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Teaching sustainable development

In an ever-changing world, the transition to a more sustainable, environmentally-friendly society has become a major challenge. Faced with these challenges, engineering schools play an essential role in training the future agents of change. Polytech Marseille recognizes the importance of rethinking traditional teaching methods to meet the challenges of sustainability. As a result, a significant pedagogical shift has been implemented to integrate sustainable development objectives into all our programs. Pedagogical inflexion in engineering schools involves reorienting curricula and training programs to take account of the ecological, economic and social dimensions of transition. The aim is to integrate the knowledge and skills needed to meet the challenges of sustainability, such as resource management, energy efficiency, preserving biodiversity and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

  • Sustainable development courses

    Courses in sustainable development account for over 8% of all courses in the school's departments. These courses are designed to make students aware of the fundamental principles of sustainable development and provide the tools for transition, highlighting the links between the ecological, social and economic dimensions of transition. The Sustainable Development Goals, as defined by the United Nations, serve as a frame of reference to guide content and discussions. 20% of courses have clear links with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs ), and are in the process of being transformed to contextualize and further illustrate these links. As a result, 28% of the school's courses should eventually incorporate sustainable development issues.

  • Teaching common to all our courses

    These courses follow on from the Sustainable Development Day organized by the school, and provide a response to the climate mural proposed during the day.
    The pedagogical shift is not limited to course content, but also encompasses teaching methods. It encourages project-based learning, interdisciplinary collaboration, experimentation and action research. Students are encouraged to work on concrete transition-related issues, in partnership with companies, local authorities or associations committed to sustainable development.
    The educational shift in engineering schools is a necessary response to the challenges of the transition to a more sustainable society. By training engineers who are aware of environmental and social challenges, able to think systemically and innovate responsibly, we are creating the conditions for a better future that is more respectful of our planet.

    - List of DDRS courses
    - Map of courses linked to the SDGs

    Past training initiatives :

    • The school obtained funding from the Fond d'Intervention Pédagogique to finance training in Fresques du Climat for 40 teaching and non-teaching staff. The aim is to raise awareness of sustainable development among the entire incoming class in the first year of the engineering cycle during a day dedicated to sustainable development through climate frescoes animated by the school's staff.
    • Some 1,607 hours of SDRS-related tutorials are included in the core curriculum of the engineering program, as well as in specialization courses.
    • GreenIT: Polytech staff were offered a day to raise awareness of the environmental impact of digital technology.
    • The school is taking part in the Shell Eco Marathon project in the fuel cell (hydrogen) category.
  • Le Mastère Spécialisé® Économie Circulaire et Organisation Durable (ECOD)

    De niveau bac + 6, le Mastère ECOD labellisé Conférence des Grandes Écoles, vise à compléter une spécialité initiale d’ingénieurs par une formation à l’organisation industrielle intégrant dans un même temps durabilité, circularité, responsabilité sociétale et productivité.

Sustainable development research activities

The school's partner laboratories share a commitment to sustainable development. Together, they push back the frontiers of scientific and technological research. Their innovative solutions in fields such as energy, water, sustainable agriculture, green mobility and waste management contribute to a more sustainable future.

