New Directors for IMT Lille Douai and Mines Albi-Carmaux

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New directors for IMT Lille Douai

Alain-Louis Schmitt has been appointed “Director of the Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Mines-Télécom Lille Douai,” for a five-year period, by a ruling of the Minister for the Economy and Finance dated April 12, 2017. By this same ruling, Narendra Jussien has been appointed “Director of the Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Mines of Albi-Carmaux” for a five-year term starting on May 1, 2017.

Alain-Louis Schmitt, the new Director of IMT Lille Douai, succeeded Daniel Boulnois on May 1st, 2017.

Alain Louis Schmitt IMT Lille Douai

“It is with great enthusiasm that I take up the position of Director of IMT Lille Douai, a new model of school, created by the merger between Mines Douai and Télécom Lille, which combines exceptional human potential with unprecedented conditions for inventing and organizing the engineering programs of tomorrow. I will drive this momentum, with support from the entire staff, as I am acutely aware of the historic anticipation with which businesses are awaiting skills combining engineering sciences, digital sciences and technologies and innovations based on world-class research.”

Alain-Louis Schmitt, a graduate of the École des Mines of Douai, has a doctorate in mechanical engineering from Valenciennes University and is a Corps des Mines Engineer. He began his career at the École des Mines of Douai in 1982 as a lecturer (digital control, microprocessors, production control) in charge of mechanics and robotics studies, and then served as head  of the computer-integrated manufacturing department.

Alain-Louis was then deputy director of the École des Mines of Nantes from 1995 to 2002, and also served as Deputy Regional Director for Industry, Research and the Environment for the Pays de la Loire from 2001 to 2002.

From 2002 to 2009, he served as Regional Director of Industry, Research and the Environment for the Lower Normandy Region and was also a territorial delegate for the Nuclear Safety Authority (Caen Division).

In February 2010, he was appointed Regional Director of Businesses, Competition, Consumption, Work and Employment (DIRECCTE) for the Pays de la Loire Region.

He had been the Director of the École Nationale Supérieure des Mines of Albi-Carmaux since May 2012.

Alain-Louis Schmitt was born on July 11, 1958.

Narendra Jussien, the new Director of Mines Albi-Carmaux, succeeded Alain Schmitt on May 1st, 2017.

Narendra Jussien, a professor of computer science, was Assistant Director of IMT Lille Douai until April 30, 2017 and Director of Télécom Lille from 2014-2016.

Narendra Jussien Mines Albi Carmaux

“Taking over as director of Mines Albi-Carmaux is an exciting, rewarding and challenging task.
This school has a great number of advantages and I am very excited to begin working with the team here. I am fully committed to enhancing the development strategy of this IMT treasure.”

He is a 1994 graduate of Angers’ Institute of Applied Mathematics, earned a doctorate in computer science in  1997 (Rennes-I) and has been accredited to lead research (Nantes) since 2003. After a brief period in which he worked for the General Delegation for Armament as part of his national military service, Narendra Jussien began his career at Mines Nantes (which is now IMT Atlantique) in 1998 as an Assistant Professor of computer science and later served as head of the computer science department. In January 2014, he was appointed Director of Télécom Lille, and remained in this position until the merger with Mines Douai to create IMT Lille Douai on January 1, 2017.

As a researcher, Narendra Jussein has authored some hundred publications and has made a significant contribution to the organization of the French scientific community in his area of expertise by founding the French Association for Constraint Programming. He also created the Choco solver, and continues to contribute to his area of expertise in his role as editor-in-chief of “Constraint Programming and Operations Research” for publishers Hermes Sciences and ISTE/Wiley.
Narendra Jussien is a Chevalier des Palmes Académiques (Knight of Academic Palms), a Senior Member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) and a member of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM).

He is interested in literature (especially the works of Honoré de Balzac), plays the piano, is an amateur photographer and enjoys cooking. He is also an avid runner in his free time.

Narendra Jussien was born on 01.09.1973.


4 years of MOOCs at IMT: an overview of the 2013-2016 period

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4 ans de MOOC à l'IMT 2013 - 2016

IMT recently published its first report on the development of MOOCs in its graduate schools. Since 2013, 25 MOOCs have been created and broadcast on the French platform FUN as well as the American platforms Coursera and edX, with 340,000 enrollments in 170 countries. IMT is pursuing this transformation of its schools’ teaching by developing its series of MOOCs.

