According to the memorandum of understanding, this joint laboratory will be located at MIT and co-sponsored by CNRS. It will house four to six CNRS researchers, who will serve as co-principal investigators with MIT researchers. The lab will be co-directed by Franz-Josef Ulm, the George Macomber Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE) at MIT, and Roland Pellenq, a CNRS scientist who is also a senior research scientist in CEE.
In proposing the joint lab, the Forum organizers cited recent international energy and environmental disasters — such as Japan’s nuclear crisis and the Deepwater Horizon oil spill — that highlighted the need for a return to “science-based engineering,” manufacturing materials with an eye toward sustainability, durability and waste management.
The initial agreement will last two to four years, after which it may be renewed.
MIT and French researchers said they also discussed the related areas of climate change and biofuels, and explored potential partnerships at the level of faculty, students and postdocs.
In parallel, MIT delegates said they have signed a MoU with representatives from Electricité de France (EDF) to explore areas of collaboration in research and development for the energy sector.