  • Energy and buildings

    IUSTI Laboratory

    TheFires, Thermal Energy and Hydrodynamics axis plays an important role in today's energy transition. Its commitment to low-carbon energies is quite strong, particularly in solar energy, nuclear fission and fusion by magnetic confinement. The proximity of the Cadarache research center facilitates the strong involvement of the members of this axis in these activities, notably through the Institut des Sciences de la Fusion et de l'Instrumentation dans le Nucléaire.
    Urban thermal issues and, more generally, the energy optimization of various thermal systems (buildings, heat exchangers, heat pumps, etc.) will also be addressed, taking advantage of the skills developed in recent years in optimization, phase change, inverse problem solving, radiation and flows.
    The aim of the "Optimization and Energy Transition" research program is to study and optimize components and systems in support of the energy transition. Advanced multicriteria optimization methodologies, using techniques derived from artificial intelligence, and sensitivity analysis are used to design and manage energy systems, with or without storage systems. Part of OR OTE ETS's research activities is dedicated to optimizing energy components and systems for the home (heating, domestic hot water, cooking, etc.), mainly using renewable energy processes. Specific studies will be carried out in an instrumented building of high environmental quality located close to the laboratory;
    These methodologies can be applied to the topological optimization of components such as solar absorbers or heat exchangers. In particular, IUSTI is planning to set up an experimental model of Energie Thermique des Mers (ETM). For ETM, optimizing exchangers is one of the main challenges in terms of performance and cost. Given the high potential for cogeneration in this technology (cooling, drinking water, hydrogen, marine lithium, etc.), investigations on a systemic scale will be carried out. Another example concerns the optimization of Scheffler-type concentrating solar dishes and their secondary optical system, using imaging and non-imaging optics. A final example relates to the numerical simulation design of electrochemical microcells for the study of CO2-reducing enzymes. The aim is to optimize material transfer at the electrode of the electrochemical cell for synthetic fuel production.
    OR Thermique et Aéraulique en Milieux Urbains aims to improve the comfort of city dwellers, while minimizing energy consumption and the environmental impact of cities. The project will study both internal and external aeraulics, the thermo-physical properties of building and urban construction materials, and elements influencing urban heat islands (UHI). An example of interdisciplinary work in this area is the ETUVE project (Urban Thermal Experiments with Vegetation and Evapotranspiration).
    IUSTI's "Civil Engineering" cross-disciplinary theme addresses the specific needs of low-energy housing and tertiary buildings, and the decarbonization of construction materials through the use of bio-sourced materials or the recycling of construction materials.

    IM2NP Laboratory

    Thetransverse energy action of the IM2NP laboratory aims to federate research teams with projects in the field of energy, to encourage new collaborations within IM2NP and to develop meetings and new projects between the laboratory's researchers and companies and other research laboratories working on the subject. Many of IM2NP's teams are addressing energy issues, from the point of view of energy production and recovery, as well as the reduction of energy consumption, combining fundamental and more applied research. In fact, IM2NP's research teams are conducting projects in materials for energy, circuit and device design, detectors and research into innovative methods and processes.

  • Photovoltaic

    IM2NP Laboratory

    The Materials and Nanosciences theme focuses on a better understanding of the physical effects of reducing the size of components and certain materials or assemblies of materials. The development (growth) of nanometric objects, nanomaterials for photovoltaics and new materials for energy (fission and fusion) is at the heart of this theme.

    • TheInteractions Rayonnement-Matière et PhotoVoltaïque (IRM-PV)team focuses on photovoltaic conversion and the detection of radiation and/or particles in harsh environments. This work is based on the skills that team members have been applying for many years. IRM-PV possesses and is developing a range of specific characterization tools for studies ranging from materials to components.
    • Light Ultimate Materials Nanodevices and PV (LUMEN-PV)team . Expertise in metrology and optical modeling of PV materials enables the team to work on a wide range of photovoltaic solar cell structures through various projects and collaborations (silicon, thin-film PV, perovskite, QDs).

    CINAM laboratory

    TheFunctional Nanomaterials (FUN)team is internationally recognized for its multidisciplinary expertise in the development of optoelectronic and plasmonic nanomaterials for photovoltaic, luminous, stealth, environmental and bioelectronic applications.
    The FUN team and the LUMEN-PV team at IM2NP are working on a joint team project focusing on organic electronics. In this context, and since 2017, a CNRS agreement between our 2 teams has enabled the creation of the FUN-PV inter-institute team.

  • Transport, Mobility, Sustainable Supply Chain

    LIS Laboratory (Computer Science & Systems Laboratory)

    A number of LIS teams are involved in research with a strong societal impact, particularly in the fields of health, the environment and sustainable development.
    The CDE team is taking part in a project run by the MEDD cluster at the University of Toulon on the theme of environmental modeling and wind turbine control/command;
    The MOFED team's work on modeling the safety of industrial sites; the SASV team's involvement in renewable energies (a member of SASV is at the origin of the international MGEN network: Mediterranean Green Energy Network);
    Collaboration between the COALA and MOFED teams on new, clean forms of mobility as part of a contract with ENEDIS in partnership with ANR Massl'AI.

