Étienne Chantoiseau

Associate Professor in Energy and coupled mass-energy exchange

Department of Physical Environment, Landscape Architecture and Territorial Development

Teaching unit: Physics of transfers and bioclimatology
Research unit: Physical Environment of the Horticultural Plant

Academic background

After a Food Engineering MSc at ENSIA (now AgroParisTech), I made a Ph.D. in chemical and environmental engineering at École des mines d’Albi on coupled mass and energy transfers in deformable porous media. After a post-doctoral position at AgroParisTech studying dairy thermal treatment, I obtained my current position of Associate Professor in 2011.


My classes are mostly about transport phenomena and their application to horticulture and landscape architecture, from meteorology (L1) to irrigation scheduling (L3). The scientific knowledge and skills exposed are then re-used and improved during the horticultural science and engineering MSc.

Since fall 2017, I have also been co-manager of the engineering graduate specialisation I2PH (Ingénierie des productions et des produits de l’horticulture – Engineering of the horticultural processes and products). This graduate program aims at training engineers able to manage horticultural systems (fruit, vegetable and ornamental crops) by innovation, from the production to the marketing. More particularly, I am respobible for a large student project about the “sustainability of greenhouse systems”.

intranet courses page

  • L3 : Dimensionnement ouvrage et réseaux
  • L3 : Thermique, énergétique et bioclimatologie (L3I et L3A)
  • L3 : Projet Intégrateur de Physique Appliquée (L3I et L3A)

Research topics

My research interest is about the coupled mass-energy transfers in the context of horticultural production. Currently, two main problematics are investigated: the efficient management of production greenhouse climates, and the studies and modelling of the energy and water transfers in the substrate-plant-atmosphere continuum.
The models developed for the horticultural applications are currently adapted to urban applications. The aim there is to reduced water consumption while guaranteeing the ecosystem services of the urban plants – particularly the evaporative cooling to mitigate the urban heat island effect.

Research programs

Ongoing program


Funded by the European Commission (H2020). Nature4Cities aims at developing complementary and interactive modules to engage urban stakeholders in a collective-learning process about renaturing cities, develop and circulate an extensive knowledge-base on Natural Based Solution (NBS), new business, financial and governance models for NBS projects, as well as providing tools for the impacts assessment, valorisation and follow-up of NBS projects.

Our aims will be to provide performance assessment of NBS regarding a range of urban challenges by providing definitions of a multi-scalar and cross-thematic set of urban performance indicators.


This project, also funded by the European Commission, focuses on the regeneration and integration of deprived social housing urban developments through an innovative and inclusive catalogue of Nature-Based Solutions (NBS), ensuring sustainability and mobilising driving forces for social cohesion. Interventions focus on the public space to co-create with citizens new urban, social and nature-based relations within and between different neighbourhoods.

Taking the full physical, mental and social well-being of citizens as its main goal, URBiNAT aims to co-plan a healthy corridor as an innovative and flexible NBS, which itself integrates a large number of micro NBS emerging from community-driven design processes.

The concept of Agroforestry appears to be a suitable answer to the double challenge of ecological intensification of production, and autarky of field cropping systems with promising results. This study deals with a specific agroforestry system, the “garden orchard” that is the association of vegetable crops between apple trees, which is characterised by (1) a high diversity and a rapid succession of vegetable rotations which renders the search for a suitable supply and requirements for water and minerals rather complex, and (2) numerous agronomic interventions conducted on the fruit trees potentially induce a significant variability in the functioning of tree roots.

In this context, the objective of the project is to produce a model of the functional traits describing the soil-plant-atmosphere continuum system in a garden orchard. Based on the identification and ranking of the different processes that are intervening in the regulation of water and mineral uptake and transport, this conceptual model will be written and validated, both in an experimental and a professional context. This will be the first step toward the formalisation of decision-support tools (DST) for better management of garden orchards.

In a context of societal demand for a limitation of greenhouse gas emissions coupled with the end of the cogeneration contracts that reduced the energy costs, vegetable producers using heated  greenhouses are strongly encouraged to reduce their consumption of natural gas. As a greenhouse in our latitudes receives annually more solar energy than it needs, it should be possible to achieve energy self-sufficiency by resolving the problem of the phase shift between inputs and needs.

The Serres + pre-competitive research project, funded by the Brittany and Pays de la Loire regions, proposes to conduct a complete redesign of the “heated greenhouse” system in order to make it independent of fossil fuels. The objective of the project is to model plant production enclosures based exclusively on the needs of the crop - with tomato as a study. After an evaluation of the interest of different ventilation and air conditioning methods to put the crop in comfort for a minimum energy cost, different solutions and combinations of energy conversion and storage solutions will be considered in order to use in winter the surpluses of summer in order to avoid the use of fossil fuels for heating. By coupling these advances with research into the shape and materials used, the Serres + project proposes to anticipate the creation of the production systems of tomorrow and to seek breakthrough innovation.

The Serres + project relies on a network of actors from the West including specialists in plant production (Végépolys Valley, UP EPHor, Ctifl, Caté, Arelpal), air conditioning and active ventilation (UR Opaale), energy systems (UA IREENA, UMR LTEN), matérials (UMR LGCGM), systems modeling (UMR GEPEA), architects (AAU - CRENAU) and environmental impact assessment (UR Safir, UMR LGC).

Past programs

This project aimed to limit the greenhouse crop system energy consumption by providing new cultivars and new climatic strategies.

The research unit shown the economic and technical interest of dehumidification heat pump. Experimental validation conduced on ornamental crops prove the efficiency of our innovative control strategy.

Funded by ADEME and Région Pays de la Loire.

The project aims to understand the interactions between climate, pathogens and hydrangea physiology, and their influence on the plants storage.

Funded by Région Pays de la Loire and producers.

This project aims to improve the understanding of the cucumber plants responses to greenhouse climate. The project made a physiologic reference of the cucumber photosynthetic efficiency according to climatic conditions in order to improve the energetic efficiency of the climate strategies.

Funded by Région Pays de la Loire.

The aim of the project is to characterise plant-environment interrelations, to understand and predict plant development. The specific goals are to analyse the combined effects of soil compaction, water supply restriction and shading on plant transpiration, plant biomass as well as aerial and root architecture.

Funded by Régions Pays de la Loire.

Developed in cooperation with Agrithermic and funded under the 2016 SME Initiative of the Investments for the Future program, this project aims to develop Hortinergy software, proposed by Agrithermic, to enable on-line simulations of greenhouses’ energy consumption and GHG emissions. The objective is to compare the various equipment and input configurations as accurately as possible in order to determine the best technical, economic and environmental choices at the greenhouse design phase.

In this project, we are in charge of the formulation and implementation of plants transpiration and vapour condensation sub-models  according to climatic conditions. The aim is to improve the software's predictions.

Scientific publication