PostDoctoral Position in University of La Rochelle, FRANCE



    Study of the thermal performance of an active building envelope component            for cooling


    Physics; Energy; Engineering Sciences

Related keywords

    Building; energy; Heat and Mass transfers; data acquisition; experimentation;   modelling; BES


   ERDF Financing


   18 months

Host institution

   LaSIE – Université de La Rochelle


To reach Europe's ambitious energy efficiency targets, building construction or retrofitting requires the integration of innovative, high-performance, climate-adapted envelope systems (to increasing temperatures, to heat-related events). ...). The building envelope represents the interface between outdoor environment (weather hazards) and the indoor environment.

This passive building envelope up to now is evolving towards a more complex and multifunctional object. Conceptual designs tend to integrate new materials, technologies and new functionalities such as heat storage / release cycles, elements of ventilation, production of energy valuing renewable energy resources, a capacity to reinforce its insulation thermal performance, etc. Thus, building envelopes are turning into adaptive elements whose characteristics can evolve during the day and / or the year.


Through the present project, we wish to develop a new envelope component for buildings that can have an impact on both winter comfort and summer comfort. This envelope element must have a thermal resistance that changes with the seasons and allow cooling in summer. The component will use the phenomenon of water evaporation for cooling. The proposed system must adapt to weather conditions (day / night, season) keeping functional needs with a minimum energy input.

The first objective is to define the specifications of a new envelope component. Then the component will be tested on a test cell of the Tipee platform. The outdoor real-scale facility can test façade elements (3 m × 3 m) or flat roof elements (3 m × 4 m). It was designed to build airtight assembling of transparent/opaque envelope component to large test-cell and test experimental protocol to estimate thermal performance indicators under real-climate conditions. Information on the test-cells can be found at


In parallel, a knowledge model of the envelope component (Thermal behaviour, energy output) will be developed. Parametric studies will be conducted to optimize this component.

For this purpose, a full-time postdoctoral position is proposed to conduct research under the guidance of two faculty members. The recruited PhD will be involved in the different phases of the project. The work program will include:

-          Acknowledgement of the state of the art on active innovative envelope elements

-          Conduct a sensitivity study on the performance of the considered component

-          Define technical specifications for a new envelope component to support rapid prototyping

-          Set up and instrument an innovative envelope element

-          Help to develop the heat & mass model of this innovative wall

-          Evaluate and optimize the wall performances according to relevant indicators

-          Participate in publications of research results in relevant journals and communications related to the project.


Required profile

The candidate must have solid skills in building physics and engineering sciences, including experimentation (sensors, acquisition chain, Labview © acquisition software ...). Modeling knowledge (TrnsSys environment, EnergyPlus and / or COMSOL ©) would be appreciated.

In addition, the candidate must be able to work in a collaborative project environment and prepare outreach materials, technical reports, and presentations for internal and external audiences.


Advisors and practical information

Patrick Salagnac (PR)

             Ph. 05 46 68 77 – email :

Jérôme Le Dréau (MCF)

            Ph. 05 46 45 72 66 – email :

Working Environment

The work will be conducted under the scientific direction of Patrick SALAGNAC and Jérôme LE DREAU, Professor, Researchers at LaSIE, in collaboration with a team from the Tipee platform (Maxime DOYA engineer and David GAILLARD technician).

Location : La Rochelle, FRANCE

Starting: October 2018

To apply for this offer, send by email a CV accompanied by a letter of motivation to Mr. Salagnac and Mr. Le Dréau.


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