MOOCs as a pillar of the transformation of learning at IMT…

…in graduate programs

First experimented in 2013, MOOCs are currently employed in the framework of core curricula in engineering and management courses. There have been 11,000 enrollments by students in our schools.

… and in lifelong learning programs

Mainly followed individually by professionals, MOOCs are increasingly used by companies. They regularly use this kind of flexible training method to train staff members by recommending a MOOC or offering one as a SPOC (Small Private Online Course).

As proof of the interest among patrons in these new training methods, the MOOC titled “Understanding the Collaborative Economy” was developed with support from and in collaboration with the MAIF, while Fondation Patrick et Lina Drahi is currently providing significant support for the development of a MOOC program at IMT.

The 2013-2016 report naturally contains the full list of MOOCs by IMT, as well as a portrait of the typical learner (gender, age, qualifications, location, occupation), information on the use of MOOCs in schools and companies, 3 examples of innovation in MOOCs, and the associated production costs.

“After the pioneering age, IMT is entering the development and professionalization phase. On the strength of our experience over recent years, we wanted to share this overview with the educational community…”

Nicolas Sennequier, director of Digital Learning at IMT



Gasification, the future of organic waste recovery


At a time when the challenge of waste recovery is becoming increasingly evident, gasification is emerging as a promising solution. The process allows organic waste to be decomposed into synthetic gas, which can be burned for energy purposes, or reprocessed to obtain gases of interest, such as methane and hydrogen. Javier Escudero has been studying this virtuous alternative to incineration for over eight years at Mines Albi. At the RAPSODEE laboratory (UMR CNRS 5302), he is developing a pilot process for recovering problematic waste, such as non-recyclable plastic materials and certain types of agricultural residue.

This century-old technique is now more relevant than ever. Gasification, which generates combustible gas from carbonaceous solids, such as coal and wood, was popularized in the 19th century to power producer-gas vehicles. They sparked renewed interest during World War II, when they were used to produce synthetic fuels from coal during the oil shortage.

Waste, tomorrow’s resource

In this season of energy transition, researchers are reviving this technique to recover a much more promising carbon source: organic waste! Javier Escudero is one such researcher. His credo? “Waste is tomorrow’s resource.” At Mines Albi, he is working to optimize this recovery method, which is more virtuous than outright incineration. His target materials are forest residues, household waste and non-recyclable plastic materials, etc. “Gasification is used particularly for dry and solid waste. It is complementary to the biological methanation process, which is used more for wet waste,” he explains.

Several steps are involved in the gasification process of transforming waste into gas. The waste, which is preconditioned and dried beforehand, first undergoes pyrolysis in a low-oxygen atmosphere at temperatures of over 300°C. “In these conditions, the energy produced breaks the molecular bonds. The carbonaceous materials separate into gas and solid residue. The following step is the true gasification stage: at 750°C or higher, the water vapor or carbon dioxide that are present complete the decomposition of these elements into a mixture of small molecules called synthesis gas, essentially composed of carbon monoxide and hydrogen,” Javier Escudero explains.

This synthesis gas, the basic “building block” of petrochemistry, has proven to be very useful: it can be incinerated, providing a greater yield than the combustion of the original solid. It can also power a cogeneration motor to produce heat and electricity. Finally, it can be reprocessed to produce gases of interest: methane, hydrogen, acetylene, etc… “We can therefore replace one source of energy or fossil material with its renewable energy equivalent,” Javier Escudero explains. It is thanks to this great versatility that gasification provides a virtuous alternative to incineration. However, some optimizations must still be made to improve its economic results.

Thermal recovery for industrial benefit

Javier Escudero has been working towards this goal since his arrival at Mines Albi in 2008. His goal is to identify the best means for enhancing the yield of the process, of which some mechanisms remain relatively unknown. In 2013, one of his team’s publications,1 explaining the respective influences of carbon dioxide and water vapor in the efficiency of gasification, was well received by the scientific community.

