École des ponts ParisTech

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Coordinates: 48°50′28″N 2°35′16″E / 48.84111°N 2.58778°E / 48.84111; 2.58778

École des Ponts ParisTech
Logo ponts paristech.svg
Established 1747
Type French Grande Ecole, member of ParisTech (Paris Institute of Technology)
Director Armel de La Bourdonnaye
Students 1,200
Postgraduates 1,000
Doctoral students 200
Location Paris, Champs-sur-Marne, France
Nickname Ponts
Affiliations ParisTech (Paris Institute of Technology), Conférence des Grandes Ecoles, Paris School of Economics.
Website www.enpc.fr

École des Ponts ParisTech (originally called École Nationale des Ponts et Chaussées or ENPC, or in France by its nickname Ponts) is a university-level institution of higher education and research. Founded in 1747 as the world's first civil engineering school, it remains to this day one of the most prestigious and selective French Grandes Écoles.

The school is under the Ministry of Ecology, Sustainable Development and Energy. Its historical mission was primarily to train engineering officials and senior civil engineers. The school now offers a wide-ranging education in civil engineering, mechanics, computer science, applied mathematics, finance, economics, urban studies, environment and transport engineering.

It is headquartered in Marne-la-Vallée (suburb of Paris) and is a founding member of ParisTech (Paris Institute of Technology) and of the Paris School of Economics.


1747-1794: Origins[edit]

Following the creation of the Corps of Bridges and Roads in 1716, the King's Council decided in 1747 to found a specific training course for the state's engineers, as École royale des ponts et chaussées. In 1775, the school took its current name as École nationale des ponts et chaussées, by Daniel-Charles Trudaine, in a moment when the state decided to set up a progressive and efficient control of the building of roads, bridges and canals, and in the training of civil engineers.

The school's first director, from 1747 until 1794, was Jean-Rodolphe Perronet, engineer, civil service administrator and a contributor to the Encyclopédie of Denis Diderot and Jean le Rond d'Alembert. Without lecturer, fifty students (among whom Lebon, Bernardin de Saint-Pierre, Pierre-Simon Girard, Riche de Prony, Méchain and Brémontier), initially taught themselves geometry, algebra, mechanics and hydraulics. Visits of building sites, cooperations with scientists and engineers and participation to the drawing of the map of the kingdom used to complete their training, which was usually four to twelve years long.

1794-1848: Growth and industrialisation[edit]

During the First French Empire run by Napoleon I from 1804 to 1814, a number of members of the Corps of Bridges and Roads (including Barré de Saint-Venant, Belgrand, Biot, Cauchy, Coriolis, Dupuit, Fresnel, Gay-Lussac, Navier, Vicat) took part in the reconstruction of the French road network that had not been maintained during the Revolution, and in large infrastructural developments, notably hydraulic projects. Under the orders of the emperor, French scientist Gaspard Riche de Prony, second director of the school from 1798 to 1839, adapts the education provided by the school in order to improve the training of future civil engineers, whose purpose is to rebuild the major infrastructures of the country: roads, bridges, but also administrative buildings, barracks and fortifications. Prony is now considered as a historical and influential figure of the school. During the twenty years that followed the First Empire, the experience of the faculty and the alumni involved in the reconstruction strongly influenced its training methods and internal organisation. In 1831, the school opens its first laboratory, which aims at concentrating the talents and experiences of the country's best civil engineers. The school also gradually becomes a place of reflection and debates for urban planning.

1848-1945: The big works[edit]

As a new step in the evolution of the school, decree of 1851 insists on the organisation of the courses, the writing of an annual schedule, the quality of the faculty, and the control of the students’ works. For the first time in its history, the school opens its doors to a larger public. At this time, in France, the remarkable development of transports, roads, bridges and canals is strongly influenced by engineers from the school (Becquerel, Bienvenüe, Caquot, Carnot, Colson, Coyne, Freyssinet, Résal, Séjourné), who deeply modernised the country by creating the large circulation networks, admired in several European countries.

1948-1997: Modernisation[edit]

After the Second World War, the school focuses on developing the link between economics and engineering. As civil engineering is requiring increasingly higher financial investments, the state needs engineers to be able to understand the economic situation of post-war Europe. From now on, the programme of the school has three different aspects: scientific and technic, social, and economic . Gradually, the numbers of students admitted is increased in order to provide both the Corps of Bridges and Roads and the private sector highly trained young engineers. At the time, technical progress and considerable development of sciences and techniques used in building, urbanism and the protection of the environment imposed a change of strategy in the training programme. More specialisations are progressively created and the overall degree course is adapted to the national issues.

Teaching and degrees[edit]

With traditional core competences in civil engineering, environment, transport, town and regional planning, mechanics, industrial management and logistics, École des Ponts ParisTech offers high-level programmes in an extensive range of fields, from applied mathematics to economics and management.

