Project organisation and means implemented

Scientific coordinator

The project leader, Dr. Laurent Lassabatere (42 years), will coordinate the project with the organizational support and contractual expertise of Lyon Ingénierie Projets (LIP), which is specialized in research project management.

Laurent Lassabatere (HDR) works as an IDTPE civil engineer in position of Director of Research at LEHNA (ENTPE site). He is member of the OTHU Management Committee, the Scientific Council of ENTPE and IMU (Labex Intelligence des Mondes Urbains). He is also deputy coordinator for the Masters course Environmental Chemistry at ENTPE, reviewer for several journals of soil sciences and member of the editorial board of Journal of Hydrology and Hydromechanics.

His research activities focus on flow, water infiltration and mass transfer in the vadose zone, including water infiltration at soil surface, water flow and pollutant transfer in vadose zone, and impacts of preferential flows on transfers in vadose zone. He developed the Beerkan Estimation of Soil Transfer Parameters (BEST) method to estimate soil hydraulic properties from water infiltration experiments [47]. L. Lassabatere published 38 papers on the topic in peer-reviewed journal (Web of Knowledge), 5 articles in French peer-reviewed journals, 36 conference papers, 7 presentations in conference, 7 technical or program final reports and one book on water infiltration measurements and soil hydraulic characterization [1].


The scientific consortium has been constructed to include the scientific expertise necessary to deliver INFILTRON’s scientific and technological goals and to ensure the administrative skills necessary for effective project management and result dissemination.

The scientific expertise covers a large range of topics in line with the scientific objectives of the project. In addition to their renowned expertise, the partners have access to most of the facilities required to conduct the experiments.


LEHNA has specific devices for water infiltration, solute injection and ground mapping using geophysical methods in the field and great expertise and track-record in water infiltration experiments [1]. LEHNA also has access to a specific experimental observatory of a full-scale stormwater infiltration basin (OTHU site), with an experimental well equipped for installing probes for the monitoring of flow and transfers in the soil [34]. This site will be used to undertake the infiltration-injection experiments for the design of INFILTRON-exp. (See the LEHNA presentation)


IFSTTAR has all the devices and expertise required for the study of solutes and particles in column systems, including model systems [44, 45]. They also have access to MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging), with an expertise in the use of this technique for investigating solute and nanoparticle transfers. LEM has all the expertise and facilities to investigate bacterial interactions with suspended matters and soil particles, to track particular bacterial groups, label bacterial strains with fluorescent markers, and investigate genetic richness and structure of bacterial communities. The ILM team has access to a wide range of experimental set-up, analysis platforms and automatic preparation systems for the development of luminescent hybrid nanomaterials for environmental applications.

Nano-H SAS

Nano-H SAS has all the facilities to produce marketable hybrid multifunctional nanoparticles and to perform their characterization in terms of size, aggregation, surface charges and detection (Zeta potential apparatus and DLS, UV absorption…).


DEEP will offer its expertise in modelling stormwater infiltration systems and access to the Hydrobox numerical platform for the development of INFILTRON-mod.

Overseas partners

Overseas partners will complete the expertise of the consortium: Monash University has one of the world’s leading research laboratory in the tracking of fecal bacteria and pathogens in infiltration systems, while University of Melbourne has a well-established green-infrastructure testing centre, working on stormwater infiltration systems [16].

University of Palermo and IGE

The team will bring their support for conducting water infiltration experiments and for modelling bacteria transfer. The partners also have a long history in joint research activity.

LEHNA, DEEP, IFSTTAR, LEM and IGE have already published and conducted research activities on several topics and on the fate of pollutant. The Australian partners have a very strong collaboration with DEEP on the topic of stormwater infiltration systems. Similarly, the Italian partners have a very active partnership with LEHNA on the topic of water infiltration measurements, with the publication of a reference book on infiltration techniques [1].

Other supports

In addition to the present application, the consortium has support from OTHU and ONEVU (Observatoire Nantais des Environnements Urbains – IRSTV/OSUNA), and will request complementary support from Labex IMU as well as AXELERA competitiveness pole.

Team members involved in the project

(see individual pages for deeper presentations of each team or team member)

LEHNA – IPE team
Laurent Lassabatere Rafael Angulo-Jaramillo
Thierry Winiarski Jean-Philippe Bedell
INSA – DEEP team
Gislain Lipeme Kouyi
LEM – BPOE team
Benoît Cournoyer Veronica Rodriguez-Nava
Laurence Marjolet Emmanuelle Bergeron
IGE – HyDRIMZ team
Jean Martins
Pierre-Emmanuel Peynaud Béatrice Béchet
Thomas Lenoir Denis Courtier-Murias
Matteo Martini Lionel Marcon
Cédric Louis Hélène Gehan
Vu Long Tran
University of Melbourne – The Waterway Ecosystem Group
Tim Fletcher
Monash University – The Environmental and Public Health Microbiology Laboratory
David McCarthy
University of Palermo – The soil hydrology team at the Agriculture and Forest Sciences Department
Vincenzo Bagarello Massimo Iovino