Joint laboratories and chairs at ENSTA Paris

ENSTA Paris joint laboratories and chairs aim to develop scientific research and the engineering profession in the face of new challenges in the international environment, in response to emerging needs in the socio-economic world. They closely bind ENSTA Paris and the businesses concerned with developing innovative skills in their sector.

The nuclear engineering chair

The Areva / ParisTech "Nuclear Engineering" chair (led by ENSTA Paris and Chimie ParisTech) was signed in June 2009 and inaugurated during a conference on "Nuclear Renaissance: what are the challenges for higher education and research?" on 7 December 2009. Catherine Césarsky, High Commissioner for Atomic Energy, chaired the evening, which hosted more than 150 people. This chair was renewed in 2015.

The main objectives of this chair are:

  • To develop and ensure the sustainability of high-level teaching, offering a balanced distribution between academic and industrial speakers;
  • To increase the attractiveness of nuclear professions over time by reinforcing the teaching of engineering courses and supporting the "Nuclear Energy" master's degree.
  • To provide, through the network created between the parties, a multidisciplinary response in education related to the development and implementation of nuclear energy for power generation.

ENSTA Paris and Chimie ParisTech are pooling their expertise to develop an original approach to nuclear engineering within the framework of this chair created by AREVA. This association makes it possible to address a wide range of topics linked to the development of reactors in the current fleet and to produce knowledge for the implementation of new sectors.

Fundamental research and development in separation chemistry, processes, pyrometallurgy, materials for containment and modelling will make it possible to anticipate future demands for a renewed chemistry upstream of the cycle and a cycle-reactor approach based on the concept of recycling for incineration of long-lived minor actinides in a reactor.

Likewise, skills in the physico-chemistry of surfaces, corrosion and metallurgy associated with expertise in welding will allow the optimisation of the chemistry of the reactor coolant circuits and, more generally, the prediction of the service life of structures subjected to thermomechanical constraints and to irradiation.
The multi-scale modelling and the theoretical approach developed within the two partner establishments, coupled with experimental expertise, are powerful tools for the design and control of innovative processes in an evolving vision of the concepts of reactors and the fuel cycle.

The complex Systems Engineering Chair

This chair was created during an agreement to expand the "Complex Systems Engineering Chair" between Thales, Dassault Aviation, DGA (Directorate General of Armament), DCNS and three partner schools (Polytechnique, ENSTA Paris and Telecom Paris) on 7 November 2011.

This chair was initially created between Thales and the Ecole Polytechnique in 2003. The decision was made in 2010 to extend the chair to new industrial, state and academic partners with the objective of creating benchmark teaching and research in France on the topic of systems engineering and architecture.

Chaired by Marko Erman - SVP Technical Director of Thales, the signing ceremony of the expansion agreement for the "Complex Systems Engineering Chair" took place on 7 November 2011 at the Thales Research Centre in Palaiseau in the presence of the all partners. This chair is located on the Saclay plateau, one of the major places in France for teaching and research in Systems Engineering and Architecture. This platform already hosts the Thales research centre, the École Polytechnique and ENSTA Paris, and Telecom Paris.

In addition to quality teaching and research, the chair will contribute to:  

  • Developing the attractiveness of the systems engineering and architecture professions among students and researchers and thus better meeting the needs of a growing industry.    
  • Developing new research topics in the architecture and engineering of complex systems (development of new synergies, funding of permanent staff, thesis grants or post-doctoral grants).
  • Developing the scientific influence of France in systems modelling and architecture and setting up new scientific partnerships with major European, American and other universities.

From a teaching point of view, the chair will implement the founding concepts and knowledge that will facilitate and accelerate the subsequent track. It will strengthen the links between academic training, research and industrial experience.

By strengthening the relationships of the industrial partners and the Directorate General of Armaments (DGA) with the ParisTech schools in Palaiseau, within a broader dynamic of cooperation on the Paris-Saclay campus around Systems Engineering, it will help to prepare for the future of our industries by providing the best level of training for our future systems engineers and architects.


Head of the Business Partnerships department