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University of Montpellier
Country: France
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141 Projects, page 1 of 29
  • Funder: EC Project Code: 658034
    Overall Budget: 185,076 EURFunder Contribution: 185,076 EUR

    Subduction mega-earthquakes are among the most destructive events on Earth. When affecting very densely populated areas these earthquakes may cause extensive human losses and severe damages, as for the 2011 M9.0 Tohoku-Oki event (Japan). According to the ‘asperity model’, a mega-earthquake may occur when regions of the fault that are potentially seismic (i.e., asperities) interact and synchronize failing together. But understanding the physical conditions that are responsible for such synchronization still remains enigmatic. AspSync proposes to tackle this problem using a multidisciplinary approach that combines analog modelling with geodynamics and statistics. AspSync proposes to develop a 3D mechanical prototype that reproduces the convergent margin features, including interplate earthquakes. This model will feature laterally (i.e., in trench parallel direction) heterogeneous frictional behavior mimicking the asperities that characterize the plate interface. Tuning the physical and frictional properties of asperities, AspSync will systematically test the role of their dimensions, distance, geometry and strength in the synchronization process, unlocking the possibility to infer the physical conditions that lead to the triggering of mega-earthquakes. AspSync will then link the experimental results with ‘real Earth conditions’, studying the feedbacks between geodynamical properties of convergent margins and interplate seismicity aiming to identify the physical conditions that promote mega-earthquakes triggering. AspSync will update and analyze the existing database of global physical properties of subduction zones and interplate seismicity developed at UM2 applying robust statistics (e.g., multi-parametric pattern recognition analysis; analysis of temporal series) to quantitatively estimate cause-effect relationships between geodynamical and seismic parameters.

  • Funder: EC Project Code: 236316
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  • Funder: EC Project Code: 701912
    Overall Budget: 173,076 EURFunder Contribution: 173,076 EUR

    The presence of biogenic amines (BA) (histamine, putrescine, cadaverine, etc) is usual in fermented beverages such as wine. Due to the toxicity of these BA, some countries have established recommendations concerning the maximum levels allowed in wines. Taking account the difficulty of controlling the production of BA during winemaking, the removal of them from finished wines avoiding the modification of the chemical composition related with the wine quality is a great challenge considering the complexity of the wine chemical composition and its organoleptic characteristics. This multidisciplinary project (AMINE_REMOVAL) presents an innovative approach based on the design of functionalized mesoporous materials (according with the size of biogenic amines) with specific functional groups on the surface to remove selectively biogenic amines from wine with a minimum effect on its organoleptic characteristics. This project includes the synthesis of materials, a deep study of the effects of the materials in synthetic and real wines at chemical and sensorial level, and the application to real wines in a pilot-scale plant. AMINE_REMOVAL represents an important step in the strategy to tackle the problem of the presence of biogenic amines in wine. Thus, obtaining a suitable method to remove the amines from wines will have a great impact not only on the quality of the wines, but also on the possibility to establish a maximum concentration of biogenic amines in wines by the European Union in its food security policies in order to protect the consumer. This project fits in one of the society challenges of the European 2020 strategies (food safety and quality, productive and sustainable farming, sustainability of natural resources, marine and maritime research).

  • Funder: EC Project Code: 875573
    Funder Contribution: 150,000 EUR

    The project SPINAM (ERC Starting Grant 2012 - FP7 Ideas Programme) introduced a new method of elaboration and assembly based on electrospinning to produce novel energy materials with improved properties. The project focused on the development of core materials (membrane-electrode assemblies, MEAs) of proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs) and water electrolysers (PEMWEs). Water electrolysis is one promising opportunity to address the challenge of renewable energy storage, since the hydrogen produced offers large storage capacities and can be efficiently reconverted to electricity via fuel cells. Despite its advantages, PEMWE is currently not yet widespread because of the high cost and the low durability of the cell components over time. The membrane is known to be the weakest component for long term performance, with low mechanical strength, high permeation and high creep. Reduction in the thickness of the membrane, while keeping low gas permeability and high mechanical resistance, would represent a real breakthrough, allowing for lower operating cell voltage. The HYDROGEN project (HighlY performing proton exchange membrane water electrolysers with reinforceD membRanes fOr efficient hydrogen GENeration) will tackle these issues with the preparation of novel MEAs based on membranes reinforced with extensive networks of active polymer fibres prepared by electrospinning. This concept was developed under SPINAM, where the results of the work were brought to TRL 3/4, with four-fold improvement in chemical and mechanical stability during electrochemical accelerated aging tests over state-of-the art reinforced membranes. HYDROGEN project technology provides the required disruptive solution for PEMWE to become a competitive option for H2 production up to its extensive adoption and commercialisation.

  • Funder: EC Project Code: 101108575
    Funder Contribution: 276,682 EUR

    Our goal is to construct generalisations of the Hitchin and Wess--Zumino--Witten (WZW) and Knizhnik--Zamolodchikov (KZ) connections, both in geometric and deformation quantisation, and of their associated monodromy representations. The Hitchin connection achieved the quantisation of compact Chern--Simons theory and resulted in the construction of a topological quantum field theory. A different projectively flat connection provides a viable mathematical definition of correlation functions in the WZW model for conformal field theory. The resulting projectively flat vector bundles are isomorphic, and their monodromies have far-reaching applications in low-dimensional topology/geometry (quantum invariants of knots/3-manifolds) and representation theory (of mapping class/quantum/braid groups). Our guiding viewpoint is that the connections of Hitchin/WZW can be derived from the quantisation of moduli spaces of connections on Riemann surfaces. We will extend this further, focusing on meromorphic connections with high-order poles (i.e., wild singularities), generalising the above bundles and their applications. The motivation for this project is twofold. First, there is now a complete understanding of the Poisson/symplectic nature of isomonodromic deformations of wild singularitites, which are naturally amenable to quantisation. The quantum theory is much less developed than the classical one, and this naturally motivates us to close the gap using the latter as a guide. Second, recent work related the genus-zero WZW connection---that is, the KZ connection---to a new version of the Hitchin connection, and this was then used for the quantisation of moduli spaces of parabolic bundles. We want to pursue extensions of this identification; in particular, we will use the new flat connections constructed on the deformation quantisation side as candidates for `wild' Hitchin connections, in the geometric quantisation of wild character varieties: a complete novelty.


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