"The internet of things, in terms of aeronautics, remains a broad field to be explored and developed. Whereas in the past we would build patches to be connected to existing systems, now we need to integrate those systems directly into the materials we are using. We are working towards a method where the intelligence is all built directly into the systems themselves."
Can we have a brief overview of the institute and its recent activities?
We were founded in 2006, and in 2007 became a member of the Association Instituts Carnot, which is a national multi-disciplinary research network. We currently have over 1,800 researchers conducting partnership research for companies, promoting innovation, and developing technology transfers, mainly in the aerospace industry.
Each Carnot Institute is recognized for its high scientific standard and commits to developing R&D activities to promote industry innovation, building on our strong relationships with local industry leaders, Safran and Airbus, and also a number of SMEs. We offer different services to larger companies than SME’s to cater to their different budgets. Larger companies tend to use us as a more general research and development wing, whereas smaller companies will approach us with smaller, more specific and targeted projects.
What industry-wide trends are driving your research?
The reduction of nitrogen oxide emissions is the principal driving factor. To achieve this, aerospace companies are primarily looking to develop and use more lightweight materials, as lighter aircraft translates into less overall fuel consumption.
The move towards electric engines is also a major driving factor. A particular example of engine development and innovation is with the ultra-high-bypass (UHB) turbofan engine. This is when you have a very large fan compared to the size of the engine, which offers high speed and performance. We are looking at how to develop this kind of engine so that is has the maximum fuel efficiency.
Smart materials and smart machinery will also be a big focus. The internet of things, in terms of aeronautics, remains a broad field to be explored and developed. Whereas in the past we would build patches to be connected to existing systems, now we need to integrate those systems directly into the materials we are using. We are working towards a method where the intelligence is all built directly into the systems themselves.
Are there any examples of government funding that has supported your research, or made it more widely accessible?
We are involved with a six-year government funded program called AIRCAR, which was launched in 2016. AIRCAR aims to use R&D innovation to strengthen the competitiveness of the SME market. The program is led by ONERA, the aeronautics, space and defense research lab, and there are seven other Carnot institutes involved in this program, and we are mapping the skills of the scientific and technological platforms available and offering them to SME’s. We want to propose solutions to the problems that SME’s have that are not always strictly research-based problems. We respond to any scientific and technological needs that the companies might have.
We are also involved with the PHARE project, which is working to develop rotating machine platforms for the control of environmental risks. This project received €3 million in 2016 from the French National Research Agency (the ANR), and is also supported by Safran, who we have a very strong relationship with. Multidisciplinary projects like this bring together different leading laboratories and benefit from funding from multiple sources.
Do you have a final message for our readers in the aerospace community?
Ingénierie @ Lyon has a high level of scientific and technological skills which are directly applicable to the aeronautic sector. We are here to lend you our creativity and scientific excellence to strengthen your capacity for innovation.
To larger companies: we want to coproduce knowledge in order to obtain large-scale innovation. We will listen to you and shape our research around your needs.
To smaller companies: our knowledge, experience and expertise is also accessible to you. We are here to respond to individual technological needs, to consult on your problems, and to create innovative solutions.
We have the laboratories and we have the skilled engineers who are ready to work.