Civil and environmental engineering


Our researches focus on structural engineering, hydraulic engineering and geomechanics, and is either fundamental or applied.

Many projects reflect our whish to respond to societal and environmental issues in a changing world: we work on

  • timber structures,
  • structures for offshore wind turbines,
  • hydraulic structures subjected to extreme climatic conditions,
  • optimisation of structures,
  • anti-seismic structures

and many other related themes.

We work in close collaboration with the LEMSC (Mechanical testing, structures, and civil engineering laboratory) , which is a large infrastructure with specialized engineers and technicians, and a wide range of testing equipment.  This enables us to carry out experimental research on all types of structures and materials.

We are also equipped with a number of small- and large-scale models for flow simulation.


Researches in the field of Hydraulics mainly concern

  • fluvial hydraulics,
  • sediment transport and
  • flow modelling,

especially under severe transient conditions such as for example dam-break flows or breaching or earthen embankments.

Both experimental and numerical simulations approaches are developed. As regards laboratory experiments, the team has developed a strong expertise in non-intrusive measurement techniques based on digital imagery, such as PIV or photogrammetry. Numerous data sets are issued from these experiments that are used worldwide by scientists to validate their numerical simulation tools.

Structural and earthquake Engineering

Our researches focus on:

  • Numerical simulation and large-scale testing of structural response to extreme and dynamic loading, with a view to the improvement of resilience for risk reduction. These activities include but are not limited to the behaviour of reinforced concrete structures under seismic loading.
  • Timber engineering. Our research in this field is motivated by the conviction that the timber construction sector can only be competitive if wood is processed as little as possible. Our projects therefore cover a number of themes : non-destructive mechanical characterization of logs, steel free carpentry connections, timber slabs,..
  • The design of new kinds of structures such as tensegrity structures and reciprocal structures. Our efforts go beyond the theoretical and focus in particular on defining the design and calculation rules that enable these structures to be built reliably and cost-effectively.
  • Structures for agrivoltaic power plants, in particular the search for optimal structures for short or long spans, with the use of wood, and minimizing the impact of foundations.
  • Other specific themes such as drone-based additive manufacturing of real scale structures, universal construction components such as droxels, optimization of structures with the morphological indicator’s methodology.


The research activities in the field of Geomechanics deal with the mechanical behavior of geomaterials subjected to thermo-hydro-chemo-mechanical couplings, developing constitutive laws, experimental methods and advanced numerical models for the understanding and modeling of :

  • Energy infrastructures (Offshore wind turbine foundations, geothermal energy, or hydrogen storage)
  • Geohazards (landslides, earthquakes, volcanoes collapse)

A focus is put on the identification of the physical mechanisms responsible at the micro- and nanoscopic scales for the strength and deformation of geomaterials using advanced characterization and imaging methods (Scanning Electron Microscope, porosimetry, X-ray computed tomography) and microstructure-based modelling.