Research

Three Instituts to perform cutting-edge research

©EPFL-IA/EPFL-LIPID/EPFL-iBois/EPFL-ECOL/ERZ/NASA/iStock

ENAC researchers work at the crossroads of the built and natural environments. They explore the many facets of our world — from underground microbial networks to complex urban mechanisms — with a clear focus on innovative, sustainability-oriented solutions.

Our three institutes and over 70 laboratories are recognized internationally for their research excellence and their cross-disciplinary approach. Our teams also collaborate with the broader scientific community and various public and private partners within prestigious organizations.

ENAC’s labs are located across three different EPFL campuses (Lausanne, Fribourg and Sion) and benefit from state-of-the-art equipment. They are designed to foster open and reproducible science, paving the way to new discoveries and encouraging knowledge sharing.

Institute of Architecture and the City – IA

The Institute of Architecture (IA) addresses the systemic challenges posed by the ongoing climate crisis, rapid urbanization, digitalization and the threat of ecosystem collapse, as they relate to our built environment. Its ambition is to use transdisciplinary design-focused research to develop coherent, progressive and inclusive visions and solutions for our future, operating as catalysts for the ecological transition that is vital for human habitation on the planet.

Civil Engineering Institute – IIC

The Civil Engineering Institute (IIC) conducts multidisciplinary research with a primary focus on the sustainability of infrastructure and geosystems, new sources of energy, distributed energy systems, and mobility and transportation. Through multi-scale experimental and computational research, IIC embraces technological literacy and promotes open science.

Environmental Engineering Institute – IIE

The Environmental Engineering Institute (IIE) pioneers adaptation to environmental changes as part of sustainable design. Its emphasis is on translational science based on a rigorous understanding of the environment, seamless integration of data and models, humans as integral components of environmental systems, and the development of novel, leading-edge technologies.

News about research

Detail of artwork: Embroidery of texts from colonial archives. © Denise Bertschi

A study of art and architecture revisits Swiss colonial history

— In her PhD thesis, carried out jointly at EPFL's Arts of Science Laboratory and the HEAD-Genève school of art in Geneva, Denise Bertschi examines Switzerland’s role in establishing a slavery-based colony in Brazil. Bertschi, who is also an artist, will display her work at both the Swiss National Museum and the Neuchâtel Art Center in September.

© 2024 EPFL

Thale cress: The unassuming weed that's lighting up science

— It’s a well-established fact that, in the plant world, competition for sunlight is intense. Smaller plants grow taller and spread their leaves to escape the shade cast by their loftier counterparts. But while we’ve long understood the mechanics of this adaptation process, little was known about how plants detect where sunlight is coming from. A team of scientists found the answer deep inside the cells of Arabidopsis thaliana.

A group of EPFL and ETH Zurich scientists have mapped the biodiversity in forests worldwide.© 2024 EPFL

Scientists map biodiversity changes in the world's forests

— A group of EPFL and ETH Zurich scientists have mapped the biodiversity in forests worldwide. Their data, when combined with climate projections, reveal trends that could support ecosystem conservation and restoration efforts.

Treelines are rising as a result of global warming.© Istock/semak

How rising treelines can affect Alpine lakes

— An EPFL scientist along with colleagues from universities across Europe have completed the first-ever quantitative study of the changes that soil organic matter from forests can cause in high-altitude and high-latitude lakes once it’s dissolved in the water

