Postdoctoral Research and Development position on a building's Digital Twin - 18 months

Job description

The MINES Saint-Étienne, founded in 1816, is a member of the Institut Mines-Télécom - France's leading group of engineering and management grandes écoles, positioned on the major changes of the 21st century: digital, environmental and energy, industrial and educational transformations.

Saint-Etienne is a welcoming and dynamic city with a wide range of leisure activities (various sports, national drama centre, opera, city of design...), at the gateway to nature (Pilat massif, Loire gorges...) but with quick access to major cities (less than an hour from Lyon and three hours from Paris by TGV).

The Henri Fayol Institute, one of the school's 5 training and research centers, brings together professors in industrial engineering, applied mathematics, computer science, environment and management around the theme of overall business performance. The Henri Fayol Institute is strongly involved in flagship projects of the Industry of the Future and the City of the Future.

Contribute to the development of our building's Digital Twin. Participate to the development of our IoT infrastructure, knowledge and IoT data management, and 3D visualisation and management of the building.

About our building's Digital Twin

The Espace Fauriel building (EF) of Mines Saint-Étienne, built around 1920 by Manufrance and renovated in 1994, is a building of 6720 m2 on 8 levels used for research and teaching at Mines Saint-Étienne. It includes lecture halls and classrooms, offices, meeting rooms, and a simulation of a factory of the future: the IT'M Factory Platform.

We develop the EF building's digital twin, rising through the Building Information Model (BIM) maturity levels by Bew and Richards [1], and the digital twin maturity levels by Deng, Menassa, and Kamat [2]:

BIM maturity level 2 consists in manipulating a standard representation of digital mock-ups (e.g. IFC Industry Foundation Classes), and standard libraries for object properties (Property sets) for thermal conductivity for example. The EF building model is available in IFC and RVT format.

BIM maturity level 3 positions the Web as an information exchange medium to enable collaborative workflows between interdisciplinary stakeholders, and the use of interoperable, flexible and open standards covering different domains. Developments in the Web of Data domains enable the integration, linking, and tracking of distributed data. We are developing a knowledge graph describing our building and the deployed IoT devices with standard ontologies.

The BIM corresponds to the Digital Twin maturity level 1. Level 2 adds simulations based on the digital model. We have developed a thermal model of the building, allowing to simulate the evolution of the temperature of a room according to the temperatures of the adjacent rooms and the heating systems. This thermal model is executable in the form of a Functional Mock-up unit, and is intended to be published as an executable service in the Territory Platform.

Digital Twin maturity level 3 consists in instrumenting the building and giving access to the data of the instruments through the digital twin. We log and make available the data captured by a few dozen heterogeneous communicating objects (WiFi, Bluetooth, Zigbee, LoRa) inside and outside the building, as well as the KNX installation of the building. In particular, the following data are collected: temperature, status of the heating and ventilation systems, status of window openings. The opening of some windows can also be controlled remotely. The parameters of the thermal model are learned from these captured data, and linked with the parameters of the digital building model in the building knowledge model.

All these works make the EF building and its Digital Twin a solid basis for future courses and research works in AI (maturity level 4), for example to reconcile antagonistic objectives of health management, user comfort, and energy efficiency of the building, which brings an ethical dimension related to the UN sustainable development goals (7, 11 and 13).

Job requirements

Objectives and how to apply

With a M2 level, Engineer degree, or Ph.D. in Computer Science, you will become an essential contributor to the development of our building's Digital Twin. You can rely on and improve a wide spectrum of computer engineering skills: Visualization and interaction with the BIM model of our building, development and management of our IoT infrastructure, management of our building knowledge graph, to cite just a few.
Interviews may be conducted starting November, with the objective to fill the position early 2023 and during 18 months.

To apply, please send your CV, cover letter, and any other useful information, until 1st December 2022 to :

Useful links
MINES Saint-Étienne:
FAYOL Institute:
[1] Mark Bew and Mervyn Richards. “Bew-Richards BIM maturity model”. In: BuildingSMART Construct IT Autumn Members Meeting. Brighton. 2008.
[2] Min Deng, Carol C Menassa, and Vineet R Kamat. “From BIM to digital twins: A systematic review of the evolution of intelligent building representations in the AEC-FM industry”. In: Journal of Information Technology in Construction (ITcon) 26.5 (2021), pp. 58–83.