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Presentation of Team Serena

The Serena team was set up on June 1 2015 as a joint Inria / ENPC team under the direction of Martin Vohralik. It took over from the Pomdapi project team, which concluded its work in May 2015.

What does Serena mean and what are your principal research themes?

Serena stands for “Simulation for the Environment: Reliable and Efficient Numerical Algorithms”.

We are interested in applying digital methods to environmental issues. The main subjects of our research are the design and analysis of models based on partial differential equations, the study of their precise and effective digital approximation and their implementation in the context of safe, correct programming. We especially examine the reliability of the whole digital simulation procedure.

Our principal methods and applications are as follows:


  • Design and analysis of models based on partial differential equations
  • Model coupling
  • Digital methods
    • Finite element, finite volume, mixed finite element and discontinuous Galerkin methods
    • Compatible digital discretisations, polygon and polyhedral meshes
  • Discrete geometry
  • Solvors
    • Domain decomposition
    • Newton–Krylov and Newton–multigrid type non-linear algebraic solvers
  • A posteriori error estimation, adaptivity, efficiency
  • Functional programming and formal proofs for scientific computing
  • Reliability (guaranteed error verification) of the whole digital simulation procedure

Is this more a subject for fundamental or applied research? Are there any tangible applications?

It’s really fundamental research, but we do have a number of concrete applications:

  • Multiphase flows and transportation of contaminants in the subsoil
    • Porous and fractured media
    • Depollution of subsoils after chemical leaks
    • Deep underground storage of radioactive nuclear waste
    • Geological sequestration of CO2
  • Complex Stokes and Navier–Stokes flows
  • Power production, sustainable use of resources
    • Shock waves on deformable or fragmentable structures
    • Beam systems for sustainable construction

The Serena team works with a large number of academic and business partners. Find out more.

Keywords: Digital simulation Environment Inria Paris Serena