More news about research

ENAC’s Labs

AcronymeNom completprofesseur responsableInstitutlieu
SOILSoil biogeochemistry laboratoryAeppli MeretIIESion
BUILD-OBuilding 2050Aguacil SergiIAFribourg
VITAVisual lntelligence for TransportationAlahi AlexandreIICLausanne
MACEMicrobiome Adaptation to the Changing EnvironmentAltshuler IaninaIIESion
LHEEnvironmental Hydraulics LaboratoryAncey ChristopheIICLausanne
LIPIDLaboratory of Integrated Performance in DesignAndersen MarilyneIALausanne
GR-ACMLes Archives de la construction moderneAprea SalvatoreIALausanne
TPODTheory and Project of Domestic SpaceAureli Pier VittorioIALausanne
MANSLAB-COLaboratory for spatial manufacturing – GeneralBakker & BlancIALausanne
RIVERRiver Ecosystems LaboratoryBattin TomIIESion
LTEEnvironmental Remote Sensing LaboratoryBerne AlexisIIELausanne
EMLEnvironmental Microbiology LaboratoryBernier-Latmani RizlanIIELausanne
EESDEarthquake Engineering and Structural Dynamics LaboratoryBeyer KatrinIICLausanne
TRANSP-ORTransportation and Mobility LaboratoryBierlaire MichelIICLausanne
HERUSLaboratory on Human-Environment Relations in Urban SystemsBinder Claudia R.IIELausanne
CHANGELaboratory of Catchment Hydrology and GeomorphologyBonetti SaraIIESion
LAPISArts of sciences laboratory – Archives of imaginaryBraghieri NicolaIALausanne
GR-CELCEL Group – Central Environmental LaboratoryBreider FlorianIIELausanne
SENSESmart Environmental Sensing in Extreme EnvironnementsChappellaz JérômeIIESion
CEATUrban and Regional Planning CommunityChenal JérômeIIELausanne
DC-LABDomestic City laboratoryDelhay SophieIALausanne
ALICEDesign Studio on the Conception of SpaceDietz DieterIALausanne
IMOSIntelligent Maintenance and Operations SystemsFink OlgaIICLausanne
SXLStructural Exploration LabFivet CorentinIAFribourg
EAST-COLaboratory of Elementary Architecture and Studies of Types – GeneralFröhlich Martin & AnjaIALausanne
LUTSUrban Transport Systems LaboratoryGeroliminis NikolaosIICLausanne
PERLPlant Ecology Research LaboratoryGrossiord CharlotteIIELausanne
MICROBELaboratory of microbial physiology and resource BiorecoveryGu WenyuIIELausanne
LBELaboratory for Environmental BiotechnologyHolliger ChristofIIELausanne
LDMMedia and Design Laboratory (ENAC/IC)Huang JeffreyIALausanne
LANDLaboratory of Landscape DevelopmentJessel BeateIALausanne
LMDData-Driven Mechanics LaboratoryKarapiperis KostasIICLausanne
LASURUrban Sociology LaboratoryKaufmann VincentIALausanne
CCLABComposite Construction LaboratoryKeller ThomasIICLausanne
ICELaboratory of Integrated Comfort EngineeringKhovalyg DolaanaIICFribourg
LVELaboratory of Environmental VirologyKohn TamarIIELausanne
TOXLaboratory of Environmental ToxicologyKristin SchirmerIIELausanne
RPGLRock Physics and Geofluids LaboratoryKushnir AlexandraIICLausanne
LMSSoil Mechanics Laboratory – Chair gaz naturel PetrosvibriLaloui LyesseIICLausanne
TEXASTheory and Experience Architecture StudioLapierre EricIALausanne
GELGeo-energy Laboratory – Gaznat Chair on Geo-energyLecampion BriceIICLausanne
CRYOSLaboratory of Cryospheric SciencesLehning MichaelIIESion
GR-URBDEMOUrban DemographyLerch MathiasIALausanne
HOBELHuman-Oriented Built Environment LabLicina DusanIICFribourg
RESSLABResilient Steel Structures LaboratoryLignos DimitriosIICLausanne
GR-LUDLudwig Group / EPFL-PSI Joint Professorship in Solid Waste TreatmentLudwig ChristianIIELausanne
RIOTResearch and development for innovation on architecture, urban design and territoryMalterre-Barthes CharlotteIALausanne
URBESLaboratory of Urban and Environmental SystemsManoli GabrieleIALausanne
DISALDistributed Intelligent Systems and Algorithms LaboratoryMartinoli AlcherioIIELausanne
LGBLaboratory for Biological GeochemistryMeibom AndersIIELausanne
LSMSComputational Solid Mechanics LaboratoryMolinari Jean-FrançoisIICLausanne
LAPILaboratory of atmospheric processes and their impactsNenes AthanasiosIIELausanne
THEMATheory of Environment, Material, and ArchitectureNichols SarahIALausanne
CRCLLaboratory for Creative ComputationParascho StefanaIALausanne
PL-LCHHydraulic Constructions PlatformPerona PaoloIICLausanne
WIREWind Engineering and Renewable Energy LaboratoryPorte Agel FernandoIIELausanne
LASTLaboratory of Architecture and Sustainable TechnologiesRey EmmanuelIALausanne
ECHOLaboratory of EcohydrologyRinaldo AndreaIIELausanne
CONSTRUCTConcrete Behaviour and Structural Design LaboratoryRuggiero DavidIICLausanne
EERLExtreme Environments Research Laboratory – Ingvar Kamprad ChairSchmale JuliaIIESion
NanosolarNanotechnology for Solar Energy ConversionSchueler AndreasIICLausanne
ETHOSCivil Engineering and Technology for Human Oriented Sustainability LabSonta AndrewIICFribourg
LIFLaboratory of Imagination and FabricationTaillieu JoIALausanne
LEURELaboratory of Environmental and Urban EconomicsThalmann PhilippeIALausanne
HITAMHistory and Theories of Architecture, Technology and MediaThiermann AlfredoIALausanne
FARLaboratory of Construction and ArchitectureTombesi PaoloIALausanne
ECEOEnvironmental Computational Science and Earth Observation LaboratoryTuia DevisIIESion
ACHTArchitecture, Criticism, History and Theoryvan Gerrewey ChristopheIALausanne
LAB-ULaboratory of UrbanismViganò PaolaIALausanne
LEMRLaboratory of Experimental Rock MechanicsViolay MarieIICLausanne
LTQELaboratory for Water Quality and TreatmentVon Gunten UrsIIELausanne
IBOISChair of Timber ConstructionWeinand YvesIICLausanne
HOMELaboratory for Human-Oriented Mobility Eco-systemZhang KenanIICLausanne