Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions

MSCA-COFUND-CLEAR-Doc - PhD Position #CD21-44 "Optimised vegetal wools for indoor comfort: coupling fire treatment with acoustic and hygrothermal performances"

This job offer has expired

    Université Gustave Eiffel
    EngineeringMaterials engineering
    EngineeringSound engineering
    EngineeringThermal engineering
    Environmental science
    PhysicsChemical physics
    First Stage Researcher (R1)
    21/03/2022 17:00 - Europe/Brussels
    France › Marne-La-Vallée
    H2020 / Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions COFUND


In the fight against climate change, the use of vegetal wools in the field of bio-constructions presents the major interests of a smart management of natural resources, as well as the storage of atmospheric carbon dioxide. The vegetal wools also contribute strongly to the improvement of the acoustic and hygrothermal indoor comforts, which are high issues for habitat and workspaces.

Nevertheless, these materials, which contain cellulose and hemicellulose, are generally poorly classified in terms of their reaction and resistance to fire because of their flammable and flame-spreading characteristics. To be used as apparent panels in public buildings (ERP), it is therefore necessary to apply a fireproofing treatment. However, the impact of these treatments on the acoustic and hygrothermal performances of wools, mainly associated with their fibrous and porous microstructure, remains poorly understood. In addition, despite a more suitable contribution to indoor comfort than mineral wools, the greater thickness of the plant wool panels traditionally used in construction, around 10 cm, is a limiting factor for their use.

All these elements constitute, for the building industry, major obstacles to the development of vegetal fiber-based products for indoor comfort.

In this context, in order to develop the use of vegetal wools more widely, the objectives of the thesis are:

- to adapt and optimize fire treatments compatible with vegetal wools. It will be necessary to better understand the influence of fire treatments on the fibers and material scales, particularly on the material porosity and air resistivity, then develop modelling methods to simulate their impacts on the acoustic and hygrothermal properties of the insulating panels.

- to design biobased insulators with a limited thickness (less than 50 mm) while maintaining both the acoustic absorption capacity for low frequencies and hygrothermal properties. To do that, based on meta-material approaches, it is necessary to investigate the physical phenomena of localization in the material structure such as double porosity phenomena or composite methods.


Several partners are involved in this thesis for the implementation of vegetal wools, fireproofing treatments, and for the characterization and modeling of their properties:

- The wool manufacturing of controlled formulations on a pilot scale, representative of the industrial scale, will be carried out on the CETELOR technological platform (Centre d'essais Textile Lorrain), attached to the University of Lorraine and dedicated to the research and development on flexible materials and natural or technical fibres based composite.

- The fireproofing treatments and the fire resistance tests will be carried out in the Materia Nova center for innovation in materials and processes, attached to the University of Mons in Belgium.

- The other experimental characterizations will take place in the UMRAE laboratory in Strasbourg (acoustics and hygrothermy on a material scale), in the CPDM laboratory in Champs-sur-Marne (physico-chemical and microstructural characterizations) and at the ENTPE in Vaulx-en-Velin (wall-scale acoustics).


Year 1: the first semester will consist, within the UMRAE, in appropriating the knowledge relating to the multi-physical properties of the vegetal wools by a bibliographical study and experimental characterizations in laboratory. The second semester will be divided into two phases. The first phase, lasting 2 months, in partnership with CETELOR, will allow the investigation of all the levers that can be used in the manufacturing of vegetal wool panels. The second phase, lasting 4 months, will take place at the Materia Nova laboratory in order to investigate the fireproofing treatments of wools and then to carry out fire tests on the modified materials.

Year 2: the first semester of the 2nd year of the thesis will take place in the CPDM laboratory in order to carry out physico-chemical characterizations on the treated materials, as well as micro-macro simulations to model the impact of the fireproofing treatment on their acoustic and hygrothermal performances. The second semester at UMRAE will be devoted to experimental characterizations of the acoustic and hygrothermal properties of the treated materials in order to validate the simulations previously carried out, to feed the knowledge and to complete the databases at the fiber and material scales. During this semester, techniques for optimizing the thickness of materials will be developed based on the latest work related to meta-materials.

