The Laboratory

The Laboratory

History of teaching and research in the Laboratory of Climatology 


The teaching of climatology appeared at the University of Liège in the Geography cursus in 1949, the year of restructuring of the courses of Professor Paul FOURMARIER, holder of the teachings of Geology and Physical Geography.

At that time, Professor Paul MACAR - junior lecturer of Physical Geography - integrated in the cursus an important chapter of climatology independently of the meteorology course attributed to Professor PAUWEN, Professor of Astronomy.

When Professor PAUWEN became emeritus in 1963, Professor MACAR was entrusted with the meteorology cours, which he teached from 1963 to 1968. André HUFTY, who worked as an assistant at that time was the author of the first PhD thesis in climatology at the Faculty of Sciences: "The local climates in the Liège region." This thesis was defended in 1966.

In 1968, on his return from Lubumbashi, Jean ALEXANDRE, Professor at the University of that city from 1957 to 1968, was appointed Associate Professor in the department of Professor MACAR.The latter then attributed him his course of climatology and meteorology. Since 1967, three assistants have succeeded in the Laboratory of Climatology: Adrien LAURANT until 1976, Dimitri BELAYEW from 1977 to 1978 and then Michel ERPICUM until 1985.

In 1976, Professor ALEXANDRE succeeded Professor MACAR as the holder of the climatology and meteorology courses. The Laboratory then worked under his direction until October 1991 with the completion of numerous Master theses and several PhD theses in climatology and geomorphology. In 1974, the first Master thesis in climatology was presented by Michel ERPICUM at the Department of Geography.

Since 1992, Michel ERPICUM took over the management of the Laboratory specializing in the field of topoclimatology with four researchers. Since September 2007, the Laboratory has been strengthened in the field of modelling with the recruitment of Xavier FETTWEIS, a degree in mathematics (ULg) and a PhD in climatology (UCL).

The 1st January 2012, the Laboratory has 8 researchers (four in topoclimatology and applied climatology and four in regional modelling, mainly over Greenland and Western Europe).

The 1st October 2013, Xavier FETTWEIS was promoted to the FNRS Research Associate position and leads now the Laboratory of Climatology from the 1st Oct 2017 since the retirement of Prof. Michel Epricum.

Alumni who defended a thesis in climatology (whether licensed in Geography Science or Master in Geography Science, option climatology) all had several job opportunities or fellowships early in their careers. Numerous of them have a position with responsabilities in various fields.