Pierre-Emmanuel Bournet

Teacher researcher in Physical transfers

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 an engineer diploma in hydraulics and fluid mechanics (at ENSEEIHT, Toulouse, France), I started a Ph.D. thesis in environmental sciences in a laboratory (CEREVE) belonging to the water and forest engineering school (ENGREF) and to the bridges and roads engineering school (ENPC) in Paris. Then I got a position in administrative research for IFREMER (French National Institute for Marine Research) in Brussels. Afterwards I got a job at Numeca Int SA, Brussels, working on environmental applications of a CFD software. I also worked for INRIA (French National Institute for Research in Computer Science and Control) on fluid-structure coupling before I became assistant professor in Fluid Mechanics at the French National Agronomic Institute (INA-PG) in Paris in 2001. Finally, I got an assistant professor position in Agrocampus Ouest, Angers, France in 2001. In 2011, I became professor in Physics of transfers. From 2012 to 2021, I was the head of the EPHor (Environmental Physics and Horticulture) research unit. In July 2021, I became the head the Department of Physical Environment, Landscape Architecture and Territorial Development (MilPPaT) at Agrocampus Ouest/Institut Agro (60 people). In addition in 2022, I was appointed deputy director of the Institute of research in urban science and technology IRSTV (170 people).


2008: Accreditation to supervise research (Habilitation à Diriger des Recherches), University of Angers, specialty Physics Physique : « Contribution to the modelling of flows and transfers in fluid mechanics : analysis of several coupling mechanisms.»
1996: Ph.D. thesis at ENGREF (National School of Agriculture, Environment, Water and Forestry, Paris, France) in Environmental Sciences: « Contribution to the hydrodynamic and thermal study of lake Bourget: Density currents and internal waves » 
1993: Engineer diploma at ENSEEIHT (Engineering school in Electrical Engineering, Electronics, Computer Science, Hydraulics and Telecommunications, Toulouse, France) in hydraulics and fluid mechanics
1999: Master's degree at UPS (Paul Sabatier University, Toulouse) in Environmental physics and chemistry


Since 2022: Deputy director of the Institute of research in urban science and technology IRSTV
Since 2021: Head the Department of Physical Environment, Landscape Architecture and Territorial Development (MilPPaT) at l’Institut Agro
Since 2021: Professor PR1, Institut Agro Rennes-Angers
2012-2021: Head of the EPHor research unit (Environmental Physics and Horticulture)
2011-2021: Professor, Agrocampus Ouest, Institut National d’Horticulture et de Paysage, Angers
2001-2011: Assistant professor, Agrocampus Ouest, Institut National d’Horticulture et de Paysage
1999-2000: Assistant professor, Institut National Agronomique Paris-Grignon (INA P-G), Paris
1999: Engineer, French National Institute for Research in Computer Science and Control (INRIA), Sophia Antipolis
1998-1999: Engineer, Numeca Int. S.A.-Université Libre Flamande Bruxelles
1997-1998: Delegate at the european institutions for IFREMER (French National Institute of Marine Research) –Club of associated research institutes (CLORA), Bruxelles
1993-1996 : Phd student (grant from ENGREF-French ministry of agriculture), research laboratory on water, city and environment (CEREVE) ENGREF ENPC, Noisy-le Grand


Teaching courses: 

  • Hydraulics (L3I & L3A)
  • Landscape engineering (M1 major Landscape), Water management (M1 specialty Horticulture)
  • Sciences and technics for landscape engineers (M2 Landscape) 
  • + several short courses (M2, M1 initiation to project engineering)

Teaching topics: fluid mechanics, hydraulics, water management; implementation: dimensioning of structures, sanitation, drainage, watering, irrigation, pumps, greenhouse climate.

Research topics

My research interest is about the coupled mass-energy transfers in the context of horticultural production. I mainly focus on the modelling of greenhouse distributed climate with a particular attention paid to the radiative transfers and interactions of the crop with the local climate. Recently, we paid attention to the impact of water restriction on 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 reduce water consumption while guaranteeing the ecosystem services of the urban plants – particularly the evaporative cooling to mitigate the urban heat island effect.
I also developed activities on livestock buildings. The aim was to characterise the climate inside such buildings in terms of temperature and humidity, but also to analyse gaseous transfers (ammonia in particular) and plume spreading outside the building.

My former fields of research dealt with: environment (hydrodynamics, pollutant transfer, atmospheric flows …), limnology, river and marine hydraulics, naval hydraulics,  thermics, cooling processes (for food conservation) and fluid-structure interaction (applied to bridges).
During the last few years, I focused on:

  • greenhouse climate (opening management, energy balance, plant-climate interaction, impact of water restriction, condensation),
  • and recently on urban climate: plant interaction with local climate taking account of shading, water inputs, soil compaction. Another point of interest is climate ecosystem services provided by trees in urban environments.

Keywords: greenhouse, livestock building, fluid mechanics, thermics, radiation, coupling, turbulence, CFD, numerical methods, sensible and latent heat, porous medium, metrology

Research programmes

Current programmes

•  Urbinat (2018-23) European H2020 project. Using an approach aimed at physical, mental and social well-being as its main objective, URBINAT aims to use “health corridors” as an innovative and flexible solution to integrate a large number of renaturation solutions resulting from citizen design. The interventions focus on public spaces and on the co-construction, with citizens, of new, social and naturalized spaces in existing neighborhoods.

