Dr. Michel is an international expert of asteroids born in the famous village Saint-Tropez in France. He is Senior Researcher (PhD) at CNRS (French Scientific Research National Center) and leads the planetology team of the Lagrange laboratory at the Côte d’Azur Observatory (Nice, France).
With more than 100 publications in international peer-review journals, he develops numerical simulations of the impact process between asteroids and of asteroid surface behaviors in conditions that are very different than those on Earth. He is the lead scientist of the space mission project Asteroid Impact Mission (AIM), the European component of the AIDA project in collaboration with ESA and NASA, which aims at performing the first investigation of a binary asteroid and the first test of deflection of a potentially hazardous asteroid in 2022.
He is co-Investigator of two asteroid sample return space missions, OSIRIS-REx (NASA) and Hayabusa 2 (JAXA), launched in 2016 and 2014, respectively. He is the lead Editor of the book Asteroids IV (University of Arizona Press, 2015), which reviews the current knowledge on asteroids.
He is the President of the Near-Earth Object Working Group of the International Astronomical Union, he belongs to the Science Program Committee of the brench space agency CNES, and to the Steering Committee of the International Asteroid Warning Network (IAWN).
He was awarded the Carl Sagan Medal by the Division of Planetary Science of the American Astronomical Society for Excellence in Public Communication in Planetary Science, the Prize Paolo Farinella 2013 for his contribution to our understanding of the collisional process, and the asteroid (7561) Patrickmichel.