École Centrale Paris
|Motto||Leader, Entrepreneur, Innovateur|
|Type||Public, Grand établissement|
(1,789 engineer candidates)
|Affiliations||University of Paris-Saclay, Centrale Graduate School, TIME, CESAER, UniverSud Paris|
École Centrale Paris (ECP, often referred to as Centrale) is a French institute of research and higher education in engineering and science. It is also known by its original name École Centrale des Arts et Manufactures.
Founded in 1829, it is among the oldest and most selective grandes écoles in France. Since the 19th century, its specific model of engineering education has inspired the foundation of other schools, such as École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne in Switzerland.
"Between 1832 and 1870, the Central School of Arts and Manufactures produced 3,000 engineers, and served as a model for most of the industrialized countries."
The École Centrale des Arts et Manufactures was founded in 1829 as a private institution by Alphonse Lavallée, who became its first president, and three scientists who became its founding associates: Eugène Peclet, Jean-Baptiste Dumas, and Théodore Olivier. The founding vision was to train multidisciplinary engineers as the first 'doctors' of the then-emerging industrial sector in France, at a time when most engineering schools trained students for public service.
In 1857, Lavallée transferred the ownership of the school to the French state in order to ensure its sustainability. Under Napoleon's initiative for an imperial university, the school was then temporarily renamed as École Impériale des Arts et Manufactures.
In 1862, graduates of the school were awarded accredited graduate diplomas in engineering, with the official academic title of 'ingénieur des arts et manufactures', which was the first of its kind in France.
The school was transferred in 1969 to a new campus located in Châtenay-Malabry. The Châtenay-Malabry campus was designed by architect Jean Fayeton, and was inaugurated by President Georges Pompidou, who was accompanied on this occasion by Robert Galley. The school was subsequently renamed as École Centrale Paris.
In 2015, École Centrale Paris formed a strategic alliance with Supélec to create CentraleSupélec, which is part of the University of Paris-Saclay. The new campus is located in Gif-sur-Yvette, approximately 20 km from the center of Paris.
École Centrale Paris is one of the Centrale Graduate Schools associated as the Groupe Centrale network with its sister institutions (Lille, Lyon, Marseille, Nantes, Beijing, Hyderabad (with Mahindra Group) and Casablanca).
Since 1837, the school has established international research and education partnerships with several leading universities, such as University of Cambridge, ETH Zurich, Harvard, Indian Institutes of Technology, KAIST, Keio, MIT, NTUA, National University of Singapore, RWTH Aachen, Tsinghua University and TU Delft. It was a founding member of the TIME (Top Industrial Managers for Europe) network among leading European engineering schools, and also a member of the UniverSud Paris and the CESAER association of European engineering schools.
Initially located in the Hôtel de Juigné (now Hôtel Salé and home to the Musée Picasso), the main campus of the school was transferred to rue Montgolfier in 1884, where it stayed until 1969. Its current location neighbours the Parc de Sceaux.
Former location of the École Centrale, rue Montgolfier in Paris (3rd arrondissement):
The school is now located at Châtenay-Malabry, Hauts-de-Seine, a southern suburb of Paris, France (in the Île-de-France region), next to the Parc de Sceaux and its Château de Sceaux. Within the main campus at Châtenay Malabry, ECP hosts eight laboratories:
- Molecular and Macroscopic Energy, Combustion
- System Analysis and Macroeconomics Modeling
- Industrial Engineering
- Chemical Engineering and Materials Processing Laboratory
- Applied Mathematics
- Soil and Structure Mechanics
- Technology and Strategy
- Solids Structure and Properties
Most of the 2000 students at École Centrale Paris stay in dedicated on-campus student residences, which is located near the research labs and easily accessible via public transport.
Most French students who are admitted to École Centrale Paris have completed 2 to 3 years of post high school education in sciences through the classes préparatoires or prépas, which corresponds to (freshman and sophomore years at US universities). The entrance examination to the grandes écoles including École Centrale Paris is taken at the end of their second year (Mathématiques spéciales).
For its general engineering program leading to the degree Diplôme d'ingénieur, École Centrale Paris recruits among the top 4% of students in classes préparatoires for a quota of about 400 students, as well as about 50 top students from overseas partner universities after a highly selective process each year. A small number of places is also reserved for students who have successfully completed a 3-year undergraduate program in a French university.
The general engineering program at Centrale is multidisciplinary and typically lasts between 3 and 4 years. The curriculum is similar to those offered at other general engineering schools (écoles d'ingénieurs généralistes). All courses are taught in either French or English.