VALTHERA, waste recovery here, there, and everywhere

The VALTHERA platform (which in French stands for VALorisation THErmique des Résidus de transformation des Agro-ressources, the Thermal Recovery of Processing Residues from Agro-Resources), is located at the Mines Albi site, and is backed by the Agri Sud-Ouest and Derbi competitiveness clusters. It is a technological platform specialized in the development of highly energy-efficient thermal processes for the recovery of biomass waste and by-products. Its technological offer includes drying, pyrolysis, torrefaction, combustion, and gasification. Different means of recovery are being studied for this waste that is widely available, which would generate energy or value-added materials. Another specific feature of the VALTHERA platform is that it develops a source of solar power intended to power all of these thermal processes and improve their ecological footprint. It also offers high-performance equipment for treating various types of emissions and pollutants. The platform also acts as a catalyst for companies, and specifically for SMEs seeking to carry out research and development programs, demonstrate the feasibility of a project, or generalize a process.

Now, the time has come to apply this research. The researcher and his team are therefore working to develop the VALTHERA platform (in French: VALorisation THErmique des Résidus de transformation des Agro-ressources, the Thermal Recovery of Processing Residues from Agro-Resources). This platform is aimed at developing various processes for thermal waste recovery in partnership with industrial stakeholders (see box). In particular, Javier Escudero and his colleagues at the RAPSODEE laboratory (Recherche d’Albi en génie des Procédés des Solides Divisés, de l’Énergie et de l’Environnement, the Albi Research Centre for Process Engineering in Particulate Solids, Energy and the Environment) are working on a 100 kW pilot gasification process. This process is scheduled to be operational by the end of 2016, and will be a forerunner of final processes reaching up to 3 MW, “a power range that is suitable for processing a small-scale of generated organic waste, which could suit the needs of an SME.” The team is particularly focused on “fixed-bed” technology. With this system, the entire process takes place within a single reactor. The waste is “piled in” from the top, and then gradually goes through the steps of pyrolysis and gasification, driven downwards by the force of gravity, until the synthesis gas is recovered at the bottom of the reactor.

The researchers are working in partnership with the French gasifier manufacturer, CogeBio, to expand the possibilities of this technology. “The only commercial solutions that exist are for wood chips. We are going to assess the use of other types of waste, such as vine shoots,” explains Javier Escudero. Eventually, the project will expand to include other sources, such as non-recyclable plastics, still in connection with solutions industrial stakeholders are seeking. “Today, the processing cost for certain types of waste is negative, because the demand to get rid of this waste is greater than the processing capacities,” the researcher explains. In terms of recovery, the synthesis gas will first be burned for energy purposes. Based on the different partnerships, more ambitious recovery processes could be implemented. A top process of interest is the production of hydrogen: a high-value-added energy carrier. All of these valuable initiatives are aimed at transforming our waste into renewable energy!

Curiosity: the single driving force

Nothing predestined Javier Escudero to develop gasification in France… unless it was his scientific curiosity. After falling in love with research during an internship at a Swiss polymer manufacturer, the Spanish student began his thesis on polymerization, under the joint direction of a Spanish manufacturer. After completing his post-graduate research on the same theme at the Laboratory of Chemical Engineering – LGC – in Toulouse (UMR 5503), in 2008 he applied for a research position at Mines Albi in the area of waste gasification, a subject that strayed from his beginnings in chemistry.

However, his curiosity and industrial experience combined to bring him success. Eight years later, he is now an Assistant Professor at the RAPSODEE laboratory (UMR CNRS 5302)… and extremely passionate about sustainable development. In addition to his daily work on gasification, he is co-organizing the international WasteEng conference (conference on engineering for waste and biomass valorisation), which brings together stakeholders from across the waste chain, from the identification of sources to their recovery.

Editing: Umaps, Hugo Leroux

(1) Guizani, C. et al ; The gasification reactivity of high-heating-rate chars in single and mixed atmospheres of H2O and CO2 ; Fuel 108 (2013) 812–823

Scientific description of industrial experience – Elise Vareilles, Mines Albi


At Mines Albi, Elise Vareilles works on “product configuration”, which entails understanding industrial constraints and considering them scientifically using IT. This multidisciplinary work is based on experts’ experience which must be recorded before the people in question retire.

