The LHE is a laboratory of environmental fluid mechanics whose research strives toward a better understanding of hydraulic processes in the environment, with particular emphasis on the problems encountered in the Alps. Le laboratoire also investigates how scientific knowledge is incorporated into land-use planning policies. The field of research covered within the LHE includes the following topics:
- Dynamics of free-surface flows on steep slopes, with the objective of modeling natural hazards induced by water such as mudflows and avalanches.
- Physics of bed load transport, aiming at better management of sediments in waterways.
- Hydrodynamics of waterways, with the objective of studying free surface flow to better understand dynamic, transport phenomena within rivers including floods and dambreak waves (in mountain areas).
- Scientific models and risk management, with the objective of providing decision makers with scientific tools related to land use planning and natural hazard mitigation in mountain areas.