École des Ponts ParisTech is among the schools called "généralistes", which means that students receive a broad, management-oriented and non-specialised education, and often quickly become top industrial managers.

Three major types of programmes are on offer :

  • Engineering programmes: leading to a 5-year postgraduate engineering degree (accessible, after competitive examinations, by both undergraduate-graduate curriculum and the 2-year master course) or to masters of science
  • Doctoral programmes: Ph.D.s
  • Professional programmes for postgraduates: Advanced Master's programmes ("Mastères Spécialisés"), and also MBA programs at the École des Ponts Business School.
  • In conjunction with Temple University-Philadelphia, USA, École des Ponts ParisTech was the first leg of the Fox School of Business International MBA, with study in Paris, Philadelphia, and Tokyo.

Engineering programmes[edit]

Admissions for engineering students is mostly done after scientific preparatory classes (MP, PSI, PC) through the highly selective "Mines-Ponts" competitive entrance examination. Some places are open each year to university students and BCPST (biology) scientific preparatory classes.

Master's degrees[edit]

École des Ponts offers a wide range of master's degrees, drawing on its historical domains of expertise.

Mechanics, materials, civil engineering, nuclear engineering

  • Master Nuclear Energy, dismantling and waste management
  • Master Mechanics of Materials and Structures (MMS)
  • Master Materials for Sustainable Construction (DARS)
  • Master Mechanics of Soils, Rocks and Structures in their Environment (MSROE)
  • Master Heritage Materials (MAPE)

Mathematics, financial mathematics, computer science

  • Master Numerical Analysis, Partial differential equations (ANEDP)
  • Master Applied Mathematics for Finance (MAF)
  • Master Mathematics, Imaging & Machine Learning (MVA)

City, transports, environment

  • Master Ocean, Atmosphere, Climate and Space Observations (OACOS)
  • Master Management and Engineering for Environmental (UPDATED)
  • Master Aquatic Systems and Water Management (SAGE)
  • Master Transport and Mobility (TM)
  • Master Cities, Services, Uses (PLA)

Economics, Sociology

  • Master Analysis and Economic Policy (APE) with the Paris School of Economics
  • Master Economics of Sustainable Development, Environment and Energy (EDDEE)
  • Master Project Finance - Structured Finance (FI Pro)

Advanced master's programmes[edit]

École des Ponts ParisTech’s delivers 11 Advanced Master's programmes ("Mastère Spécialisé"):

  • Advanced Master in Public Policies and Actions for Sustainable Development (PAPDD)
  • Advanced Master in Urban Planning and Development (AMUR)
  • Advanced Master in Global Supply Chain Design and Optimisation (COSCG)
  • Advanced Master in European Civil Engineering (GCE)
  • Advanced Master in the Engineering of Large Energy Structures (GCGOE)
  • Advanced Master in Real Estate, Building, Energy (IBE)
  • Advanced Master in BIM, Integrated Design and building and infrastructures life cycle (BIM)
  • Advanced Master in Integrated Urban Systems (IUS)
  • Advanced Master in Railway and Urban Transport Systems
  • Advanced Master in Urban Engineering and Information Technologies (UrbanTIC)
  • Advanced Master in Electric Vehicle Engineering (IVE)

École des Ponts Business School[edit]

École des Ponts Business School offers three types of programmes: The Solvay-Ponts full-time MBA, the Executive MBA and the Custom & Corporate Programme.

Corps of Bridges, Waters and Forests[edit]

The Corps of Bridges, Waters and Forests is a technical Grand Corps of the French State (grand corps de l'Etat). People entering the Corps become high ranking officials and serve the State.


Education for the Master of Engineering is organised in the six following departments:

  • Civil Engineering and Construction
  • Transport, Planning, Environment
  • Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science
  • Applied Mathematics and Computer Sciences
  • Economics, Management, Finance
  • Industrial Engineering and Management


École des Ponts ParisTech runs research in the following disciplines (the names of corresponding research centres are in brackets):

  • Atmospheric environment (CEREA)
  • Water, urban planning and environment (LEESU)
  • Mathematics and scientific computing (CERMICS)
  • Information technologies (IMAGINE)
  • International environment and development (CIRED)
  • Regional planning and social sciences (LATTS)
  • Urban planning and transport (LVMT)
  • Economics (Paris School of Economics)
  • Soil mechanics (CERMES), materials (LAMI), materials and structures of civil engineering (LMSGC), grouped together within UMR Navier

École des Ponts ParisTech was also the lead developer of Scilab along with INRIA. Scilab is now developed by the Scilab Consortium.

Laboratoire central des ponts et chaussées or LCPC is an Établissement public à caractère scientifique et technologique.[1]

Alumni and faculty[edit]

Augustin Louis Cauchy

Alumni include (by alphabetical order, French unless indicated):

Past and present faculty include:

Notes and references[edit]

External links[edit]