When you order a car and specify the color, engine type, extras and delivery deadline, you are generally unaware of the complexity of the IT tool which allows these preferences. Each choice leads to constraints that have to be taken into account at each stage: ordering a more powerful engine, for example, entails having larger wheels. The software also communicates with the consumer in order to guide their choices. So, when the client wants a short deadline, only certain options are available and must be proposed in the computer interface. This discipline is called product or service configuration, and it is what Elise Vareilles and her colleagues at Mines Albi are working on.

Understanding expertise

“We start with businesses’ knowledge of their products and then formalize it. In other words, we determine what constraints there are,” the Researcher explained, “next, we develop an IT tool to consider this knowledge and deduce rules from it in order to offer consumers something that corresponds to their needs in terms of price, options and timing.

This multidisciplinary work is on the border between industrial engineering and artificial intelligence. “This multidisciplinarity is our specificity”, confirms Elise Vareilles, who has acquired specialist knowledge in very different industrial fields. But paradoxically, this research which may seem purely technical includes a considerable amount of human sciences. Besides the technological aspects, the researchers are also interested in professionals’ expertise. “An employee with 30 years of experience knows what he has to do to optimize a process,” explains Elise Vareilles, “but this means that it is a disaster when he retires. We formalize knowledge that can only be acquired with experience.

The importance of knowledge

However, this knowledge is extremely difficult to formalize because experts find it difficult to explain their processes, which feel so natural to them. It is like a meal cooked by a great chef: even if we have the exact recipe and quality ingredients, we won’t get the same result because a chef’s skill is only learnt with years of practice. In the same way, when we learn to ride a bike no-one can really explain how to keep balance; it is only through practice that we become skilled enough to ride without help from our parents.

Product configuration at the service of energy efficiency

If we want to meet the French target of thermally renovating 500,000 residences per year, the process needs to be industrialized. This is why the Agency for the Environment and Energy Efficiency (ADEME) launched the “Minimum carbon footprint and positive-energy buildings and blocks” call for expressions of interest in 2012 for the external insulation of a building containing 110 social housing units in Saint-Paul-lès-Dax (Landes). This project, called Criba, aims to “develop an industrialized technical solution for renovating multi-unit housing”. Elise Vareilles and her team developed a software program to help architects design and draw the building after renovation. “We developed an algorithm proposing different renovation solutions,” Elise Vareilles explained. “to do so, we based our work on photos of the different sides of the building taken by drones, which allowed us to build a 3D digital model that we enhanced with various architectural data. Lastly, we took different constraints into account, such as the local urbanism plan, the operator’s restrictions (in particular their budget) or architectural requirements.” The project was launched in 2013, will be completed in January 2017 and will cost €8 million.

Product or service configuration can be applied to a number of processes, such as choosing a complex product like a car, or the optimization of industrial processes with a large number of constraints, as Elise Vareilles did with a process of heat treatment for car gears. Such configuration also includes helicopter maintenance, airplane design or external renovation of buildings (see inset) etc. Even medicine can benefit from it. “We have configured the treatment program for pregnant women at the University Hospital Centre in Toulouse,” the researcher explained, “If we see that a patient is diabetic, for example, the whole program is automatically adjusted to include specific appointments, such as regular blood tests.

Knowledge is capital

Saint_paul_les_dax_elise_vareillesThis research is very multidisciplinary. Of course, it requires skills in IT and artificial intelligence, but the researchers must also acquire knowledge in the subjects involved, such as heat treatment, engineering and aeronautics. Last but not least, interviewing experts almost comes under sociology. The researcher feels strongly about this point: “experts’ knowledge is vital capital that must be preserved and passed on before it is too late. Once the experts leave, there is nothing I can do.

Élise Vareilles promotes science among young girls

After a DEA (the ancestor of the Research Master’s 2) in IT at Paul Sabatier University in Toulouse, Elise Vareilles had the opportunity to do a PhD on a European project about a heat treatment process. It was perfect for her, given that she prefers working on concrete projects rather than theoretical IT. “It’s motivating to know what it’s used for!” Thanks to this project she acquired knowledge in industrial engineering which helped her join Mines Albi in 2005. It is a choice she does not regret: “the work changes every day, and we meet lots of people. We write code, but do other things as well.

