The French National Research Institute for Agriculture, Food, and the Environment (INRAE) is a public research establishment. It is a community of 12,000 people with more than 200 research units and 42 experimental units located throughout France. The institute is among the world leaders in agricultural and food sciences, in plant and animal sciences, and is 11th in the world in ecology and environment. INRAE’s main goal is to be a key player in the transitions necessary to address major global challenges. In the face of the increase in population, climate change, scarcity of resources and decline in biodiversity, the institute develops solutions for multiperformance agriculture, high quality food and sustainable management of resources and ecosystems.
Work environment, missions and activities
Agriculture has undergone major changes over the last decade and must contribute to the environmental and energy transition like other economic sectors. Technological innovations in the field of agricultural equipment, in particular agricultural robotics, can greatly contribute to this transition. The use of autonomous robotic weed control systems may reduce the use of pesticides and soil compaction due to lighter weight of vehicles. In the same way, alternatives sources of energy
(electricity, hydrogen) may reduce the use of fossil resources. However, this transition can only be sustainable if these innovations have a more favourable environmental impact than the technologies they aim to replace in the long term. Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) can carry out the environmental impact of these innovations. This method allows identifying the possible leeway for the implementation of innovative eco-designed solutions over their entire life cycle (production, use, end of life).
In 2020, the TSCF research unit of INRAE and SHERPA Engineering – a System Engineering (SE) Service Company specialized in numerical modelling, simulation and control command – carried out an exploratory action to assess the feasibility of coupling LCA and SE methods. The action aimed to assess the environmental performance of complex systems and to contribute to their eco-design. This first work led to the design of a SE model prototype, called O-AMIE (Environmental Impact Analysis and
The proposed position is in line with this initial work and part of the ROAD2 scientific action, funded by the University of Clermont Auvergne (UCA) Cap2025 research program (Challenge 2 – Theme AgroTechnologies). This action consists of assessing the environmental sustainability of eco-designed agricultural robotics solution with LCA. The innovation of this action will consist to couple SE and LCA approaches in order to integrate environmental criteria into SE models and thus contribute to the ecodesign of robotic solutions. The person recruited will be employed by the UCA and will be hosted at INRAE. He/she will work closely with engineers from SHERPA Engineering and researchers from INRAE and Institut Pascal (UMR6602 CNRS).
The missions that will be entrusted to the recruited person are as follows:
- Carry out an analysis of the needs and the processes to be studied in relation to the expectations of the ACV and IS engineers
- Draw up specifications that will present the functionalities and formalize expectations of the O-AMIE tool
- Build the O-AMIE model by integrating environmental criteria into the SE model
- Formalize the architecture of the system (operational, functional and physical)
- Build libraries related to environmental criteria and specificities of the application domain (LCA characterization factors, etc.)
- Build the LCA components of the model
-Formalize the calculations of environmental impact indicators associated with services and supports.
- Apply the O-AMIE model to an agricultural practice involving robotics
- Identify the concrete case to which the model will be applied on linked with work in progress at INRAE
- Define the scenarios to be studied
- Calculate the environmental impacts of the proposed scenarios using the O-AMIE tool
- Carry out sensitivity analyses using the O-AMIE tool
- Using the O-AMIE model, test and propose relevant eco-design solutions over the life cycle of the robotic solution
- Identify avenues for prospective reflection and research to be matured with the Institut Pascal (UMR6602 CNRS).
- Write a summary report and a scientific publication.
Training and skills
Master or engineer level training specialized in the field of engineering sciences (production / industrial systems engineering; mechanics; robotics;
The candidate should have a basic knowledge in system engineering. Competence or experience in LCA method is highly recommended. The candidate, in the absence of LCA experience, must demonstrate a strong interest in solving environmental issues. Knowledge of the agricultural world is a real advantage for the position.
Good knowledge of computer based tools (MS Office pack) and domain-specific software
Autonomy, curiosity, rigor, organization and time-management skills
Good drafting skills, demonstrating clarity, accuracy and an ability to summaries
Good interpersonal and communication skills (internally and externally)
Taste for team work
Fluency in English required
Know how to lead a meeting
INRAE's life quality
By joining our teams, you benefit from (depending on the type of contract and its duration):
- up to 30 days of annual leave + 15 days "Reduction of Working Time" (for a full time);
- It is possible to rent apartments (T1 to T1bis) depending on availability, in a
residence reserved for young people aged 16 to 30 located in Varennes sur Allier (5 km
- parenting support: CESU childcare, leisure services;
- skills development systems: training, career advise;
- social support: advice and listening, social assistance and loans;
- holiday and leisure services: holiday vouchers, accommodation at preferential rates;
- sports and cultural activities;
- collective catering.