Joint research unit UPPA/CNRS - Development of experimental methodologies
for Petrolem engineering professions (IPRA - D-MEX)



Coordinator: Peter Moonen

  • 3 permanent employees
  • 1 PhD
  • 1 post-doctoranl fellows

Key dates

  • Kick-off: september 2013
  • Durée: 5.5 years


  • TotalEnergies

Financial contribution / year

IMAGEX-ray imaging

The Chair was created in September 2013 with the aim to investigate multiphase flow in porous media.

This fundamental topic underlies both civil engineering applications like durability of construction materials as well as typical geosciences applications like the behaviour of bio-methane in underground aquifers or the responsible production of oil and gas.

To tackle such transdisciplinary challenges, a state-of-the-art X-ray imaging lab was created, the DMEX Centre for X-ray Imaging (UMS 3360), which is ISO 9001-certified since 2017. Data analysis relies heavily on a collaboration with the Laboratory of Mathematics (UMR 5142 LMAP), which specializes in the development of algorithms for computing flows in complex geometry on moderate computational resources.

Thematically, the Chair maintains close relations with the Laboratory of Thermodynamics and Energetics of Complex Fluids (UMR 5150 LFCR) and the energy company Totalenergies.

Besides being the holder of the X-ray imaging Chair, Peter directs the ISOcertified DMEX Centre for X-ray Imaging (UMS 3360) which provides researchers with an easy access to state-of-the-art X-ray imaging tools. Peter studied Civil Engineering at the Catholic University of Leuven (Belgium), earned a dual Ph.D. degree, issued by both the Catholic University of Leuven and Delft University of Technology (The Netherlands), did a postdoc at ETH Zürich (Switzerland), and became research scientist at Empa Dübendorf (Switzerland) and lecturer at ETH Zürich. Since June 2014 he is appointed as full professor at UPPA.




Chair for X-ray imaging(UPPA-CNRS-Total) - 2014-2019

Peter Moonen is the chair for X-ray imaging, a public-private joint venture between the UPPA, the CNRS and Total. The chair was created in June 2014 based on the theme of multiphase flows in porous media. This fundamental topic has applications in both civil engineering, including for example the study of the longevity of construction materials, and in the geosciences, such as studying the behavior of bio-methane in subsurface aquifers. In order to tackle this kind of cross-disciplinary challenge, we use an approach combining experimental results and digital simulations. A cutting-edge X-ray laboratory -the X-Ray Imaging Center - was created to obtain the experimental results, which represents an investment of €5.4 M over five years. The laboratory has two X-ray tomographs and all the equipment required to prepare samples and process data. The digital work relies heavily on the collaboration with the Mathematics and Applications Laboratory of Pau (LMAP), specialized in the development of flow calculation algorithms in complex geometries to reduce calculation costs. Thematically, the chair has strong ties with the Laboratory of Complex Fluids and their Reservoirs (LFCR). Both joint ventures were ratified by the development of a new algorithm for recording 3D images and the development of a test cell to validate multiphase flow calculations.