Elise Vareilles is also very committed to promoting science among young girls in the Elles Bougent and Women in Aerospace associations. “It’s important that girls don’t limit themselves,” she highlighted, “I go into high schools and am shocked by the beliefs held by some of them, who say they are not good enough to continue studying!


The new IMT – French Académie des Sciences Prize will recognize the excellence of researchers in digital technology, energy and the environment.

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Prix IMT – Académie des sciences

On March 28, IMT and the French Académie des Sciences signed an agreement establishing a new prize aimed at rewarding exceptional scientific contributions in Europe. The first call for applications has now been launched. The deadline for submitting applications is set for May 23, 2017.

The fields

The prize will award European researchers in three different fields:

  • The sciences and technologies of the digital transformation in industry;
  • The sciences and technologies of the energy transition;
  • Environmental engineering.

Two scientists honored

The IMT – French Académie des Sciences prize is comprised of two awards:

– a “Grand Prix” awarded to a scientist who has contributed to the fields mentioned above in an exceptional manner through a body of particularly remarkable work;

– a Young scientist prize awarded to a scientist who is under 40 years old on January 1st of the year the prize is awarded, who has contributed to these same fields through a major innovation.

These prizes will be presented jointly by IMT, with support from Fondation Mines-Télécom and the French Académie des Sciences. They will be endowed with prize money of the following amounts:

– Grand Prix: €30,000;

– Young scientist prize: €15,000.

Each prize will be awarded, without any requirements regarding nationality, to a scientist working in France, or in Europe, in close collaboration with French teams.


The application must include the following:

1) the form provided by the French Académie des Sciences;

2) a letter of support providing a personal opinion of the nominee;

3) a brief résumé;

4) the nominee’s main scientific results;

5) a list of the main publications.

The Official Awards Ceremony

The formal award ceremony will take place in the Dome of the Academy on October 10, 2017. It will be completed by a ceremony in mid-October for the recipients to present their work to the Academy.

According to Sébastien Candel, President of the French Académie des Sciences: “The creation of these two prizes works towards fulfilling several of the Academy’s missions. One of these missions is to encourage the scientific community, by not only awarding established researchers, but also the most promising young researchers. This encouragement is all the more significant due to the prize being awarded as part of a partnership that unites the French Académie des Sciences and another institution, as in this specific case with IMT. These prizes also strengthen the international dimension of French science and our Academy, because they do not have any requirements regarding nationality, but are open to a scientist working in France, or in Europe, with the condition of a close collaboration with French teams.

According to Christian Roux, Executive Vice President for Research and Innovation at IMT: “By creating these two scientific prizes, awarded jointly by the French Académie des Sciences, IMT is seeking to honor talent, promote partner-based research with companies, and encourage the emergence of innovations and breakthrough approaches. It is also an opportunity for the Institut to gain more visibility and attractiveness in the national and international landscapes of higher education and research.”

€1M allocated to IMT to roll out the Franco-German Academy projects for the Industry of the Future

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The endowment of €1M announced by Christophe Sirugue, State Secretary for Industry, Digital Technology and Innovation, who was at Mines Saint-Etienne for Industry Week, will strengthen the action already implemented by the 2 founders of the Academy (IMT and TUM). This comes 3 months after Berlin’s Franco-German digital conference which looked back on the launch of the Franco-German Academy for the Industry of the Future.

Positive first steps by the Franco-German Academy for the Industry of the Future

Since the first Franco-German digital conference, the Academy for the Industry of the Future, founded on 27 October 2015, has managed to forge collaborations between researchers from the 2 founding members, TUM (Technische Universität München) and IMT. These collaborations started immediately in 2 areas:

  • Cyberarchitecture and Safety through 3 research projects: Hybrid Blockchain Architectures, Secure Connected Industry and Towards a Secure Internet of Things;
  • Networked Cooperations for the Industry of the Future thanks to the Smart Cyber-Physical Environments and Transformation of Organizational Control research projects.

New momentum through financial allocation

With this new endowment, IMT and TUM will be able to move up a gear, develop projects already underway in 2016 and initiate new projects related to research and training.

