M1/M2 Internship Multiannual study on light-absorbing aerosols from forest fires - internship 6 mont at IMT Nord Europe

Job description

Laboratory: Center of Energy and Environment

Supervisors: Joel F. dE BRITO and Anna FONT

Workplace: IMT Nord Europe – Bourseul Campus at Douai

Type of contract and duration: M1 or M2 Internship – 6 months


The public establishments belonging to IMT (Institut Mines-Télécom), are under the supervision of the Ministry of Economy, Finance and Industrial and Digital Sovereignty, IMT Nord Europe has three main objectives: to provide our students with ethically responsible engineering practices, enabling them to solve 21st century issues, carry out our R&D activities leading to outstanding innovations and support territorial development through innovation and entrepreneurship. Ideally positioned at the heart of Europe, 1 hour away from Paris, 30 min from Brussels and 1h30 from London, IMT Nord Europe has strong ambitions to become a main actor in the current industrial transitions, digital and environmental, by combining education and research on engineering and digital technologies.

Located on two main campuses dedicated to research and education in Douai and Lille, IMT Nord Europe offers research facilities of almost 20,000m² in the following areas:

- Digital science,

- Processes for industry and services,

- Energy and Environment,

- Materials and Processes.

For more details, visit the School’s website: www.imt-nord-europe.fr/en/

The internship is within the Centre Energy and Environment (EE). The CERI-EE conducts research on environmental and energy topics. The Atmospheric Sciences team (SAGE) focuses its research on topics related to air quality and the impact of human activities on the composition of indoor and outdoor air. The research projects are based on fundamental and applied research and aim to improve the understanding of the physicochemical processes involved in the generation, transport and transformation of gaseous and particulate pollutants.

Aerosols are fine particles suspended in the air which arise from anthropogenic sources (road traffic, industrial emissions, residential heating) and also from natural sources (dust, sea salts and forest fires, among others). Long-term (i.e., multi-year) in-situ observation of aerosols allows for their detailed characterization, including chemical and physical properties, covering a wide variety of conditions and sources. In-situ measurements at ground level, collocated with remote sensing instruments such as the solar photometer, provide valuable information to improve the inversion algorithms used in satellite data. One of these sites, named ATOLL (Atmospheric Observations in liLLe) is located in the north of France, near Lille, with photometer measurements since 1993, and measurements of aerosol properties and their chemical composition since 2016. The multiannual dataset was studied to improve the composition-optical property coupling of aerosols (Velazquez-Garcia et al., 2023), the source apportionment of its organic components (Chebaicheb et al., 2023) and their light-absorbing component (Brown Carbon, BrC), notably focusing at the residential heating during winter (Velazques-Garcia, in prep.).


  • Chebaicheb, H., de Brito, J. F., Chen, G., Tison, E., Marchand, C., Prévôt, A. S. H., Favez, O., and Riffault, V.: Investigation of four-year chemical composition and organic aerosol sources of submicron particles at the ATOLL site in northern France, Environ. Pollut, 2023.
  • Velazquez-Garcia, A., Crumeyrolle, S., de Brito, J. F., Tison, E., Bourrianne, E., Chiapello, I., and Riffault, V.: Deriving composition-dependent aerosol absorption, scattering and extinction mass efficiencies from multi-annual high time resolution observations in Northern France, Atmos. Environ., 2023.
  • Velazquez-Garcia, A., F. de Brito, J., Crumeyrolle, S., Chiapello, I., and Riffault, V.: Assessment of light-absorbing carbonaceous aerosol origins and properties at the ATOLL site in Northern France, in preparation.


The objective of this M2 internship is to study the dynamics of BrC from forest fire events using both in-situ and photometer solar data. The influence of wildfire emissions in the database between 2016 and 2023 will be identified using the in-situ ATOLL data and back-trajectory model outputs. The ATSR World Fire Atlas forest fire inventory could also be coupled to backtrajectory outputs and in-situ observations. These events will create a database of physical properties of the in-situ and remote sensing (single spectral diffusion albedo, particle size, etc.) characteristics associated with forest fire emissions. After this pilot analysis in Lille, the method can be extended to other sites (e.g., SIRTA, in Paris), as well as other types of measurements (LIDAR).


The first part of the internship will be devoted to familiarizing with the topic, the field and atmospheric data processing. The second part will aim to develop and validate a code based on the INTERPLAY algorithm, making it possible to identify forest fire transport events at the measurement site based on a multi-year dataset. The third part will consist of studying the BrC component of aerosols, particularly according to source regions and since emission.

The intern will be part of an ambitious project and an international research framework, in particular the “Atmosphere Observing System” satellite mission (https://aos.gsfc.nasa.gov/), as well as the RI ACTRIS (https://www.actris.fr/). He/she will acquire advanced skills in processing atmospheric data, in the context of understanding the effects of climate change, particularly in view of the increase in the frequency and intensity of forest fires.

Job requirements

Required profile:

The internship subject is aimed at an M1 or M2 student with a solid basis in atmospheric sciences (physico-chemistry), as well as skills in scientific programming. Knowledge of aerosol particles, their physical properties and detection would be an asset.


The internship start date is expected between February and April 2024 and shall last for 6 months.

Information and application methods:

For any information on the missions, please contact:

Joel F. DE BRITO Joel, Enseignant-Chercheur, joel.brito@imt-nord-europe.fr, 0327712609

Anna FONT, Enseignant-Chercheur, anna.font@imt-nord-europe.fr, 0327712606

For any administrative information, please contact the Human Resources Department: jobs@imt-nord-europe.fr

In addition, the position can be adapted for a disabled person.

Deadline: 30-Nov-2023