Besides its academic activities, our department is involved in fundamental research and technological development. Research fields in fundamental research concerns thermohydrodynamical instabilities in fluid systems (Marangoni, Rayleigh, Bénard, Soret, surface tension), heat and mass transfer in free and porous media and the study of liquid bridges.The research is carried out from a theoretical, numerical and experimental point of view.
On the other hand, the realisation of microgravity experiments has led to the development of very accurate optical measurements and data acquisition technology for fluid physics experiments. The MRC designs and produces optical diagnostics of facilities flying on board space shuttle, sounding rockets or other space carrier and is presently working on the optical part of such facility for the International Space Station.
The collaboration on fundamental research with many other research Institutes is very fruitful. On a national level, it is (or has been) the Pilot unit of two InterUniversity Poles of Attraction (IUPA 21 and IV-06) funded by the Belgian Federal Office for Scientific, Technical and Cultural Affairs (OSTC). The MRC is also involved or has initiated studies in the frame of research programmes of the Wallonian and Brussels Capitale Regions and Belgium's French Community. On an international level, many bilateral cooperation agreements are running. Through institutions like ESA, European Union or NATO, the MRC is part of international research networks. The preparation of microgravity experiments are mainly supported by the Prodex programme of the European Space Agency, funded for Belgian experiments by the OSTC. In the frame of ESA contracts, the MRC is partner of European industries or national space Agencies to create space technology related mainly to optical development.