  • Research projects

Thanks to the endowment granted by the French government, the initiated projects will be able to reach their full potential. Additionally, the exploration of a second wave of projects related to the next phase for the Academy will start around other shared domains such as advanced materials, 3D printing, energy efficiency, design and industrial logistics.

  • Summer school

This two-session program will cover “connected vehicles and digital routes” and “human factors and cooperative design systems”.

  • Launch of the Blended Learning program

It will be based on 15 modules (remote/classroom) providing enhanced digital education for industry executives and building knowledge of the Industry of the Future. This program will offer an “Industry of the Future” certificate of the micro-master type.

According to Christian Roux, Director of Research and Innovation at IMT, “We are now in a position to take this new Franco-German cooperation to the next level with our TUM partners. This opens up an original pathway within higher education and European research and will have the support of a club of industrial partners from the Academy for its development.”

e.l.m leblanc and IMT sign a framework agreement on the industry of the future

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Both partners are strongly involved in issues related to the industry of the future, and have decided to pool their efforts and formalize their collaboration.

A lasting partnership based on three components: research, R&D and foresight.

1.    Develop cutting-edge research in the following fields :
> digital technologies,
> acoustics,
> Big Data and Machine Learning,
> Industry of the Future,

2.    Develop innovative joint R&D projects on key industrial challenges such as automation, Big Data, the Internet of Things, security, as well as the production line, logistics and transport, human-machine cooperation and intelligent agents.

3.    Engage in future-oriented reflection and research on humankind’s place in the digital and industrial transitions, and create and develop new paradigms (business models, new organizational forms, new products and services) for the industry of the future.

The partners’ perspectives

For IMT teams, the cooperation with e.l.m. leblanc represents an outstanding full-scale and operational testing ground for production. As a company that is very advanced in its own industrial transformation, e.l.m. leblanc is the ideal player for confronting IMT’s research with the practical issues that arise from the changes currently underway in the industry of the future.

In the short term, researchers will work with e.l.m. leblanc teams on issues related to the metallurgy of stainless steel, to big data (maintenance and predictive manufacturing), “factory service” prediction, industrial IoT and the Smart Factory (analysis and modeling of logistic flows, changes to the workstation and the production line).

According to Christian Picory-Donné, Director of Partnerships and Transfers at IMT, “these projects will lay the foundations for many different forms of collaboration that will of course bring together R&D, but also initial and lifelong learning, foresight and think-tanks. This will provide many cross-fertilization opportunities with this major industrial partner.”

According to e.l.m. leblanc, the upheavals taking place in the world due to new technologies will only continue and increase in the coming decades. As an industrial company, e.l.m. leblanc is facing an unprecedented challenge. The company is concerned about its present and future ability to understand these constant waves of changes – specifically changes in business models and production methods.

According to Philippe Laforge, Chief Executive of e.l.m. leblanc “Our partnership with a leading academic player like IMT is essential in this dynamic and uncertain context. IMT provides us with it expertise, not only in terms of the latest developments, but also in research applied to the challenges of our profession. This collaboration, resulting from our regional and national foundations, is at the heart of e.l.m.’s development strategy in France”.

New IMT logo for Mines Albi-Carmaux and Mines Alès, two of IMT’s schools

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Two of IMT’s graduate schools in the Occitania region have taken their turn to show their attachment to IMT by adopting a new IMT logo, already used by the schools that merged on the 1st of January: IMT Atlantique and IMT Lille Douai.

A new IMT logo for Mines Albi-Carmaux and Mines Alès

Three months after they merged with the EPSCP Institut Mines-Télécom, these two graduate schools in southern France wished to illustrate their sense of belonging to the IMT family.
For Alain Schmitt: “Wearing the colors of a nationally and internationally recognized institution along with Mines Alès, in the heart of our new region was important to us. It forms a common base – solid, dynamic and teeming with opportunity and perspectives.”

In the view of Bruno Goubet: “Adopting a shared logo is proof of the strength of our recent union, on which Mines Albi and Mines Alès will be able to build to contribute further to the economic development of their region.”

