Postdoctoral position “Extracting knowledge from concrete”

This job offer has expired

    Université de Bourgogne Laboratoire LIB
    Computer scienceDigital systems
    Computer scienceModelling tools
    Computer scienceProgramming
    Computer scienceSystems design
    TechnologyConstruction technology
    TechnologyKnowledge technology
    TechnologyRemote sensing
    First Stage Researcher (R1)
    Recognised Researcher (R2)
    Established Researcher (R3)
    31/12/2020 23:00 - Europe/Brussels
    France › Dijon


General context

Linked Data has been recognized as a promising research field for publishing and interlinking heterogeneous data from different Web repositories. For doing so, Linked Data relies on four main principles, derived from traditional Web architectures’ principles [5]. First, resources are uniquely and globally identified by means of URIs (Uniform Resource Identifiers). Second, resources have to be accessed using the HTTP protocol, therefore HTTP URIs have to be used. Third, resource descriptions have to be delivered using the RDF standard model; resource queries have to be specified in SPARQL standard language. Finally, resource descriptions have to include RDF links to other resources (from other datasets), in order to increase the possibilities for discovering new resources.

In the context of BIM (Building Information Modelling), such modelling of resources has been identified as an interesting approach for achieving information interoperability [3]. Indeed, today’s ISO standard for BIM information exchange is the IFC (Industry Foundation Classes) model [6]. IFC was designed in order to optimize the size of STEP-based files exchanged among project stakeholders. Still, in the context of ontology modelling, constraints imposed by IFC object-oriented modelling principles can be leveraged. Moreover, by implementing semantic adaptations of the IFC standard one can implement more intuitive building information manipulation. This is one of the reasons why, in construction and facility management domains, several IFC-based ontologies [4] have been developed. Existing IFC-related ontologies [1] [7] were conceived as direct syntax mappings between EXPRESS [8] and OWL languages. One of the latest and the most solid implementationsof an IFC ontology is ifcOWL proposed in [2].

Specific context

Selected during the 2017 ANR call for projects, the McBIM project aims at 1) designing a “communicating concrete”, made of concrete equipped with embedded low-energy wireless micro-sensor network, able to manage and exchange data with BIM platforms, and at 2) demonstrating the usefulness of this approach by implementing it for two building lifecycle phases, namely the construction and exploitation phases (for structural health monitoring).

For achieving this vision of a communicating concrete, several scientific issues arise regarding: a) the design of robust wireless communications, not impacted by the concrete environment, b) the definition of innovative RF harvesting techniques to maximize the lifetime of embedded sensor nodes, c) the definition of new data management strategies controlling how data (either generated by sensor nodes, or sent by users) are spread into the WSN (Wireless Sensor Netwokrs) for a fast and reliable data storage and retrieval, d) the definition of a native BIM interoperability of the concrete material, based on IFC standard, to ensure a correct communication with BIM platforms.

The McBIM consortium is composed of 4 partners (CRAN, LIB, LAAS, 360SC), all gathering the skills needed for the project success.


More specifically, LIB is in charge of developping the knowledge model used for information exchange, with respect to concepts presents in the IFC standard. In the context of the McBIM project, LIB is in charge of the following tasks : (1) define the a minima knowledge model necessary for ensuring interoperability among the different actors, (2) map the required concrete data to concepts in the IFC standard, (3) ensure that the so-defined piece of information can be efficiently and securely exchanged among actors. For doing so, a particular attention will be given to the impact the knowledge model, the exchange protocols, the web service encapsulation along with the security-related issues have of the level of efficiency of the exchange (e.g. size of the messages to be exchanged, upload frequency, data storage and modelling).

More Information

Additional comments

The following documents have prepared:

  • CV with publications’ list
  • Motivation letter (in French or in English)
  • For those who already defended their PhD : report from the PhD defense, report from the PhD reviewers
  • If possible, names for 2 referees (with their email adresses)

Offer Requirements

    FRENCH: Good
    ENGLISH: Good


PhD in computer science.

Proefficient in French and English.

Specific Requirements

Applicants for this position must have a background in knowledge modelling, notably description logic-based languages such as OWL 2 DL. Skills using Semantic Web technologies for defining and adressing queries (e.g. SPARQL) along with rule languages (e.g. SWRL, SHACL) are a plus.

Applicants should also have solid skills and knowledge in the domain of Wireless (micro-)Sensor Networking, most specifically regarding efficient and secure data exchange in such environments. Knowledge in serverless architectures, cloud/fog computing and network security are also considered a plus.

Knowledge in civil engineering, architecture and/or construction are considered a plus. Applicants with an interest for the Building Information Modeling (BIM) and/or Structural Health Monitoring (SHM) domain should specify it in their application letters.

Applicants should be interested by research activities in general and be able to interact with different actors from different domains (industrials from the AEC domain, as researchers from sensor networks).

Work location(s)
1 position(s) available at
Université de Bourgogne Laboratoire LIB
9, allée Alain Savary

EURAXESS offer ID: 420001


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