Our mission is excellence in research and technology development related to the following topics:

  • Urban  microclimate
  • Fluids and porous materials
  • Granular media
  • Hygrothermal performance durability

Recent work in our three groups focused on the understanding of:


1) Fluids and porous materials interractions

  • Multiscale analysis of heat, mass, biological, chemical and poromechanical behavior of porous materials
  • Damage mechanisms
  • Food processing
  • Up-scaling material models for urban microclimate analysis (vegetation, trees)

2) Urban microclimate

  • Multiscale models of urban heat island, micro and local climate and comfort
  • Urban microclimate and building energy
  • Urban microclimate and climate change   

3) Granular media

  • DEM modeling of stick slip of granular media for dynamic earthquake triggering
  • DEM modeling of instabilities of wet granular media
  • Active and passive acoustic probing      


Methods and approach

Our scientific approach is based on the coupling of advanced experimental and computational methods.

Multiscale approaches are developed to adequately capture the different phenomena at play at different scales.

Techniques used are:

  • advanced experimental high resolution time resolved techniques (neutron  and X-ray imaging, etc.)
  • Wind and water tunnels with time-resolved PIV/LIF
  • High performance multiscale computational modeling for porous media, buildings, urban environment, vegetation.
  • Computational approaches: MD,  DEM, LBM, pore network, CFD, FEM, …

The research is in strong collaboration with ETH Zurich, chair of building physics.