Molecular Synthesis, Materials, Energy Engineering

Contributing to economic development and improving the living conditions of our fellow citizens and mankind in general, working with a view to sustainability, respecting the planet's limited resources and taking care to bequeath to future generations a better-balanced world - these are the challenges that engineering and applied physics and chemistry are increasingly having to face up to.

At the ULB, several well-endowed teams are working on developing new materials meeting up to sustainable development requirements, with a particular focus of different surface treatments, research into "smart" materials, organic polymers or LCD semiconductors.

In the energy field, key to sustainable development, research is focused on developing such renewable energy forms as photovoltaics, wind turbines and biomass, optimising the generation of traditional energy forms, and problems associated to transport and energy consumption. The optimisation of industrial processes, in particular the study of catalysis, and the problems involved in sustainable construction are at the heart of a wide range of research efforts.

One of the drivers of this research at the ULB is the collaboration with the theoretical teams, whether in physics, chemistry, nanoscience or mathematical modelling. Such research is often conducted in collaboration with companies, and benefits from substantial funding from the regional authorities of Brussels and Wallonia (in particular the GreenWin, Mecatech and Skywin Business Development Clusters), and from EU funding (framework programmes). Outcomes include the filing of patents and the creation of spin-off companies.

Main research projects (since 2010)

Actions de recherche concertée, ARC

Interuniversity Attraction Pole, IAP

European projects (7th Framework programme, > 500 Keuros)

  • ELUBSYS: Engine LUBrication SYStem technologies

  • ONE-P: Organic Nanomaterials for Electronics and Photonics: Design, Synthesis, Characterization, Processing, Fabrication and Applications

Regional projects (> 500 Keuros)

  • Advanced digital holographic microscopy and 4D imagery for applications in water technology and environmental monitoring (Région Bruxelles-Capitale)

  • GAZTON: Remédiation du CO2 industriel par plasma (Région wallonne)

  • DHErgo: Digital Humans for Ergonomic design of products

  • ACIELEC: Développement d'un procédé innovant de production d'aciers obtenus par la filière électrique menant à l'amélioration de la ductilité du produit laminé à chaud

  • ICS: Refroidissement de moteurs d'avion (pôle Skywin)

Projects supported by the FNRS (> 500 Keuros)

  • Caractérisation et modélisation multi-échelles de la micro-mécanique d'alliages métalliques: applications aux films minces et aux matériaux présentant une plasticité de maclage et de transformation

European programmes for the mobility of researchers (since 2008)

ITN Marie Curie

  • Advanced Electric Powertrain Technology

  • Multi-scale complex fuild flows and interfacial phenomena

  • Advanced Techniques in computational mechanics

Erasmus Mundus Programme

  • Simulation in Engineering and Entrepreneurship Doctorate

  • International Doctoral College in Fusion Science and Engineering

Main prizes and international recognition (since 1970)

  • André Preumont, FNRS quinquennial prize 1996