During the first year (Tronc Commun, or Common Core), students are required to study several subjects in science (mathematics, quantum physics, biology…), engineering (continuum mechanics, heat transfer, algorithms, programming…), as well as social sciences (economics, management, foreign languages…). In the second year, students are given the option to choose elective courses but with heavy emphasis in science nevertheless. The first two years are also used to train students in various research, startup and industry projects. In the third year, students can choose to major (specialize) in a particular field depending on their academic and professional interests. Upon graduation, students receive the degree of Diplôme d'Ingénieur (equivalent to Master of Science) along with the title of Ingénieur diplômé, which is more commonly called Ingénieur centralien.
The Graduate School
The school offers a broad range of specialized master's programmes in science and engineering (one-year or two-year programs).
It also offers various Ph.D. programmes for holders of a master's degree. More than 200 doctoral candidates currently work in one of the eight laboratories of the school.
The following is a non-exhaustive list of notable alumni of Ecole Centrale Paris, also commonly known as Centraliens or Pistons, which is a reference to the piston engine as one of the key innovations that powered the French industrial revolution.
Name (Year of graduation):
- Norbert Rillieux (1830), inventor of the multiple-effect evaporator
- Gustave Eiffel (1855), designer of the Eiffel Tower and the internal structure of the Statue of Liberty
- William Le Baron Jenney (1856), architect of the first steel framed building in Chicago
- Georges Leclanché (1860), created the Leclanché cell
- Émile Levassor and René Panhard (1864), founders of the first car manufacturing company, Panhard et Levassor
- André Michelin (1877), founder of Michelin
- Edmond Coignet (1879) a pioneer of reinforced concrete
- Louis Blériot (1895), aviation pioneer, first pilot to cross the Channel
- Georges Darrieus, French aeronautical engineer, inventor of the Darrieus wind turbine
- Armand Peugeot (1895), founder of automobile maker Peugeot (Peugeot PSA)
- René Lorin (1901), French aeronautical engineer, patented the first ramjet engine
- Solomon Lefschetz (1905), American mathematician
- Pierre-Georges Latécoère (1906), aeronautics pioneer, founder of Latécoère and Aéropostale (later Air France)
- Marcel Schlumberger (1907), co-founder of Schlumberger Limited
- Etienne Oehmichen (1908), pioneer of helicopters
- Boris Vian (1942), writer
- Mehdi Bazargan, former Iranian Prime Minister
- Francis Bouygues (1947), founder of Bouygues
- Jacques Maisonrouge (1948), Corporate Executive at IBM
- Gérard Pélisson (1955), founder of the Accor group (Novotel, Sofitel, Mercure, All Seasons hotels)
- Robert Peugeot, Peugeot holding president as of 2005[update]
- Antoine (1966), singer-songwriter, navigator
- Henri Gouraud (1967), computer scientist
- Sébastien Candel (1968), physicist, Vice President of the French Academy of Sciences
- Justin Ndioro (1972), former Cameroonian Minister of Finances (1993–1996)
- Étienne Klein, physicist and professor, Research Director of the CEA
- François Goulard (1976), French delegate minister for research (2005–2007)
- Benoît Potier (1979), CEO of Air Liquide
- Pierre Chappaz (1982), founder of Kelkoo
- Jean-Loïc Galle (1982), President and CEO of Thales Alenia Space
- Charbel Farhat (1983), professor at Stanford University
- Bernard Liautaud (1984), founder of Business Objects
- Édouard Michelin (born 1963) (1987), former CEO of Michelin
- Driss Ben-Brahim (1987), investor and highest paid trader in London
- Charles Beigbeder (1988), CEO of Poweo
- Bruno Iksil (1991), the 'London Whale'
- Valerie Masson-Delmotte (1993, 1996), climate scientist 
- Jean-Sebastien Jacques (1994), Rio Tinto CEO
- Fabrice Tourre (2000), the 'Fabulous Fab'
They include, in alphabetical order:
- Paul Appell - mathematician
- Raymond Barre, economist, Vice President of the European Commission, French Prime Minister
- Sébastien Candel - physicist, President of the French Academy of Sciences
- Jean-Daniel Colladon - engineer and physicist
- Gustave-Gaspard Coriolis - physicist, known for the Coriolis effect
- Jean-Baptiste Dumas - chemist, known for atomic weights
- Jacques Hadamard - mathematician
- Étienne Klein - physicist and philosopher of science
- Joseph Liouville - mathematician
- Anselme Payen - chemist, discovered the first enzyme
- Eugène Péclet - physicist, known for the Péclet number
- Émile Picard - mathematician
Notes and references
- Ecole Centrale Paris key figures (2016)
- Online article on EPFL history
- "List of centrale paris partners february 2014". Issuu. Retrieved 2016-06-02.
- MS programs at ECP
- "Norbert Rillieux". American Chemical Society. Retrieved 2016-03-18.
- (in French)french ministry for research
- (in French)profile on AXA Talents website
- "Valerie Masson-Delmotte". Le Laboratoire des Sciences du Climat et de l'Environnement. Retrieved 2016-06-24.
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