Virtual laboratory to predict the ability of fluctuating biomass to satisfy a material use(VARIOUS)

44000 NANTES

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INRAE presentation

The French National Research Institute for Agriculture, Food, and the Environment (INRAE) is a public research establishment under the dual authority of the Ministry of Agriculture and the Ministry of Research. 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

Nature and purpose of the research project to be developed and related activities :
Industry is having to reduce its emissions resulting in the need to revamp manufacturing practices. The production of materials frequently involves the use of fossil resources with well known, stable properties whereas the bioeconomy uses biomass (e.g. dedicated cultures, by-products and organic waste) of which the properties are different and subject to seasonal and climatic variations. For the bioeconomy, it is therefore necessary to sort biomass sources according to the target use without the need for the exhaustive analysis of each biomass. In the VARIOUS project, we propose to use statistical physics, already used by the ECN, to design non-renewable materials.
The Junior Professor will develop creative digital strategies (simulation and prediction tools for the rapid development of zero defect products - AI) to rapidly sort the different biomass sources by limiting the need for testing. The starting point will be the microstructural databases of the BIA where different properties (tissue structure, cellulose content) will serve to establish scalar links to predict very early the performance and multiple functions (e.g. thermal, barrier and couplings…) and thus the properties of use. Representation and digital mechanics tools will be used to solve the various digital cases, the project could draw more particularly on the development of couplings and variabilities by the GeM laboratory.

Nature and purpose of the teaching project :
The VARIOUS Junior Professor position aims to suplement the teaching on two major complementary themes:
1) Biochemical composition - structure of plant biomass
2) Continuum mechanics, mechanics of multi-scale media with controlled microstructures.
These themes will be taught as part of the various courses at the ECN and NU with a 50/50 distribution between the engineering (ECN and NU Polytech) and Master's 2 courses.
Concerning the ECN, it would be desirable to develop course content on biobased products in the curriculum “Mechanical Engineer” for the options in year 2 (equivalent M1) and year 3 (equivalent M2).
Concerning NU, the lessons will be taught as part of the Master’s 2 and the Graduate Programme “Materials Science” option “Innovative materials, advanced technologies and modelling”.
These lessons are necessary to study the behaviour of biobased products, biomaterials in the field of health (tissues, etc.), and architectured materials obtained by additive manufacturing (auxetic materials, etc.), for example. The contact with the students in M2 will facilitate the selection of high-potential candidates for future researchers to train in the field.

Funding and related resources :
Package ANR : 200 000€
Package INRAE : 214 000€
Other fundings : 167 000€
Total : 581 000€

As additional funding, a request will be addressed to the Isite NExT regarding the attractiveness of talents (NExt Talents). This request is estimated at approximately €200K and will supplement the second PhD grant and will also provide the project with a contribution for the scientific environment.

None specifically linked to this position other than those inherent to the profession of researcher (trips during the week, sometimes at weekends…).

Training and skills

PhD or equivalent

PhD or equivalent

In terms of disciplines, the research will ideally be at the crossroads between computational mechanics of solids and materials science (physics, chemistry).
Experience with interdisciplinarity would be desirable to ensure the success of the project. The necessary skills required include the fields of digital tools and physico-chemistry of biomass sources.
The profile to effectively lead this project includes experts in digital modelling and simulation tools who are familiar with and initiated in biomass and plant fibres or experts in materials science specialised in biomass and natural fibres, and users of digital tools.

INRAE's life quality

By joining our teams, you benefit from:

- 30 days of annual leave + 15 days "Reduction of Working Time" (for a full time);
- 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.

International scientists, please visit your guide to facilitate your arrival and stay at INRAE.

Type of contract

Tenure-Track Junior Professor Chair enables recruitment of scientists based on a research and teaching project that lasts three years. At the end of this period, and following an assessment of your scientific achievements and professional capabilities, you may obtain a full-tenure position as Research Director (DR2).

A research and teaching agreement will specify the path you will follow towards full-tenure and enable you to acquire the qualifications necessary to become a full-tenure Research Director in your field.

You have until April 12, 2024 to submit your application. Only candidates previously selected on file by the selection committee will be invited to the hearing.

Offer reference

  • Profile number: CPJ24-TRANSFORM-1
  • Corps: Chaire de Professeur Junior
  • Category: A
  • Open competition number: 2


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