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Lyon-Sendai : strengthening the French-Japonese collaboration on materials science and engineering

5 March 2018

The CNRS, the University of Lyon and the University of Tohoku (Sendai, Japan) launched, on March 5th 2018, the French office of the International Joint Unit ELyTMaX [1] . Located within both the premises of the INSA Lyon in Villeurbanne and of the Ecole Centrale de Lyon in Ecully, the office accounts for the French site of the unit created in Sendai in 2016.

Its research focuses on the study of materials and systems under extreme conditions. Its inauguration was also the occasion to renew the International Associated Laboratory ELyTGlobal, which undertakes a larger, 30-year-old cooperation between the University of Tohoku and institutions in Lyon in the fields of engineering sciences, their applications and the societal issues thus involved.

In 2016, the creation of a French-Japanese research center in Sendai by the CNRS, the University of Lyon and the University of Tohoku symbolized the launch of the International Joint Unit (UMI) ELyTMaX. Five full-time French scientists and five doctoral students could therefore join a team of nine researchers from the University of Tohoku. Now, the partners have created a French office of this international lab, which will enable scientists from Tohoku to come to France and work, on a first place, on two research projects.

The first one will be dealing with energy conversion associated to the significant distortion of elastomer elements and its heat transfer. The second one will focus on biomedical applications, as it will study the tribological [2] and mechanical properties of biomodels materials of bones. The idea is to combine bone models developed at the University of Tohoku with the mechanical measure techniques developed in Lyon.

Those projects lies within the framework of three fundamental ELyTMaX research axis:

  • The analysis of the evolution of the materials used in the industry, particularly for the energy production and transportation. It aims at carrying out experiments and modeling on materials put under extreme conditions in order to figure out solutions towards the observed deteriorations;
  • The study of microsystems used to convert energy and, for instance, their resilience to pressure and severe electric fields. The scientists study new materials and systems to convert energy and are devoted to understanding, for example, the way the nanometric structure of materials can lead to macroscopic effects;
  • The study of materials ageing when used for biomedical applications, for instance for prostheses or bone substitutes. Those materials are put under both specific, particularly high mechanical and dynamic constraints and a physicochemical environment likely to hasten their ageing.

In the meantime, the University of Tohoku, institutions attached to the University of Lyon and the CNRS have created a laboratory without walls, the International Associated Laboratory (LIA) ELyT Global [3] . It will focus on the applications and societal issues involved in the research in the fields of engineering sciences. The research will hinge on scientific themes such as “Materials and structure design”, “Surfaces and interfaces”, “Simulation and modeling” and applied themes such as “Transportation”, “Energy” and “Engineering for Health”. Led by Tetsuya Uchimoto (University of Tohoku), and Julien Fontaine (CNRs), this network gathering a hundred scientists from both countries currently runs more than 25 collaborative research projects.

ELyTMaX, which takes part in ELyT Global, focuses its research on the impact of extreme conditions in the fields of materials for industrial production and transportation, for the conversion of energy at a centimetric scale, and for medical imaging. With two locations within the Lyon area, one in the Ecole Centrale de Lyon and the other in the INSA Lyon, the French office of ELyTMaX takes part in the synergy propelled by the Fédération d’ingénierie of Lyon-Saint-Etienne (IngéLySE) at the scale of the conurbation. This International Joint Unit represents a collaborative base, conducive to future projects with the University of Tohoku. Kazuhiro Ogawa (University of Tohoku) and Gaël Sebald (INSA Lyon) respectively lead ELyTMaX French and Japanese sites.

ELyT Global and ELyTMaX French office were inaugurated on March 5th 2018. This event took place within the framework of a cooperation initiated more than 30 years ago between research teams: with collaborations between scientists at first, then with the creation, in 2004, of liaison offices within the Universities of Tohoku and Lyon and finally, with the creation, in 2009 of the International Associated Laboratory ELyT Lab which led, in 2016, to the creation of the International Joint Unit ELyTMaX.

© INSIS Communication
Inaugurations of the LIA ELyT Global and of the French location of the UMI ELyTMaX on March 5th, 2018 in Lyon


Gaël Sebald | ELyTMaX Director| Mob +81 70 4226 5962 | gael.sebald insa-lyon.fr
Julien Fontaine, | ELyTGlobal Director | T +33 4 72 18 62 68 | julien.fontaine ec-lyon.fr
Sébastien Buthion | Local CNRS communication | Mob +33 6 88 61 88 96 | DR07.communication cnrs.fr
Isabelle Forestier | University of Lyon Communication | T +33 4 37 37 26 83 | isabelle.forestier universite-lyon.fr

[1] ELyTMaX : Engineering science LYon-Tohoku for MAterials and systems under eXtreme conditions

[2] Tribology : friction and deterioration study

[3] The LIA associates the CNRS, the INSA Lyon, the Ecole Centrale de Lyon, The Claude Bernard Lyon 1 University, the Ecole nationale d’ingénieurs de Saint-Etienne (ENISE), the Ecole nationale des travaux publics de l’Etat (ENTPE), the Ecole supérieure de chimie, physique et électronique de Lyon (CPE Lyon) and the University of Tohoku