A Word From The Director

Video presentation
Vidéo PRésentation du LEMTA

A multidisciplinary mission to serve Engineering Sciences

The LEMTA (Laboratory of Energetics, Theoretical and Applied Mechanics, UMR 7563) is a joint University of Lorraine and CNRS research unit working in the fields of Mechanics and Energy. It is one of the 5 laboratories of the "Fédération Jacques Villermaux pour la Mécanique, l'Énergie et les Procédés".

The laboratory's research activities are centred around fluid mechanics, energy, heat transfers and the mechanics of solids and structures. The Laboratory hosts three research departments (Reacting, Multiphase Fluid Media, Mechanics of Materials and Structures, Energy and Transfers) working on adding to knowledge in the field of Engineering Sciences. This research work is carried out by nearly 80 researchers and teacher-researchers, 25 administrative and technical staff in different research support departments (accounting & administration, mechanical design and construction, electronics & instrumentation, computing & calculations) and 65 doctoral and post-doctoral collaborators.

A balance between basic and applied research responding to the major challenges of the 21st century

The LEMTA's activities are well-balanced between basic and targeted research with the aim of responding to the main concerns of 21st century society by:

  • Making a significant research effort with a view to finding clean and efficient energy to ensure an effective energy transition.

One of the LEMTA's main objectives is to create and implement knowledge and basic concepts required for energy production and transformation systems which allow energy to be used effectively. To achieve this, the LEMTA is involved in the following fields: the thermal characterization of materials (at high temperatures for processes requiring high heat loads and at ambient temperature for insulating and super-insulating materials), the hydrogen-energy sector (underground storage, proton exchange membrane fuel cells), enhanced oil and gas recovery, heat transfer at nano-scales applied to thermoelectric conversion, thermodynamic systems, effective spray cooling of surfaces, the evaporation of liquid fuels, using porous media for the confinement of long-life nuclear waste, surface geothermy for heat storage, the enhancement of heat exchanges,...

  • Responding to major societal and environmental concerns

The LEMTA also contributes to the creation of scientific knowledge which is essential to respond to the major societal and environmental challenges. The first such area is the field of tissue engineering, the aim of which is to develop transplantable bio-substitutes for ligaments, cartilages or other human tissues. This is perhaps a perfect example of a multi-disciplinary field, requiring as it does a high level of synergy between several specialists in Nancy working in such varied fields as cell biology, polymers, cell culture, biomechanical modelling and experimentation or clinical research. Another of the LEMTA's recognized areas of research is the study of fire propagation (in both buildings and with regard to hydrogen storage) and more particularly forest fires. This work combines modelling, numerical simulation and experimentation on a brand new intermediate-scale testing platform.

  • Understanding the behaviour of complex materials (solids or fluids) in processes and systems

Understanding the behaviour (particularly mechanical) of complex materials in industrial processes and systems is also a subject of major importance. In the area of solid materials, the LEMTA carries out research into the mechanics and thermomechanics of solid polymers and into the mechanics of adaptive materials (shape memory, ferroelectric and piezoelectric alloys) with applications particularly ranging from the heat recovery at low temperature heat to mechanical processes and shaping techniques for complex materials. For fluid materials, the laboratory's research concerns complex fluid physics and mechanics. These fluids have nano-scale structures and are used in many industrial and natural processes as well as in people's daily lives. The study thereof is therefore of prime importance and has applications in the field of geophysics, transformation processes for food products, oil industry engineering or paper manufacturing. The LEMTA's activities in this area cover research into the link between nanostructures and mechanical properties in flows and/or under constraints, modelling dynamics and numerical simulation of these fluids in flows.

State-of-the art equipment to serve research

Work in all of these subject areas is carried out using top-level technological platforms and by developing particularly innovative measurement techniques. For example, our platform for magnetic resonance imagery (MRI) - a technique more commonly used in the medical field - is used for the quantitative analysis of flows in opaque media like porous media or complex flows in confined media. A definite strong point of the Laboratory is our use of sophisticated non-intrusive commercial techniques (particle image velocimetry, infrared thermography, laser velocimetry) or those developed at the Laboratory (laser-induced fluorescence, rheo-optics, light diffusion, multispectral thermography for use at high temperatures). There are nine technological platforms with which the Laboratory can structure top-level experimental means (thermal characterization of materials, radiative transfers, rheometry, fluid metrology, fires propagation, NMR/MRI, soil mechanics, fuel cells). Also a computation cluster shared with other laboratories in the Lorraine region are used to boost our intensive calculation resources.

A laboratory open to industrial and international cooperation projects

The LEMTA collaborates with many institutional partners, research centres and with industry. Among the main institutional partners are the ONERA (French Aerospace Research Centre), the CEA (Atomic Energy and Alternative Energies Commission), the CSTB (Scientific and Technical Centre for Building) and the INRS (the Institute for Research and Security with whom we share two joint research themes). The LEMTA also participates in or coordinates many programmes run by the National Research Agency (ANR) and collaborates with major industrial companies like ArcelorMittal, Air Liquide, Areva-Energy storage, EDF, Airbus, Schlumberger, Total, General Electric, Schneider Electric, Saint-Gobain, Valeo, Vallourec or Dantec Dynamics.

The Laboratory is open to working internationally and is involved in many partnerships with European or world-level laboratories including two joint programmes with the European Energy Research Alliance (EERA). The first involves advanced materials and processes for energy application (AMPEA) and the other concerns fuel cells and hydrogen. Finally the Laboratory made a significant contribution to founding the Franco-Kazakh Centre for Geo-energies.

Fabrice Lemoine, Director of LEMTA