USERS International Research Network

Urban Science and Engineering for (quantitative) Sustainability and Resilience

Participants (FR) : CNRS, Aix-Marseille Université, Université de Bordeaux, Sorbonne Université & Université de Montpellier

Participants (US) : Georgetown University (Washington D.C.), Massachusetts Institute of Technology, New York University, Princeton University (New Jersey), University of California, Berkeley & Santa Fe Institute (New Mexico)

Participants (other) : Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (Germany), University of Hannover (Germany), Duisburg University (Germany), University of Sherbrooke (Canada), Donostia Physics Research Center (Spain) & University of Cambridge (United Kingdom)

The “USERS” IRN (Urban Science and Engineering for -quantitative- Sustainability and Resilience) aims to extend to the city scale the knowledge acquired during the GdRi M2UN (Multi-scale Materials under the Nanoscope) on multi-scale porous materials from the point of view of their texture and fluid transport within their pore network.

The new “urban physics” field of knowledge fully integrates the fundamental knowledge acquired during the M2UN GdRi, which helped to federate a community of physicists, chemists and mechanicists around strategic materials such as cement, concrete, soils and clays, which are at the heart of growing urbanization and city development/planning issues.

Although the activities funded by IRN are not research as such, but rather the animation of a community around a project, industrial spin-offs with certain partners could exist since this IRN is concerned with materials such as cement and concrete, asphalt, clays in the context of infrastructure resilience and urban planning.

The essence of IRN USERS is to establish a sustainable international community around urban physics and building materials in the context of urban resilience, including population growth and climate change risks. By definition, this is an interdisciplinary project at the frontier between engineering and science, with the ambition of generating knowledge combining concepts from physics, chemistry and mechanics in a “bottom-up” approach from the nanometer to the macroscopic scale, covering elementary transport processes on the nanosecond scale to those of aging on the scale of years or even centuries.

Institutions and laboratories involved :

  • CNRS
  • Aix-Marseille University
  • University of Bordeaux
  • Sorbonne University
  • University of Montpellier
  • Department of Physics, Georgetown U., Washington DC, USA
  • Georgetown University
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • New York University
  • Princeton University
  • University of California, Berkeley
  • Santa Fe Institute
  • Aix-Marseille University
  • University of Bordeaux
  • Sorbonne Université
  • University of Montpellier
  • Karlsruhe Institute of Technology
  • Leibniz University Hannover
  • University of Duisburg-Essen
  • Université de Sherbrooke
  • Donostia International Physics Center (DIPC)
  • University of Cambridge


  • Coordinator France, Roland Pellenq
  • Coordinator USA, Emanuela Del Gado


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