Ecole Polytechnique is a world-class educational and research establishment, conveying a culture of excellence with a strong scientific leaning in the great Humanist tradition. For over 200 years, Ecole Polytechnique has been a leader among the French engineering “grandes écoles”.  This leadership is due to the quality of our students, lecturers and researchers and to our single, firm objective of providing a very high level, multi-disciplinary, scientific and human education. Ecole Polytechnique’s Research Centre aims to study all the great scientific questions on the frontiers of knowledge, and create an environment that encourages innovation.

The LOTUS project will be carried out within the framework of NACRE joint research team between Ecole Polytechnique, CNRS and IFSTTAR (thus CNRS and IFSTTAR will be Third Parties of Ecole Polytechnique in the project). This highly integrated team strongly involves LPICM & LMS, two joint research units between CNRS and Ecole Polytechnique, located on Ecole Polytechnique Campus, together with LISIS, an IFSTTAR laboratory in the Components and Systems Department located in Cité Descartes Campus.

NACRE acronym stands for « Nanosensors for Cities Respectful toward the Environment ». This research team created in 2010 aims at developing new Nano-enabled sensors for sustainable cities applications and at bringing them to the real world via industrial partnerships. Besides creating new sensor technologies, the scientific approach focuses on reproducibility and reliability of the technologies, as well as use-case-oriented developments.

NACRE team focuses strongly on Nanosensors for « smart city » applications, mainly:

  • Embedded monitoring of construction material (strain, force, temperature, humidity sensors), mostly concrete and bituminous materials. One start-up Altaroad company founded in 2017, 1 National project and 1 PhD thesis in progress (Completed 3 national projects and 1 PhD thesis)
  • Water quality (liquid-phase chemical sensors): application to water network monitoring (drink, waste and rain water). Completed H2020 Proteus project, national 4Water project starting 2018, Technology transfer founding for start-up creation since 2017, 1 PhD Thesis in progress and 2 starting 2018 on the water quality sensors. The LOTUS project naturally fits into this R&D axis.

Regarding the PROTEUS project, whose outcomes will be furthered in LOTUS, NACRE team (under IFSTTAR as leading institute) was coordinating partner. This project was remarked by its reviewers as an excellent project with significant potential impacts in the field of water; impacts that LOTUS now aims at bringing to completion. This project has strongly anchored NACRE team as a leading actor in the field of advanced integrated sensors for water monitoring. 

Core competence: water quality sensors; chemistor array fabrication, validation and algorithms; integrated nanosensors; nanoelectronics; synthetic chemistry; reliability; in-situ and ex-situ characterisation

Link to the website:

Name of the main contact: Dr. Bérengère Lebental

Position of the main contact: Chief Engineer

Contact [mail]: berengere.lebental(at)