Polyhedral mesh of 3D volumes optimized for simulation in geoscience

Research division

Mass and energy transfers in the subsoil are essential for several environmental issues (underground CO2 storage, geothermal energy, hydrogeology…). The simulation of such phenomena requires an accurate representation of the subsoil which is intrinsically complex and heterogeneous (sedimentary patterns, fractures, karst systems…).
During a long time, the mesh generation has been constrained by the numerical schemes used to discretize the partial differential equations and remains a tough task if one wants to take all surfaces included in a geological model into account. This project will rely on recent advances achieved for discretization schemes designed for general polyhedral meshes to elaborate an original mesh generator that will be able to represent complex geometries with highly automated procedures. Its implementation will be continuously founded on the analysis of the schemes’ behavior on a range of geological models, allowing us to find out suitable quality criteria.
This PhD thesis will be directed by Alexandra Bac from Aix-Marseille University. The candidate will be able to reside in Rueil-Malmaison or Marseille as preferred, but is expected to visit the other place regularly. He or she will work closely with IFPEN teams in charge of numerical simulations and will have to confront his or her meshes with their numerical schemes.


  • Academic supervisor    Mme BAC Alexandra, Laboratoire d’Informatique & Systèmes (Laboratory of Computer Science & Systems), in Marseille
  • Doctoral School    ED184, https://ed184.lis-lab.fr/doku.php
  • IFPEN supervisor    Mr. ASTART Laurent, software project manager, computer science department, laurent.astart@ifpen.fr
  • PhD location    As preferred, but with regular trips to the other site:  IFP Energies Nouvelles, Rueil-Malmaison, France and LIS, Luminy campus, Marseille, France
  • Duration and start date    3 years, starting not earlier than September 2020
  • Employer    IFP Energies Nouvelles, Rueil-Malmaison, France
  • Academic requirements    University Master degree in computer science
  • Language requirements    Fluency in French or English, willingness to learn French
  • Other requirements    Knowledge in C++, computer graphics and/or numerical simulations
Encadrant IFPEN 
ASTART Laurent
software project manager, computer science department
About IFP Energies nouvelles

IFP Energies nouvelles is a French public-sector research, innovation and training center. Its mission is to develop efficient, economical, clean and sustainable technologies in the fields of energy, transport and the environment. For more information, see https://www.ifpen.com. 
IFPEN offers a stimulating research environment, with access to first in class laboratory infrastructures and computing facilities. IFPEN offers competitive salary and benefits packages. All PhD students have access to dedicated seminars and training sessions