Physico-chemistry of the Environment (PCE)

Team members

Researcher, professor and assistant professor:

Gabriel BILLON (Team leader)
Jean-Paul CORNARD,
Yassine KADMI,
Ludovic LESVEN
Sopheak NET

PhD students :


The PCE team, led by Gabriel Billon, includes 12 assistant professors and professors, 1 professor belonging to the French Water Agency and 2 emeritus scientists. It belongs also to the Institute of the Environment (IRePSE) from U-Lille.

The main objectives of this team are to respond to environmental issues and to contribute to a better knowledge of:

  •  fundamental physico-chemical processes in natural environments by using chemical models to better understand these processes;
  • the origin and fate of metallic and organic contaminants in natural systems (water, aerosol and sediment) including the development of new monitoring tools; and more recently
  • water treatment processes.

This research is carried out through methodological and analytical developments to tackle issues of speciation and reactivity, not only at the macroscopic but also at the molecular scale. The objects of observation are continental and coastal water bodies, sediments and waters during treatment processes, as well as atmospheric aerosols.

The activity of the PCE team is divided into 2 axes

In addition, the PCE team plays a key role in three technological platforms of the LASIR: Trace Analysis, Electronic Spectroscopy and Micro Raman.

Concerning teaching, the staff of the PCE team are significantly involved in the organisation and management of the bachelor’s and master’s degrees in chemistry, and more particularly in the Master “Water Treatment”, as well as in the management of the SMRE Doctoral School.



  • Labex CaPPA (Chemical and Physical Properties of the Atmosphere) 2012-2019. The team PCE is mainly involved in two Work-Packages: Aerosol properties (WP2) and Experimental Strategy (WP3). This project has enabled to build a scientific network of excellence with other partners at University of Lille and benefits of a good visibility on a national and international scale.
  • CPER CLIMIBIO (Climate change, Dynamic of the atmosphere and impacts on the biodiversity and human health) 2015-2020. The team PCE is involved in three Work-Packages: Evaluation Methods of the quality and changes of the environments (WP1), Dynamic of the atmosphere (WP2) and Observation for setting predictive tools (WP4). This project brings together 16 laboratories in the Hauts-de-France Region to study environmental and climate change, analyse the impacts of these changes on biodiversity, air and water quality, health and society and consider prospects and strategies for adapting to these changes.
  • European project INTERREG V DOC2C’S (Innovative technologies for DOC removal in drinking water treatment) 2015-2019. Partners: PWNT (leader), LASIR, SWW, De Watergroep, Technische Universiteit Delft.
  • European project INTERREG V VALSE (New transboundary resources: towards a validation of scenarios for the recycling of sediments and other materials) 2016-2020. Partners: ISSeP (leader), LASIR, IMT Mines-Douai, BRGM, INERIS, VITO, CTP, DGO2.
  • Creation of an International Associated Laboratory with Taiwan (A multidisciplinary approach for better understanding the functioning of natural and artificial aquatic ecosystems). Partners: National Taiwan Ocean University, LOG (leader in France), IEMN, LASIR and CRISTAL/INRIA (U-Lille). This project will provide an understanding of the link between contamination, pollutant lability and impact on organisms in terms of bioaccumulation, physiological and immune responses and ecotoxicity studies.
  • Project COHMET (Origins and processes affecting the transfer of pollutants into the chalk groundwater in southern Lille) 2017-2020. Funding: European Metropole of Lille & Artois-Picardie Water Agency. Partners: BRGM (leader) and LASIR.