    • ANR SunSTONE is a research project in partnership with the Bureau des Recherches Géologiques et Minières and TECSOL, a company specializing in solar energy;
    • the SIIM team develops methods used for environmental, biological and chemical monitoring.

    The two AI research chairs obtained by LIS in the national ANR 2019 call for proposals, held by members of the COALA and DYNI teams, are linked to clean energy and biodiversity monitoring.

    LIS had two stands at the World Conservation Congress:

    • The Massal'IA project (Propositional Reasoning for Large-Scale Optimization. Application to Clean Energy Mobility Issues, COALA team)
    • The ADSIL project (ADvanced Submarine Intelligent Listening, DYNI team).
    • The TNTM project on the digital transformation of maritime transport with the BPI and the major transport group CMA-CGM, in collaboration with the PEGASE and DIAMS teams and in partnership with the Ecole Centrale de Nantes, Ifremer, Predicts, Veritas and Traxens; a contract with ATOS (1 Cifre thesis supervised) on the adaptive optimization of maritime routes according to meteorology; a contract with Engie on the operation of wind turbines.

    The team has been able to highlight its outstanding scientific results in mainstream media: the creation of the start-up Keeex (Les Echos, La Provence, CNRS images, invitation to CES Las Vegas 2017); gold medals for the Kissat-MAB solver (INS2I news).

    CRET-LOG Laboratory

    For more than 30 years, CRET-LOG has been dedicated to the national and international development of management science and management disciplines related to Logistics and Supply Chain Management issues. Its activities revolve around the following 4 themes: Logistics and Supply Chain Management; Distribution Channel Management; Inter-Organizational Strategies; Sustainable Development.

    The school's students and teacher-researchers have carried out the following research work:

    • CIFRE thesis on "simulation-assisted co-design of urban logistics systems", with a view, among other things, to minimizing the environmental impact of last-mile logistics.
    • Thesis on the self-organization of international maritime container transport, integrating environmental criteria in the context of the Physical Internet.
    • CIFRE thesis with Renault on the decarbonization of the B2B industrial packaging supply chain and the implementation of a circular supply chain for the reuse of B2B packaging components.

    Work on short circuits in agri-food systems: Ademe LCC-MIN project, mutualized organization of the last kilometer, ultra-short ultra-reactive distribution management, performance evaluation in direct sales short circuits.

    IFSTAR Laboratory

    Institut Français des Sciences et Technologies des Transports de l'Aménagement et des Réseaux Laboratory

  • Health, Biodiversity, Renewable carbon resources

    - BBF Laboratory (Fungal Biodiversity and Biotechnology)

    BBF research focuses on the ability of filamentous fungi to degrade complex polymers. Areas of study integrate fundamental and applied research on fungal biodiversity and evolution, fungal adaptation to various substrates and adverse environmental conditions, and structural determinants of enzymatic activity on natural and engineered polymers that are recalcitrant to degradation. One of the aims of this research is to characterize fungal enzymatic systems and propose biocatalysts for the valorization of plant biomass for chemistry and energy. The aim of this research is to develop bio-processes based on renewable carbon resources as a substitute for fossil carbon, with a view to a circular bio-economy.

    - LCB Laboratory (Bacterial Chemistry Laboratory)

    The LCB laboratory is home to 13 teams, all of which study the functioning of bacteria at the molecular, cellular, multicellular and ecological levels. The bacterial species studied are chosen to explore the fundamental mechanisms of adaptation, which enable bacteria to perceive their environment and form complex multicellular consortia. The laboratory's teams are particularly interested in the interactions between bacteria and their animal and plant hosts, and their ability to colonize extreme environments. One of the long-term objectives of this research is to elucidate the evolutionary mechanisms behind bacteria's astonishing capacity to adapt and to constitute a formidable reservoir of biodiversity.

    - AFMB: Equipe Architecture et Fonction des Macromolécules Biologiques (Architecture and Function of Biological Macromolecules Team)
    - BIP: Bioenergetics and Protein Engineering
    - EPV: Emergence of Viral Pathologies
    - MIO: Mediterranean Institute of Oceanology
    - TAGC: Advanced Technologies for Genomics and the Clinic