and open new horizons, I came to France to do a PhD at the Laboratory of Tribology and Dynamics of Systems. I obtained my PhD diploma from Ecole Centrale de Lyon in 2012 working on friction and wear of polymer composites. 

In the same year, I started a postdoctoral work in the University of Nottingham with the aim to study a contribution of polymer chains of different molecular weights to the mechanical response of an amorphous polymer. This was essentially a neutron scattering study of stretched bimodal blends.

In 2013, I moved to the University of Cambridge to work on a project about friction in composite forming. In the framework of this project, I developed an experimental method to make direct observation of real contact area of fibrous material under compression and sliding. The friction force was then related to the microscopic contacts of individual fibres confirming the adhesive nature of friction. This project marked a start of my interest in the friction of fibres and tows.

Curriculum Vitae (update 11/2020)


In 2014, I was hired as maître de conférences at the ISAE-ENSMA engineering school to teach mechanics and to do research at the Institut Pprime lab. Since then, my work has mostly been focused around two areas: nanoindentation of polymers and composites and friction of carbon fibres. Indeed, the existing experimental methods in nanoindentation need to be improved when the material presents mechanical behaviour other than elastoplastic and when it is not homogeneous and isotropic. The heterogeneity and viscoelasticity (or viscoelastoplasticity) under contact with the indenter are the questions that I address in my research. On the other hand, I pursue the research on the friction of carbon fibre tows with the aim to understand and relate the friction across the scales, from the microscale of individual fibre through the mesoscale of a tow (several thousands of aligned fibres) to the macroscale of a woven fabric. In my opinion, this can be achieved through the direct in-situ observations and the identification of relevant mechanisms at each scale. In parallel with these main activities, I co-supervised a PhD project about the lubrication of superhydrophobic polymer surfaces. This project indented to improve the frictional properties of a superhydrophobic polymer by promoting a slip of a lubricant on the textured surface with a carefully designed geometry.


  • Solid Mechanics
  • Structural Mechanics
  • Contact Mechanics

Administrative activities

Board member of Mécamat (Groupe Français de Mécanique des Matériaux).

Reviewer for Tribology International, Journal of Tribology, Composites Part A, Matériaux&Techniques.

Selected publications

  • O. Smerdova, M. Pecora, M. Gigliotti. Cyclic indentation of polymers: Instantaneous elastic modulus from reloading, energy analysis, and cyclic creep. Journal of Materials Research, 34 (21), 3688-3698, 2019

  • O. Smerdova, M.P.F. Sutcliffe. Multiscale Tool-Fabric contact observation and analysis for composite fabric forming. Composites Part A, 73, 116-124, 2015

  • O. Smerdova, M.P.F. Sutcliffe. Novel Experimental Method for Microscale Contact Analysis in Composite Fabric Forming. Experimental Mechanics, Vol.55, I.8, 1475-1483, 2015 DOI 10.1007/s11340-015-0044-y

  • O. Smerdova, D. Mazuyer, J. Cayer-Barrioz. Links between energy dissipation and wear mechanisms in solid epoxy/epoxy sliding contact. Tribology International, 77, 148-159, 2014, DOI: 10.1016/j.triboint.2014.04.009

  • O. Smerdova, R. S. Graham, U. Gasser, L. R. Hutchings, D. S. A. De Focatiis. A novel method of extraction of blend component structure from SANS measurements of homopolymer bimodal blends. Macromolecular Chemistry and Physics, 215 (9), 859-866, 2014, DOI: 10.1002/macp.201300787 

  • O. Smerdova, J. Cayer-Barrioz, A. Le Bot, B. Sarbayev. Analytical model and experimental validation of friction laws for composites under low loads. Tribology Letters, 46 (3), 263-272, 2012, DOI 10.1007/s11249-012- 9947-2