Aral Arbatlı led the Human Practice team, was part of the Aerogel team, helped on the Entrepreneurship aspect, and was of immense support when it came to writing the wiki pages. He was also involved in education and communication projects, most notably the MUN Swiss Parliamentary Debate, which he prepared, led and summarised all on his own. He was also the Turkish delicacies and tea dealer of the team ! His excellent oral presentation at Münster brought us back the Best Presentation prize !

Lola Bardel was integral in the Human Practices field research and interviews, as well as our Sustainability effort leader. She organised the Drive so that we wouldn’t lose our work, and as a deadline, Slack, and Agenda master helped to keep the team on track. She was involved in the promotional video realisation. On her off hours (which she didn’t have), she served as protein team assistant (“emergency helper”).

Pablo Castellón, the architect of our team, provided the project’s visual identity, imagined and edited the promotional video. As part of the Human Practices team, he undertook the Entrepreneurship part of our project.

Charlotte Daumal, member of the Protein team, was deeply involved in the design, experiments, in particular quality control and result analysis. She also took care of our social media, edited the team members interview and organised the Silk and Swiss Synbio meetup collaborations. Queen of To-do list, she wrote minutes on a whole new level !

Charles-Antoine de Fournas-Labrosse was a member of the modelling team, responsible for the house model. He realised the experiments of thermal conductivity, along with some mechanical tests. He was in charge of the measurement part of our project.

Alice Klein , member of the Protein team, was heavily involved in the design part of our constructs and the cloning experiments, while taking part in other experiments and writing notebooks. She suggested the Life Cycle Assessment and participated in the Sustainability interviews with various experts. As she perfecly says: "C'est tchaaooo"

Elodie Marcandalli, member of the Protein team, was specialised in protein purification and became a BioRender master, providing us with beautiful illustrations. She also helped Marwen on the proteins’ modeling. She was the co-responsible for the Sponsoring activities and wrote our brochure. Finally, Elodie was an amazing model herself, and appeared multiple times in our videos snippets !

Marwen Mokni, microtechnique student, was part of various teams. First and foremost Aerogel team, for which he did a lot of wetlab work, as well as microscopy. He also led Modelling, of both the aerogel (via tomography imaging) and the proteins (using Alphafold). Finally, he was part of the Sponsoring, contacting sponsors as well as organising our trips to Münster and Paris ! His joyous mood always made the whole team smile

Casimir Nüsperling fighted against and with the wiki, and added lots of improvement to the first version inspired from CuRE, the 2021 EPFL iGEM team. He was also a motor of the communication between people, and overall worked towards the perfectionning of our project, either in the texts or the videos he helped with.

Pauline Verchinine was in the Aerogel team for deep research and protocol writing, and a full time member of the Protein team, with a focus on protein purification and analysis. She was a member of the Social Media team for which she organised interviews of team members, and coordinated Collaborations. Her excellent oral presentation at Münster brought us back the Best Presentation prize !

Bettina Weber took part in the scientific research around aerogel production and characterization. She then overtook the responsibility of wiki master, and helped greatly the whole team with taming Gitlab, html and iGEM.upload as gently as possible. She was our beloved time keeper, her gavel never far from her !

All members took part actively in the project choice, wiki writing and uploading of our pages. We specifically chose not to have a student leader and worked at the best of our ability to function with an horizontal team organisation. Overall it worked well and we were very happy with this choice !

Charlotte, Aral and Pauline participations were under the frame of their Bachelor projects.

The whole team would like to thank Helena Binková, who accompanied us along our path of finding the subject of our project. She was not able to continue with us during the summer, but we enjoyed having her with us along the way.


Pr. Brian McCabe was the team’s principal investigator. His advice, writing and design suggestions helped us to greatly improve our website. He accompanied us and gave feedback on our synthetic biology path. the team's principal investigator. He contributed to the team as a supervisor and established contacts between the team and relevant laboratories at EPFL.

Marine Van Campenhoudt was the team's coordinator and resource manager. Through her organisational skills, feedback on experiments, uncompromising requirements , she helped greatly to bring our project to what it became ! She battled for long hours to obtain our beautiful sweat-shirts, and for that we will be forever grateful (and very flashy !)

Danica Milovanovic was the team’s teaching assistant dedicated to the Protein team, and was amazing at it. She also taught us how to manage pressure, to take care of ourselves under academic stress and was of great support.

Alice Gross supervised the aerogel production process, and gave feedback on the modelling.

External people

We would like to thank all external people that helped us during this project.

Project design

Dr.Florence Pojer, Dr. Kelvin Lau and Dr. Yoan Duhoo from the Protein production and structure Core Facility for helping us with the design of our plasmids

Dr. Wim Malfait, Head of the Laboratory for Building Energy Material and Components, and Dr. Ivan Lunati, Head of the Laboratory for Multiscale Studies in Building Physics, both part of EMPA , for their welcome and support, which helped us understand some crucial aspects of the aerogel production.

Laboratory infrastructures and supplies

Once again, Florence Pojer, Dr. Kelvin Lau and Dr. Yoan Duhoo and the Protein production and structure Core Facility for furnishing supplies, infrastructures and expertise for protein purification.

Dr. Philipe Abdel Sayed, Expert in DLL laboratories for the sector of Bioengineering, for all the support in executing the experiments under P1 conditions.

Robin Amacher, expert in DLL laboratories for the sector of Material science, for the expertise and trainings on the instruments.

Taureg Albert, from the PIXE Platform, for his help with tomography imaging of aerogel samples.

The Centre of MicroNano Technology EPFL (CMi), specially Pernollet Joffrey, for the expertise and training for the Critical Point Dryer (CPD).

