École Centrale Paris

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Ecole Centrale Paris
(Central School of Paris)
Ecole Centrale Paris Logo.svg
Motto Leader, Entrepreneur, Innovateur
Type Public, Grand établissement
Established 1829
President Hervé Biausser
Students 1,394
Location Châtenay-Malabry, France
Affiliations UniverSud Paris, Centrale Graduate School, CESAER
Website http://www.ecp.fr

Coordinates: 48°45′56.8″N 2°17′18.3″E / 48.765778°N 2.288417°E / 48.765778; 2.288417

Ecole Centrale Paris (ECP, or commonly known as Centrale) is a French graduate institute of 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 engineering schools in France and is widely regarded as one of the top grandes écoles. Since the 19th century, its specific model of engineering education has inspired the foundation of similar schools, such as École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne in Switzerland.[1]

In 2015, École Centrale Paris merged with Supélec to form CentraleSupélec, which is a member of the new Université Paris-Saclay.


Ecole Centrale Paris was founded in 1829 by means of a private initiative by Alphonse Lavallée, who became its first president, and three scientists who became founding associates: Eugène Peclet, Jean-Baptiste Dumas, and Théodore Olivier.[2] The founding vision was to educate multidisciplinary engineers for the emerging industrial sector in France. The institution was offered to the French state in 1857 by its creator, Alphonse Lavallée.


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.[3]


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:

  1. Molecular and Macroscopic Energy, Combustion[4]
  2. System Analysis and Macroeconomics Modeling[5]
  3. Industrial Engineering[6]
  4. Chemical Engineering and Materials Processing Laboratory[7]
  5. Applied Mathematics[8]
  6. Soil and Structure Mechanics[9]
  7. Technology and Strategy[10]
  8. Solids Structure and Properties[11]

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 Ecole 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 Ecole 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, Ecole 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.[12] 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 to 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[edit]

The school offers a broad range of specialized master's programmes in science and engineering (one-year or two-year programs).[13]

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.


Gustave Eiffel, designed the Eiffel Tower and internal structure of the Statue of Liberty in New York

The following is a non-exhaustive list of notable alumni of the school, also commonly referred to as Centraliens.

Name (Year of graduation):

Notable faculty[edit]

They include, in alphabetical order:

See also[edit]

Notes and references[edit]

External links[edit]