PhD Position F/M Taking into account metrological aging and network failure inside sensor networks applied to structural monitoring

April 30, 2023
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2023-05832 - PhD Position F/M Taking into account metrological aging and network failure inside sensor networks applied to structural monitoring

Contract type : Fixed-term contract

Level of qualifications required : Graduate degree or equivalent

Fonction : PhD Position

About the research centre or Inria department

The Inria Rennes - Bretagne Atlantique Centre is one of Inria's eight centres and has more than thirty research teams. The Inria Center is a major and recognized player in the field of digital sciences. It is at the heart of a rich R&D and innovation ecosystem: highly innovative PMEs, large industrial groups, competitiveness clusters, research and higher education players, laboratories of excellence, technological research institute, etc.


Structural health monitoring consists in integrating sensors into a structure, typically transportation or energy infrastructures, in order to monitor its health without further knowledge, solely from measurements through a software/hardware system comprising a set of sensors communicating (wired or wirelessly) with a smart supervisor integrating models and decision algorithms, merging and interpreting in-situ data. The usage of this type of system is increasing and some commercial examples can be found: SERCEL's S-lynk system or HBK Monitoring solutions, etc. Those products generally do not take into account the quality or availability of sensor data over time. However, they are dependent on the quality of the wireless network and the aging of the communication system. While the managers of critical structures (EDF, SNCF, etc.) are waiting, more than ever 3, for reliable and long- term solutions for the control of structures, metrological aging coupled with local failure (in space and/or time) of a part of the network is rarely taken into account 4.

After two PhD having respectively dealt with the drift of the measurement of sensor time for energy 1 and adaptability considerations of the SHM system to clear failures of the sensors 2, it appeared that Kalman-type data assimilation approaches (and their variants) are particularly suitable for adaptive and robust monitoring of a system sensor/structure.


1 David Pallier, Vincent Le Cam, S ́ebastien Pillement. Energy-efficient GPS synchronization for wireless nodes. IEEE Sensors Journal, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, 2021, 21 (4), pp.5221 – 5229.

2 Neha Aswal, Subhamoy Sen, Laurent Mevel. Switching Kalman filter for damage estimation in the presence of sensor faults. Mechanical Systems and Signal Processing, Elsevier, 2022, 175, pp.109116.

3 COFREND Confédération Française sur les Essais Non Destructifs: Le Livre Blanc du SHM 2022.

4 Florentin Delaine (doctorant), Berengère Lebental. Evaluation of In SituCalibration Strategies for Environmental Sensor Networks


The objective of this thesis is to approach the monitoring of sensor aging by a local and global multi-scale

approach. On one hand the sensor must be able to self-diagnose, on the other hand the system of monitoring should be able to perform multi-sensor data fusion taking into account sensor aging laws and models and the availability of sensor data in the wireless network (failure, conflict and limit bandwidth, e.g. Diagnosis of sensor failures will need to be possible locally (self-diagnosis) or globall (use of diagnostic information derived from the sensor or global diagnosis of the system detecting by itself sensor failure by likelihood approaches) The final goal is to propose a concept of SHM monitoring system detecting, evaluating and detecting in real time the defects due to the aging of the structure while being robust to the aging of the wireless sensor architecture, in coupling physical model, sensor aging model and structure aging data statistics (modeling of 2 to 3 typical phenomena like the aging type of quartz, aging of a gauge or an accelerometer, integration of typical failure model of a wireless sensor network). The algorithms will be tested on a digital twin and then experimentally on the PEGASE physical platform with real use-cases

(Examples: long-term vibration monitoring of structures, acoustic monitoring of bridge cables). The results of this thesis may be backed by projects relating to the monitoring of critical structures (projects: IA2 Connected Bridges of CEREMA, PIA4 railway projects DIAM and MINERVE)

Main activities

Keywords : Filtering, prediction, measurement, instrumentation, sensors, networks, SHM

The thesis will be supervised by Laurent Mevel and Vincent Le Cam in the I4S team in Nantes.

https: //


Technical skills and level required :

Languages :

Relational skills :

Other valued appreciated :

Benefits package
  • Subsidized meals
  • Partial reimbursement of public transport costs
  • Possibility of teleworking (90 days per year) and flexible organization of working hours
  • Partial payment of insurance costs
  • Remuneration

    Monthly gross salary amounting to :

  • 2051 euros for the first and second years and
  • 2158 euros for the third year
  • General Information
  • Theme/Domain : Optimization and control of dynamic systems
  • Town/city : Nantes
  • Inria Center : Centre Inria de l'Université de Rennes
  • Starting date : 2023-10-01
  • Duration of contract : 3 years
  • Deadline to apply : 2023-04-30
  • Contacts
  • Inria Team : I4S
  • PhD Supervisor : Mevel Laurent / [email protected]
  • The keys to success

    There you can provide a "broad outline" of the collaborator you are looking for what you consider to be necessary and sufficient, and which may combine :

  • tastes and appetencies,
  • area of excellence,
  • personality or character traits,
  • cross-disciplinary knowledge and expertise...
  • This section enables the more formal list of skills to be completed and 'lightened' (reduced) :

  • "Essential qualities in order to fulfil this assignment are feeling at ease in an environment of scientific dynamics and wanting to learn and listen."
  • " Passionate about innovation, with expertise in Ruby on Rails development and strong influencing skills. A thesis in the field of is a real asset."
  • About Inria

    Inria is the French national research institute dedicated to digital science and technology. It employs 2,600 people. Its 200 agile project teams, generally run jointly with academic partners, include more than 3,500 scientists and engineers working to meet the challenges of digital technology, often at the interface with other disciplines. The Institute also employs numerous talents in over forty different professions. 900 research support staff contribute to the preparation and development of scientific and entrepreneurial projects that have a worldwide impact.

    Instruction to apply

    Please submit online : your resume, cover letter and letters of recommendation eventually

    For more information, please contact [email protected]

    Defence Security : This position is likely to be situated in a restricted area (ZRR), as defined in Decree No. 2011-1425 relating to the protection of national scientific and technical potential (PPST).Authorisation to enter an area is granted by the director of the unit, following a favourable Ministerial decision, as defined in the decree of 3 July 2012 relating to the PPST. An unfavourable Ministerial decision in respect of a position situated in a ZRR would result in the cancellation of the appointment.

    Recruitment Policy : As part of its diversity policy, all Inria positions are accessible to people with disabilities.

    Warning : you must enter your e-mail address in order to save your application to Inria. Applications must be submitted online on the Inria website. Processing of applications sent from other channels is not guaranteed.

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