Federal Centre for Complexity and Exobiology

About COEX









Free University of Brussels (ULB), CENOLI

Address: Campus de la Plaine, building NO, 5th floor, room 2N5 205, CP 231, boulevard du Triomphe, 1050 Brussels
Contact persons:
Grégoire Nicolis gnicolis@ulb.ac.be


The Center is dedicated to promoting nonlinear science by conducting research in this interdisciplinary area, by participating in national and international collaborations, and by organizing workshops and advanced study institutes. Its main expertise is in thermodynamics, statistical mechanics, nonlinear dynamics and chaos theory, stochastic processes, quantum physics, physical chemistry as well as simulation techniques. The tools developed in this framework are applied to the study of complex systems, from chemical kinetics, fluid mechanics and materials science to biology .

The Center is actively involved in training in nonlinear science, stochastic porcesses, nonequilibrium statistical mechanics and computational physics. Its members are responsible for introductory as well as advanced courses on these topics in both the graduate and doctoral curricula of the University of Brussels . It is also closely linked to the doctoral school “Nonlinear phenomena and statistical mechanics” of the University of Brussels .
Research Projects

Nonlinear dynamics and chaos at the macroscopic level :

Fundamental problems in complex systems research ; Spatio-temporal organization ; Heat and mass transfer through fluid interfaces ; Nonlinear dynamics of interfacial instabilities.

Connections between macroscopic, mesoscopic and microscopic levels :

Dynamical systems theory and statistical mechanics ; Complex quantum systems ; Fluctuation theory and stochastic processes ; Mesoscopic systems : synergies between theory and experiment with nanoscale resolution ; Computational statistical physics.

Evolutionary, cognitive and organizational processes :

Theoretical and computational biology ; Behavioral biology.


  • Marie Curie Training Site : Nonlinear dynamics, statistical mechanics, and the modeling of complex systems (supported by the European Union).
  • ESA - PRODEX : Thermodynamics and statistical physical aspects of protein crystallization.
  • ESA - PRODEX : Effect of mechanical disturbances on cellular organization and gene expression.
  • STOCHDYN : Stochastich Dynamics : Fundamentals and Applications (supported by the European Science Foundation).
  • EXYSTENCE : Network of Excellence on Complex Systems (supported by the European Union).

Other (Public outreach, conferences, equipments ...)

The Center organizes on a regular basis international conferences and workshops whose Proceedings are published as special journal issues or as separate volumes. Recent events of this kind include :

  1. Chaos and Irreversibility, Budapest , 31 August – 6 September 1997 .
  2. Nonlinear Science : Dynamics and Stochasticity, NATO Advanced Research Workshop, Brussels , 30 June – 3 July 1999 .
  3. Microscopic Chaos and Transport in Many-Particle Systems, Dresden , August 5-25, 2002 .
  4. Nanosciences and Nonlinear Phenomena, Interdisciplinary Seminar under the auspices of the International Relations department of the University of Brussels, 15 March – 15 May 2003.

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