27 fév



INSA Lyon and Flinders University celebrate 10 years of exceptional partnership. Initiated in 2008-2009, it has been strengthened over the years, thanks to strong and loyal ties between the two institutions. Each year, about 5 to 10 INSA Lyon Master Students in Telecommunications join the SERVAL Project led by Paul Gardner Stephen, researcher at Flinders University.

The SERVAL Project : communicate anytime anywhere

The open-source SERVAL Project aims at testing and deploying mesh telephony and software to empower individuals and communities to communicate where infrastructure is unavailable or unaffordable. Simply put, Serval is a telecommunications system bewteen at least two mobile phones that are able to work outside of regular mobile phone tower range thanks to the Serval App and Serval Mesh.

Paul Gardner-Stephen, researcher and academic coordinator at Flinders says : "We have been welcoming students from INSA Lyon for ten years now. It’s been a very productive collaboration so far. In the lab, they work on resilient telecomunication systems for disaster zones, when infrastructure goes down, etc. The INSA students’ background and ethical awareness are ideal for this project. It’s been very exciting to work with them to bring up technologies that hopefully will help people in the field."

Frédéric Le Mouël, teacher and researcher at INSA Lyon involved in the project : "Feedbacks from the students are very positive. INSA studies and the project are well and naturally aligned. The contact is well established meaning that the students know where they are landing and are always confident and excited to work with Paul."

Profesional opportunities

Academic exchanges allow students to develop their technical and intercultural skills, their autonomy and responsabilities. This experience add a great value when they start their professional career.
For instance, Kevin Tabar improved his english but also got an interview in the French newspaper, in the frame of the serval project. He then got a permanent contract in his company even before graduation.

"It was my first research project where I was completely autonomous. I had to search a lot of information, challenge myself with a Phd student as a tutor. It was a concrete project, with immediate results. Paul presented research results to the government and sponsors to implement them quicky. I really appreciated the technical aspects of the research. Also because it was my final year project at INSA Lyon. It was a really rewarding experience!"

For Hugo Dupré, the course he took at Flinders about business set-up allowed him to join an international team as project manager. It strengthened his will to follow an entrepreneurship career and to launch his own company "CO CTO" in 2019. He also really much enjoyed to SERVAL experience : "I was working on communications between military radios. It was a simulation project, I had two radios and boxes. I connected them so all people from a same village could communicate."

Guillaume Payan, currently Vice President of a Startup Outreach at Orange Silicon Valley said his journey to Australia has had a real impact on his life, as he would never have left for California otherwise.

Towards the future

INSA Lyon and Flinders planned to extend the lenght of stay for students and let them enrol in an internship while following the project. Both institutions have the ambition to create joint PhD programs in Computer Sciences and the IT together. Paul Gardner Stephen hopes that the SERVAL project will capture the interest of students to pursue with a PhD and humanitarian projects with Australia and South Pacific islands.