BONFOND Bertrand

Chercheur qualifié FNRS & Fonds assoc.

Faculté des Sciences
Département d'astrophysique, géophysique et océanographie (AGO)
Labo de physique atmosphérique et planétaire (LPAP)
Space sciences, Technologies and Astrophysics Research (STAR)

ULiège address
Bât. B5C Labo de physique atmosphérique et planétaire (LPAP)
Quartier Agora
allée du six Août 19c
4000 Liège 1
B5c 0/2
ULiège phone number
+32 4 3669772
ULiège Fax
+32 4 3669729
Conseil sectoriel à la recherche et à la valorisation
Sciences et Techniques
Personal website (s)
Juno révèle l'exquise finesse des aurores de Jupiter
Personal website (s)
L'ULg analyse la magnétosphère et les aurores de Jupiter
Personal website (s)
Aurores dans une bouteille- Daily Science
Personal website (s)
Aurores de Jupiter décortiquées - Daily Science
Personal website (s)
Surprise autour des aurores polaires de Jupiter
Personal website (s)
Spotlight on Jupiter's aurorae
University degrees
2009 : Docteur en Sciences (Université de Liège)
University degrees
2007 : DEA en Sciences (Université de Liège)
University degrees
2005 : Ingénieur civil physicien (Université de Liège)


Bertrand Bonfond has always been fascinated by space. As early as the fourth grade, he made a presentation on the planets. Later on becoming a devoted listener to the Astronomical Society of Liege (SAL), he followed the advice of his professors and opted to study Engineering Physics.

After being awarded a degree from the University of Liege in 2005, he began a DEA in astrophysics and geophysics with a view to commencing a doctoral thesis in the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics of the University of Liege (LPAP). His DEA thesis, which he defended in 2007, focussed on the observation of Jupiter's aurorae with the Hubble telescope. He fine-tuned this research during a doctoral thesis which he defended in 2009, in which he focussed particularly on the auroral imprint of the moon Io. 

During the following year, Bertrand Bonfond went to the University of California in Los Angeles where he worked on the data gathered by the space probe Galileo. After returning to Liege briefly, he left for another year, this time to the Southwest research Institute in Colorado. He developed tools for optimizing future observations of the Juno space probe by drawing maps of different objects attainable in accordance with the different phases of the mission and by simulating future missions as realistically as possible.

In 2013, he came back to ULg, as a postdoctoral researcher at the FNRS. He then obtained a FNRS Research Associate position. As a member of the Juno mission, he dedicates him work to the poorly known regions of the Jovian aurorae and to the understanding of the underlying mechanisms giving rise to those aurorae. Bertrand Bonfond's researches are also funded by a PRODEX contract from BELSPO, the Belgian federal science policy.

Research field

  • Système solaire
  • Aurores et atmosphères polaires
  • Sciences de l'espace
  • Télédétection

Duties or mandates

  • Chercheur Qualifié FNRS - FNRS Research Associate

Scientific distinctions

  • Planetary and Solar System Sciences Outstanding Young Scientist Award - EGU (2015)
  • Prix Baron Nicolet - Académie royale de Belgique (2014)
  • Group Achievement Award to Juno Earth Flyby Operations Team - NASA (2014)
  • Prix des Amis de L'Université - ULg (2011)