Energy system modelling of the airport of Geneva

General information

Type: Master project
Period: Autumn 2019
Project directors: Prof. François Maréchal (IPESE-EPFL)
Assistants: Francesca Belfiore (IPESE-EPFL, HES-SO)
Related project: Assist Geneva International Airport during its transition to a zero-fossil energy system


The airport of Geneva (GVA) will be undergoing massive transformations in order to meet the objectives of energy efficiency, renewables integration and carbon footprint reduction. In particular a low temperature thermal network will distribute cold lake water to the airport as a source of heat and cold (the Genilac project) for the airport’s heating and cooling needs. The EPFL is supporting GVA in planning the transition from its current to its future thermal system.

Project description

The objective of this master project will be, in collaboration of the team currently working with GVA, to map and model the heating and cooling demands of the site’s various buildings. Measured data will be used to calibrate the models, which must be reliable in predicting current and future demand. The major difficulty of the case study is to deal with the complexity of the buildings and the influence of the various parameters, such as ambient temperature and occupancy profiles.


Desired hard skills are:

  • Energy conversion systems knowledge (EPFL courses: Thermo I/II, Energy conversion, Advanced Energetics, or equivalent)
  • Programming skills: MATLAB, Python, Lua or similar languages

Other soft skills are highly appreciated:

  • Motivation, autonomy and self-organization
  • Ability to communicate results (oral and written)
  • English scientific writing skills

Work structure

Project tasks:

  • Carry on a literature review on complex buildings demand estimation
  • Investigate the most influential parameters (ambient temperature, solar radiation, occupancy profiles, holidays, weekends, number of flights, etc.)
  • Develop a simple and reliable model
  • Calibrate the model on measured data

How to apply

If interested, please take contact with Francesca Belfiore attaching your CV, Cover Letter and transcript of records (Bachelor’s and Master’s).

Practical information

The IPESE laboratory is located in the Sion EPFL campus. Travels from Lausanne to Sion are compensated by EPFL.