Year 3: the last year will take place within the UMRAE. After removing the lock on the reduction of the thickness of bio-based insulation materials, the objective will be to connect these results with those from the fireproofing of materials in order to lead to a joint optimization between the acoustic and hygrothermal properties and the thickness of materials. In partnership with Cetelor, it should lead to the development of a fire-treated vegetal wool prototype. A measurement campaign will then be carried out at ENTPE in order to validate the properties of the optimized materials at the wall scale. If necessary, additional characterization campaigns could be carried out at the CPDM laboratory.

Thus, all this work will lead to:

- The development of operational optimization tools suitable for building professionals, based on the coupled fire-acoustic-hygrothermal models developed.

- The on-site implementation of a both fire-treated and thickness-optimized prototype, for various typical applications: ceiling, acoustic baffles, etc.

In addition to the valorization of the results by publications of articles and scientific communications, this thesis offers the opportunity to the early stage researcher to deepen and develop his knowledge on the acoustic, hygrothermal and physicochemical properties of the vegetal fibers and the bio-based materials.

International mobility

 Secondment at Univeristy of Mons (Belgique) and collaboration with CETELOR and CEREMA. For more information, contact the PhD thesis supervisor.

More Information


  • High-quality doctoral training rewarded by a PhD degree, delivered by Université Gustave Eiffel
  • Access to cutting-edge infrastructures for research & innovation.
  • Appointment for a period of 36 months based on a salary of 2 700 € (gross salary per month).
  • Job contract under the French labour legislation in force, respecting health and safety, and social security: 35 hours per week contract, 25 days of annual leave per year.
  • International mobility will be mandatory
  • An international environment supported by the adherence to the European Charter & Code.
  • Access to dedicated CLEAR-Doc trainings with a strong interdisciplinary focus, together with a Career development Plan.

Eligibility criteria

  • At the time of the deadline, applicants must be in possession or finalizing their Master’s degree or equivalent/postgraduate degree. At the time of recruitment, applicants must be in possession of their Master’s degree or equivalent/postgraduate degree which would formally entitle to embark on a doctorate.
  • At the time of the deadline, applicants must be in the first four years (full-time equivalent research experience) of their research career (career breaks excluded) and not yet been awarded a doctoral degree. Career breaks refer to periods of time where the candidate was not active in research, regardless of his/her employment status (sick leave, maternity leave etc). Short stays such as holidays and/or compulsory national service are not taken into account.
  • At the time of the deadline, applicants must not have resided or carried out their main activity (work, studies, etc.) in France for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately prior to the call deadline.
  • Applicants must be available to start the programme on schedule (around 1st October 2022).

Selection process

Additional comments

  • The First step before applying is contacting the PhD supervisor. You will not be able to apply without an acceptation letter from the PhD supervisor.
  • Please contact the PhD supervisor for any additional detail on job offer.
  • There are no restrictions concerning the age, gender or nationality of the candidates. Applicants with career breaks or variations in the chronological sequence of their career, with mobility experience or with interdisciplinary background or private sector experience are welcome to apply.
  • Support service is available during every step of the application process by email: clear-doc@univ-eiffel.fr

Web site for additional job details

Offer Requirements

    ENGLISH: Good


  • At the time of the deadline, applicants must be in possession or finalizing their Master’s degree or equivalent/postgraduate degree.
  • At the time of recruitment, applicants must be in possession of their Master’s degree or equivalent/postgraduate degree which would formally entitle to embark on a doctorate.

Specific Requirements

International mobility : a secondment at Univeristy of Mons (Belgique) and collaboration with CETELOR and CEREMA. For more information, contact the PhD thesis supervisor.

Work location(s)
1 position(s) available at
Université Gustave Eiffel
14-20 boulevard Newton - Bâtiment Bienvenüe

EURAXESS offer ID: 716473


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