•  Serres + (2020-24) : Funded by the Bretagne and Pays de la Loire regions, this project 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 - drawing on the case of the tomato. 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 of France including specialists in production, air conditioning and active ventilation, energy systems, materials, systems modeling, architecture, and environmental impact assessment.

•  CoolTrHyd (2021-24): Funded by the city of Paris, by the ANRT and by the RFI Objectif Végétal. The project aims to quantify and model the impact of water restriction and extreme weather conditions (heat wave) on the climatic benefits (shading / cooling) provided by alignment trees in the city. Several regimes of water restrictions and local climatic conditions will be studied.

•    SpecHyUrb (2021-2024): PhD thesis with the financial support of Pays de la Loire Region and the French government.  How to choose tree species adapted to drought and heat episodes in the city to ensure their sustainability and mitigate the urban heat island effec ?

•    APAF (2021-2024): The aim is to develop a strategy to manage the greenhouse climate in the presence of anti-insect netting while minimizing the risks of fungal development. CASDAR project.

Recently finished programmes

•  Plantinov’ser (2009-13): Funded by ADEME and Région Pays de la Loire. This project aimed at limiting the greenhouse crop systems energy consumption by providing new cultivars and new climatic strategies. The research unit showed the economic and technical interest of dehumidification heat pump. Experimental validation conducted on ornamental crops evidenced the efficiency of our innovative control strategy.

•  Physi’Ho (2012-16): Funded by Région Pays de la Loire and growers. The project aimed at understanding the interactions between climate, pathogens and hydrangea physiology, and their influence on the plants storage.

•  Conser (2014-16): Funded by Région Pays de la Loire and growers. This project aimed at improving 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.

•  OBAUC (2016-17): 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.

•  Hortinergy (2017-19): Funded by ADEME. Development of a software to simulate the heat balance of a greenhouse with Agrithermic company. We work on the integration of plant impact on the heat balance in the software.

•  CliSeTiCS (2016-21): Funded by ADEME and Pays de la Loire Region. This project aims at quantifying the water and energy transfers in the soil-plant-atmosphere continuum in urban condition. The project will focus in particular on the plant’s influence on the urban microclimate especially under water restriction. It includes an experimental stage based on a reduced scale model of a canyon street with trees, and on a modelling approach of the distributed climate based on CFD (Computational Fluid Dynamics).

•  Nature 4 Cities (2016-21): 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 impact 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 multi-scalar and cross-thematic sets of urban performance indicators.

Organization of the Greensys 2019 Symposium from June 16 to 20, 2019

Greensys2019 Congress: International Symposium on Advanced Technologies and Innovative Greenhouse Management
GreenSys 2019 was held from June 16 to 20, 2019 at the Angers Congress Center (France). GreenSys2019 was co-organized by Agrocampus Ouest (EPHor unit), the Interprofessional Technical Center for Fruits and Vegetables (CTIFL) and the National Institute for Agronomic Research (INRA), in partnership with Végépolys (French competitiveness cluster) and with the support of Angers Loire Métropole, the city of Angers, the Departmental Council of Maine-et-Loire and the Pays de la Loire region.

Participants shared ideas and knowledge and discussed recent and future perspectives in the protected crops sector. About 650 delegates attended, including 430 scientists and 220 professionals from 40 countries. Scientific sessions were organized around 12 themes. The GreenSys2019 edition of the symposium revealed the growing interest in vegetable mills (3 sessions) and lighting technologies (4 sessions). GreenSys2019 also inaugurated a new session on organic greenhouse production. Nearly 150 scientific articles were published in the proceedings of the congress. A technical session dedicated to professionals was also organized. It included 11 summary presentations by scientists and 2 by company representatives.

Finally, two thematic workshops were scheduled: the first by the working group on greenhouse crops of the network of European vegetable research institutes (EUVRIN) and the second on the modeling of the climate in greenhouses by fluid mechanics approaches. digital (CFD Computational Fluid Dynamics)
The next GreenSys2021 congress becomes GreenSys2023 (International Symposium on New Technologies for Sustainable Greenhouse Systems) due to the Covid crisis. It will take place from October 22 to 27, 2023, in Cancún (Mexico). It will be organized by I. Lopez Cruz and E. Fitz-Rodríguez, from the University of Chapingo.

References of proceedings:
Bournet P.E., Brajeul E., Fatnassi H. 2020. Proceedings of the international symposium on advanced technologies and management for innovative greenhouses- GreenSys2019 Vol 1., 653p. ISBN 978-94-62612-94-5, ISSN 0567-7572.
Bournet P.E., Brajeul E., Fatnassi H. 2020. Proceedings of the international symposium on advanced technologies and management for innovative greenhouses- GreenSys2019 Vol 2., 573p. ISBN 978-94-62612-94-5, ISSN 0567-7572


My publications on HAL

My publications on ResearchGate