ENAC news about research

Articles about research

A satellite image of Siberia Lena delta that flows in the Arctic Ocean. © NASA

Why rivers matter for the global carbon cycle

— In a new journal article, EPFL professor Tom Battin reviews our current understanding of carbon fluxes in the world’s river networks. He demonstrates their central role in the global carbon cycle and argues for the creation of a global River Observation System.

The unmanned, GPS-guided catamaran used to observe the lake. © Alain Herzog / EPFL

Scientists delve into natural slicks on Lake Geneva

— An EPFL researcher has, for the first time, documented slicks – those visually arresting, moving patches of smooth water – and explained what is happening beneath the surface. 

Anna Karla de Almeida Santos. © Alain Herzog / EPFL

Industrial heritage: a driver of the socioecological transition

— In this article appearing in Switzerland’s French-speaking press, Anna Karla de Almeida Santos, a PhD candidate at the Laboratory of Urbanism (Lab-U), explains that the transformation of sites with an industrial past represents an opportunity to test research avenues and materialize the socio-ecological transition.

Airborne Virus Transmission in Droplets. © iStock Photos

Acids help against airborne viruses

— A new study by various Swiss universities, including EPFL, shows that aerosols in indoor air can vary in acidity. This acidity determines how long viruses such as influenza and SARS-CoV-2 remain infectious in the air – with profound implications for virus transmission and strategies to contain it.

Equipe du Lausanne Hockey Club © Lionel Dériaz

Artificial intelligence deployed to enhance sports performance

— EPFL researchers have teamed up with Dartfish and the Lausanne Hockey Club to push the boundaries of sports-performance analysis by applying computer vision and machine-learning technology to action on the ice.

Patrick Giromini is lecturer at EPFL. © Alain Herzog / 2022 EPFL

Chalets provide insight into our relationship with mountains

— Chalets have been widely adopted as the standard form of architecture for mountain homes – but according to Patrick Giromini, an architect and lecturer at EPFL, it’s worth taking a close look at why. In a well-documented book, he explores how chalets reflect a societal construct established in the 18th century that has largely shaped our relationship with mountains.

Ariadni Elmaloglou, PhD student, and Dimitrios Terzis,one of her thesis supervisors.© Alain Herzog / EPFL

Chip lets scientists study biocement formation in real-time

— Scientists from EPFL and the University of Lausanne have used a chip that was originally designed for environmental science to study the properties of biocement formation. This material has the potential to replace traditional cement binders in certain civil engineering applications.

Scientists analyzed eleven substances used in the manufacture of tires. © iStock

Unraveling the secrets of microplastics released by tires

— In Switzerland, tire and road wear particles are one of the biggest sources of microplastics released into the environment, yet the chemical compounds contained in those particles – and their effects – remain largely a mystery. To remedy that knowledge gap, scientists at EPFL and two other Swiss research institutes are conducting a study of the toxicity of tire-particle compounds and how readily they’re absorbed by living organisms. The first phase of the study has just been completed.

© iStock: Bulat Silvia

Six new CROSS projects on the theme of crisis

— The 2023 edition of the CROSS (Collaborative Research on Science and Society) program invited researchers from EPFL and the University of Lausanne to submit proposals for joint projects on the theme of crisis. Of the six selected projects, two will be co-directed by ENAC researchers: Jérôme Chenal and Michael Lehning.

© Vincent Guignet

EPFL's Highly Cited Researchers in 2022

— Eleven EPFL researchers are among the most highly cited scientists in 2022. At ENAC, Professor Athanasios Nenes is among the nominees.

The city of Geneva is included in the study. © iStock Photos

Lake Geneva consumers surveyed as part of a study on climate change

— Over 10,000 people in both the French and Swiss parts of the Lake Geneva region have been surveyed on their transportation habits, as the first element of a broader EPFL study on consumer lifestyles and behavior. 

Sensors detect indoor air pollutants.© istock, Suebsiri

Prof. Athanasios Nenes wins two prestigious grants

— Professor Athanasios Nenes, the head of EPFL’s Laboratory of Atmospheric Processes and their Impacts (LAPI), has won EU and Swiss research grants for two large-scale projects. The first will look at how indoor air pollution, allergens and viruses affects children’s health, and the second will examine the complicated role of reactive nitrogen in our ecosystem and the response to the energy transition in Switzerland.

Savvas Saloustros, Hélène Angot and Aurélie Terrier.© ENAC/COM

Three ENAC researchers awarded Swiss National Foundation grants

— Aurélie Terrier from the Institute of Architecture, Savvas Saloustros from the Institute of Civil Engineering and Hélène Angot from the Institute of Environmental Engineering have each won a research grant from the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF).

The “Engineering Humanitarian Action” initiative aims to put the expertise of the two federal institutes of technology at the service of humanitarian action. Image: ICRC

Researchers deliver science for humanitarian action

— Using innovative technologies and scientific expertise to help people in need is the goal of the Engineering for Humanitarian Action initiative launched by the ICRC, ETH Zurich and EPFL in 2020. Six of the projects are already offering results for tangible improvements for the ICRC.

Drone surveillance could be useful for national park rangers. © Friedrich Reinhard

ALPOLE researchers win two EU research grants

— Devis Tuia and Tom Ian Battin, two laboratory heads at EPFL’s Alpine and Polar Research Center (ALPOLE), in Sion, have obtained funding under the EU’s Horizon program. This funding is intended to sponsor PhD students within a network of doctoral students in Europe, thus enabling professors to embark on high-stakes projects with confidence.

The polluted warm air-mass photographed on April 15, 2020 by the EPFL researcher. © J. Schmale

A warm intrusion in the Arctic causes extreme pollution levels

— During the MOSAiC research expedition, conducted in the Arctic pack ice between 2019 and 2020, EPFL scientists observed an atmospheric perturbation triggered by the intrusion of a highly polluted warm air-mass. A first study providing further insight into the phenomenon and its potential implications has just been published.

A group of buildings owned by the ABZ housing cooperative in Zurich.© iStock/Rafael_Wiedenmeier

Why it will be imperative to reduce the size of rental properties

— A PhD thesis carried out at EPFL has shown that, based on realistic forecasts, the only way we’ll be able to shrink the environmental footprint of residential dwelling by 2050 in Switzerland is through a joint effort between housing owners and tenants. 

Snowboarder Mathieu Schaer narrowly escaping a slab avalanche. © Ruedi Flück

The physics of snow slab avalanches similar to that of earthquakes

— Scientists from EPFL and the WSL Institute for Snow and Avalanche Research SLF have gained deeper insight into how snow slab avalanches form, paving the way to more effective risk assessment measures for these catastrophic events that induce more avalanche accidents and fatalities every year than other types of avalanches.

Individuals display very different levels of thermal comfort under normal office conditions © iStock

One step closer to providing customized climate control in the office

— EPFL researchers have shown that people’s perception of office temperature can vary considerably. Personalized climate control could therefore help enhance workers’ comfort – and save energy at the same time.

EPFL researchers have used swarms of drones to measure city traffic. © Dan Muniu/WeRobotics

Monitoring city mobility from the skies

— EPFL researchers have used swarms of drones to measure city traffic with unprecedented accuracy and precision. Algorithms are then used to identify sources of traffic jams and recommend solutions to alleviate traffic problems.

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