École des ponts ParisTech
|École des Ponts ParisTech|
|Type||French Grande Ecole, member of ParisTech (Paris Institute of Technology)|
|Director||Armel de La Bourdonnaye|
|Location||Paris, Champs-sur-Marne, France|
|Affiliations||ParisTech (Paris Institute of Technology), Conférence des Grandes Ecoles|
École des Ponts ParisTech (originally called École Nationale des Ponts et Chaussées or ENPC, or in France by nickname Ponts) is a university-level institution of higher education and research. Founded in 1747, it is the world's oldest civil engineering school. It remains to this day one of the most prestigious and selective French Grandes Écoles.
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
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
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.
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
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: Mastères spécialisés (M.S.), and also MBA Programs at the ENPC School of International Management.
- 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.
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 (PSE)
- soil mechanics (CERMES), materials (LAMI), materials and structures of civil engineering (LMSGC), grouped together within UMR Navier
Laboratoire central des ponts et chaussées or LCPC is an Établissement public à caractère scientifique et technologique.
Alumni and faculty
Alumni include (by alphabetical order, French unless indicated):
- Paul Andreu, architect
- Guy Béart, singer and songwriter
- Henri Becquerel, physicist
- Eugène Belgrand, engineer
- Fulgence Bienvenüe, chief engineer for the Paris Métro
- André Blondel, engineer and physicist
- Albert Caquot, civil engineer, considered the "best living French engineer" during half a century
- Emiland Gauthey, civil engineer, designer of bridges, canals and roads, uncle of Claude-Louis Navier
- Marie François Sadi Carnot, French president from 1887 to 1894
- Jules Carvallo, civil engineer
- Augustin Louis Cauchy, mathematician
- Louis-Alexandre de Cessart, civil engineer
- Antoine de Chézy
- Gaspard-Gustave Coriolis, mathematician and physicist
- Augustin-Jean Fresnel, physicist
- Eugène Freyssinet, structural and civil engineer, pioneer of prestressed concrete
- Joseph Louis Gay-Lussac, chemist and physicist
- Hoàng Xuân Hãn, Vietnamese scholar, professor of mathematics, linguist, historian and educationalist
- Fouad Laroui, Moroccan economist and writer
- Alain Lipietz, economist and politician
- Charles Joseph Minard, civil engineer and pioneer of information graphics
- Claude-Louis Navier, engineer and physicist, known for Navier-Stokes equations
- Jean-Rodolphe Perronet, architect and structural engineer
- Antoine Picon, Professor of History of Architecture and Technology and Co-Director of Doctoral programs (PhD & DDes) at Harvard Graduate School of Design
- Prince Souphanouvong, president of Laos from 1975 to 1991
- Jean Tirole, economist
- Daniel-Charles Trudaine, administrator and civil engineer
- Pierre Veltz, academic and École des Ponts ParisTech's former director
- Louis Vicat, engineer, inventor of artificial cement
Past and present faculty include:
- Étienne-Louis Boullée, architect
- Alexander Spiers, English lexicographer
- Yaarub Bader (يعرب بدر), Previous Minster of Transportation in the Syrian Arab Republic
Notes and references
- Official site
- (French) History of École des Ponts ParisTech on the official website
- (French) Alumni website
- (French) Student association website
- (French) ENPC MBA Paris School of International Management
- The École des ponts ParisTech collection at the Internet Archive [more]