The Student Kreativity and Innovation Lab team, who answered our questions, hosted and guided our experiments to characterise the thermal conductivity of various materials, including ours

Prof. Dolaana Khovalyg, Head of the Laboratory of Integrated Comfort Engineering (ICE) EPFL, for furnishing the heat flux sensor.

Education and communication

Maya Fruehauf Hovius who helped us by organising the structure of the Summer School, which allowed us to welcome highschool students in our lab to present them our work

Eva Schier and Laurence Mauro, from the Life Science faculty communication team, for their guidance about communication strategy, as well as their enthusiasm for our promotional video !

The students who participated in the Swiss Parliament Debate, who provided highly qualitative and varied inputs on the subjects we submitted to their discussion

Stéphane Chappuis, with whom we had the opportunity to discuss education and his tips on ways to keep young people captivated.

In the frame of the project promotion video, we would like to dedicate a special thanks to Lïana Aram for the music and voiceover of our Project Promotion Video, whose professionalism made our video what it is, Kevin Okan Pahud for the filming, the EPFL Audiovisual Service (SAVE) for the lending of the material

Human practices

Ariadni Elmaloglou, PhD student in the Soil Mechanics Laboratory of EPFL for taking the time to meet with us

Charles Thoumyre Lecomte, stakeholder from État de Vaud, who gave us clear inputs on our modelling and gave very precise details about the construction industry.

The ISOVER team, who welcomed us warmly during our visit to the ISOVER production factory. Moreover, we would like to dedicate special thanks to Aurélien Luhmann, whom we have interviewed and who gave us great insight on the insulation industry.

Viviane Hamon, consultant expert in sustainable renovation, who provided precise insight on the state of sustainability reflection in the building field. She also furnished us impactful resources to dive in deeper and contact relevant stakeholders.

The Swiss Federal Office of Energy, in the person of Nicole Zimmermann, for their time dedicated to answer our questions and furnish us with numbers.

Margot Wendling and Juliane Miani, from the SV Sustainability Office, who answered our questions about sustainability and the implementation of a LCA in the frame of our project, and suggested we contact Michka Mélo.

Dr. Wim Malfait, Head of the Laboratory for Building Energy Material and Components, and Dr. Ivan Lunati, Head of the Laboratory for Multiscale Studies in Building Physics, both part of EMPA , for their welcome and support, which helped us understand some crucial aspects of the aerogel production.

Olivier H. homeowner who shared his renovation experience, the troubles he overcome and his impression on the subject

Michka Mélo, Durability coordinator at EPFL, for his numerous feedback on our project, the exciting discussions we had and his vision on the subject.

Julien Voumard et Augustin Mercier, architects in Lausanne, who welcomed us in the heart of their studio to share their conception and expertise of sustainable construction. A fulfilling encounter that marked Lola !

Jose Luis Fernandez-Marquez, head of Geneva Tringshua Initiative SDG accelerator, for taking the time to give feedback on the proposed sustainability of our project, as well as guidance to improve.


The teams of UCopenhagen (University of Copenhagen, Danemark) and BOKU Vienna, Austria for their collaboration on a repository around various silk proteins. UNILausanne and UZurich for hosting and speaking at the Swiss Synbio Meet-up, along with UNILausanne, which was a great experience ! The Münster team for organising the Münster meet-up, and receiving us so well ! The Technion team for their amazing escape game online who provided a perfect break and small competition between our team members during our wiki weekend ! Finally, team Shieffeld for allowing us to be beta tester for their new bioinformatic tool.

Unclassifiable but essential !

Sophie Barret, administrative assistant of Pr. McCabe group, for managing the financial aspect of our team, the travelling expenses and reimbursements, efficiently and very nicely !

Our families, friends, for reviewing, providing feedback, moral support, sometimes cakes, throughout this project. We could not thank them enough.

Arthur Tabary, Patrick Yerly, Maxime Nourry, co-president of Artepoly who helped us with filming some video snippets with great professionalism !

Simon Liétar, iGEM 2021 EPFL team member, for providing help and support during stressful moments on the wiki coding, and being the genius mind behind it.


Please find all our sponsors on the Home page.

Copyright attributions


  • Flaticon
  • Freepik
  • iGEM Marburg 2021
  • The Noun Project – AB Designs, Andrejs Kirma, Anwar Hossain, BlackActurus, Creative Stall, Eucalyp, Gregor Cresnar, Nithinan Tatah, Template, Zach Bogart, Monkik, Andi. Changes to icons were sometimes made.



Best quotes

As proof of our extraordinary human adventure, please find below a non-exhaustive list of our best quotes :

  • (Talking about the Wiki) "In any way we’re all gonna die… but let’s just die gracefully" - Casimir Maximilian Nüsperling, 05.08.2022

  • "It will conserve its shape, no?" - Team Aerogel while trying to reshape the 1X sample so that it will fit into the Liquid Nitrogen tank, 05.08.2022. Spoiler Alert: it didn’t.

  • "Nothing works yet hope is there” - Pauline Verchinine, 19.08.2022, talking about the proteins who won’t just purify

  • The wiki runs for the first time. “You're a genius! How did you do that?” - Bettina, “I don't know” - Casimir, 19.08.2022

  • “The Hydrogel… ABSORBED THE GFP????” Aral Berke Arbatlı, after hearing about the hypothesis of Elodie Marcandalli on the lack of GFP fluorescence on the hydrogel under the UV after the GFP pipetting.

  • "Good evening - Lola Bardel, 12.10.2022, with the most joyous tone possible, to garbage collector at 7 am, going home for a small nap.

  • "Is anyone using Biorender ?" - Motto of HESTIA team