Meet Joseph Risson, student engineer, award winner for his Viraj H2 project

Available online :

On Friday 8 December, the Lopez-Loreta Foundation in Switzerland awarded a prize to Viraj H2, a project born at ISAE-SUPAERO. Joseph Risson, in his 3rd year of engineering studies, is studying a hybrid system between a hydrogen turboprop and a fuel cell, with the aim of accelerating the decarbonisation of air transport. The €1 million grant will enable Joseph and his partner Paul de Goÿs to validate the technology behind their innovation.

Joseph Risson at the innovSpace center
Joseph Risson at the InnovSpace center from ISAE-SUPAERO.

Joseph Risson is in his 3rd year of the ISAE-SUPAERO engineer programme, specialising in Fluid Dynamics and Aircraft Design and Operation. And he’s already at the head of an innovative start-up. A keen aeromodeller and concerned by the challenges of tomorrow’s world, he has already led a number of innovative projects during his studies aimed at decarbonising aviation. Viraj H2 is the latest. Spotted by the Lopez-Loreta Foundation in Switzerland, Joseph and his partner Paul de Goÿs have been awarded €1m to continue their research into this innovative propulsion system. We met Joseph Risson at InnovSpace, where he "spends his time" and where the Viraj H2 start-up is based.

What added value does Viraj H2 aim to provide compared with the low-carbon propulsion systems already being studied in the aviation sector?

Joseph Risson : There are two main hydrogen propulsion technologies: direct combustion (turboprop/turbofan) and the fuel cell. Our aim is to combine the advantages of each of the two technologies: the power density of the turboprop and the efficiency of the fuel cell, so as to optimise the propulsion system according to the phase of flight and the mission. The second added value of this hybridisation consists in recovering the steam from the battery and injecting it into the turbine. This will reduce NOx (nitrogen oxide) emissions from the turboprop and increase the efficiency and power density of the powertrain.

What did ISAE-SUPAERO offer you in terms of training and support in developing this project?

J. R. : During my course, the theorical courses enabled me to acquire a wealth of knowledge and the technical clubs to carry out technical projects, which is a real bonus! For these various projects, which led to Viraj H2, we benefited from the Institute’s research facilities. For the purchase of components, we received financial support from the BDE ("bureau des élèves") and the Fondation ISAE-SUPAERO. And now that we’re developing our start-up, we’re supported by the InnovSpace, the Institute’s incubator, which houses us and supports our development.

How will the Lopez-Loreta grant help you bring your innovation to fruition?

J. R. : It gives us the means to move from a low-power prototype to a structured research and development phase within three partner laboratories: the Laplace laboratory, IMFT (Toulouse Institute of Fluid Mechanics) and ISAE-SUPAERO. We estimate that this maturation phase will take around four years. It will involve the recruitment of engineers and two research theses. The aim is to assess the benefits of this propulsion system and develop the first prototypes.

Our news Innovation

For full functionality of this site it is necessary to enable JavaScript. Here are the instructions how to enable JavaScript in your web browser.
Choose an RSS feed
The entire RSS feed
RSS Feed by theme
Campus Academic programs Institute International Diversity program Research Companies Sustainable Development Innovation DEOS Alumni Doctorat DCAS Ingénieur DMSM Mastère Spécialisé DISC LACS Apprentissage Evénement DAEP