Oxalia Chair



Oxalia is a Chair of Excellence supported by the Grenoble INP Foundation thanks to the sponsorship of the company Artelia. The research of this Chair consists in predicting the dynamics of multiphase flows, a flow of water in the presence of solid particles or air bubbles, which control the erosion of rivers and coastlines, particularly around hydraulic and coastal structures.

The objective of the Chair is to provide solutions to this major issue in order to design more efficient hydraulic structures by creating innovative numerical models. To do this, the Chair is backed by the Geophysical and Industrial Flow Laboratory (LEGI) , which has all the skills and infrastructure needed to understand the physics of turbulent multiphase flows.

The Chair also wishes to transmit the results of its work through a teaching program developed with Grenoble INP – Ense3, UGA dedicated to advanced simulation tools.

“The OXALIA Chair is an opportunity for Artelia to formalize its historical links with Grenoble INP - UGA and, by this very formalization, to strengthen them. Indeed, Artelia, a major design office for complex hydraulics, has been integrated into the Grenoble academic fabric since the creation of our first hydraulics laboratory nearly one hundred years ago, and regularly exchanges with Grenoble INP. We believe that the creation of the OXALIA Chair is an opportunity to increase this relationship of trust in the areas that are important to our field of hydraulic engineering. This allows us to develop new directions of cooperation and to take synergies to the next level.”
Pierre Carlotti

Pierre Carlotti

Scientific Director – Artelia
“Climate change, population explosion and increasing urbanization have an impact on coastal morphology, but also on hydraulic infrastructures: bridges, dams, etc. For example, the majority of bridge collapses in the world are caused by the phenomenon of scouring, a digging of the ground due to the disruption of the movement of the current by an obstacle, natural or artificial. The strategic and economic stakes are therefore enormous. Our research will allow us to understand the dynamics of the natural environments that surround us, to model them in order to better predict their evolution and to build more durable infrastructures by reducing material and human risks.”
Julien Chauchat

Julien Chauchat

Holder of the Oxalia Chair
“As a CNRS senior research engineer, my ambition has always been to link environmental and industrial issues with computational fluid mechanics. As an expert in scientific computing and a fervent defender of open science, it seemed essential to me to confront myself with the industrial world and to transmit and valorize my skills in software development and use of new digital technologies. The richness of the Chair, and in particular the diversity of the actors, allows me to fully achieve this objective, while raising awareness of the negative impacts of digital technology on the environment. The Oxalia Chair will thus enable many innovations in hydraulic structures, while having a societal and environmental responsibility approach!”

Cyrille BONAMY

Scientific calculation expert of the Oxalia Chair

Our missions


To create these models, we must first understand the physics of turbulent flow at the scale of inclusions of a few hundred microns and its repercussions on the flow at the scale of the system of several tens or even hundreds of meters.

To simplify the calculations, it is essential to understand what is happening on a small scale, and to go back to a larger scale through the use of "nested box" models. Experimentation will then play a major role in validating the models.

For this purpose, LEGI has state-of-the-art equipment such as a wave channel, a variable slope channel, and the Coriolis platform, the world's largest rotating platform dedicated to fluid mechanics. As for Artelia, the group has a hydraulic test laboratory in Pont-de-Claix.

Training responsible engineers

The Chair plans to share its research results through a teaching program developed by Grenoble INP - Ense3 and3 and Julien CHAUCHAT, holder of the Oxalia Chair, for 3rd year students. This teaching is dedicated to advanced simulation tools for mechanics and the environment.

The Chair will also organize a scientific day each year to present the progress of its research.

The Chair's founding partners and sponsors

Research and training areas


  • To develop digital models to design more efficient hydraulic structures
  • Proposing solutions to prevent river and coastal erosion


  • Develop a new teaching program dedicated to advanced simulation tools for mechanics and the environment
  • To propose projects related to the Chair's themes to Grenoble INP - Ense3 students3

Research team

Laboratories, schools and associated structures

Our projects


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