Common ground for the brand, contributing to faster brand awareness

In their communications alongside the IMT and the merged schools, Mines Albi and Mines Alès will share a common base for their logo: a blue pictogram inspired by the IMT tangram, associated with their names, and the same baseline.
The collective brand aesthetic will be strengthened by new visuals based on various versions of the logo’s geometrical shapes, as well as shared colors – blue, black and white. The individuality of each school will be expressed through their own graphic code, with one additional color with which the school strongly identifies.

For Mines Albi it will be orange, alluding to the color of the old logo, but also the iconic bricks of the city of Albi.

For Mines Alès an audacious shade of magenta was chosen, picking up from the previous logo (raspberry red). This is the signature of a school that sees itself as vibrant and creative.

Digital transformation : Employment trends

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Big Data, the Internet of Things, cybersecurity etc. are skills that are increasingly sought after. Even though they don’t offer as many job vacancies as traditional occupations in the digital sector such as those for information systems, they are clearly riding high. Here are the major trends revealed by the 9th IMT Barometer, created for the Forum des télécommunications which took place on 9 February in Paris.

In the digital and telecoms professions, the crisis is well and truly over. After a very positive 2016, recruitment should stay at a high level in 2017. And young engineers are those who will benefit the most. This is what the IMT digital professions barometer shows, but in which fields ?

Infographic of the results of the 9th IMT barometer of digital professions (in French)

Datascientist, a new strategic profession

The digital transformation is creating new requirements, starting with the analysis of big data. According to the IMT barometer, Big Data in auditing/consultancy represents 13% of requests from companies. But this isn’t the only sector on the lookout for data analysts. The bancassurance groups are very keen, as are major manufacturers with their huge digitization projects. Selected as the “sexiest profession of the 21st century” by the Harvard Business Review, the datascientist is becoming strategic.

Since big data is difficult to interpret within corporate groups, calculations by this specialist concern operational matters as much as strategy.

PSA has made it one of their priority HR projects. With Criteo, Safran and BNP Paribas, the manufacturer is a partner of the Machine Learning for Big Data chair of Télécom ParisTech. A great way to train future talents within this field.

Digitization of industry and new skills

The digitization of industry is also creating a need for new skills. At Renault Nissan, in one way or another almost all of the engineering positions involve digital skills. Approximately 20% of employees work on a self-driving, connected vehicle. The manufacturer employs engineers who could also work at Google or Airbus. Digitization concerns not only the product design but also the entire industrial process. Welcome to the factory of the future where, for example, remote management positions are created for experts in industrial processes. In the control room, they implement actions recommended by the algorithms and modify them thanks to their on-the-ground knowledge.

Cybersecurity is a key issue for businesses and employment

Cybersecurity is becoming a major issue and few businesses can escape it. On the flipside of digitalization, new online threats are hitting companies’ websites and information systems, such as cyber spying or server attacks. So you can understand why security specialists are being snatched up in the job market. The shortage of profiles is genuine. It is difficult to find qualified candidates even if businesses offer higher salaries than in the majority of other IT fields. It is an up-and-coming profession within all sectors. According to the IMT digital professions barometer, it represents 13% of telecom operators’ requirements and 11% in auditing/consultancy and industry.

Web technologies and IoT

Web technologies are also future professions. This specialty represents 14% of software vendors’ requirements. Referencing experts, developers (J2E, SQL, JavaScript etc.), UX designers and more are among the in-demand specialties where the lack of candidates is likely to persist. Full-stack developers, those coding “Swiss knives” who know how to build an application from start to finish, are still very much sought after.

In addition, specialists of the Internet of Things are increasingly needed, especially in auditing/consultancy, services and at certain operators such as Orange. Connected objects bring many skills into play that range from electronics to programming via integration and energy optimization. Hardware and software are combined to form complex systems. In this sector, polyvalence is therefore perceived as a real asset.

Signing of a strategic partnership between ENSTA Bretagne and IMT Atlantique

On the ENSTA Bretagne campus, the Minister of Defense, Jean-Yves Le Drian, accompanied by Luc Rousseau, vice president of the General Economy Council, representing the Minister for the Economy and Finance, launched the strategic merger between  ENSTA  Bretagne and IMT  Atlantique  Bretagne-Pays de la Loire on February 2nd 2017.

The signing

During the signing of a partnership agreement between the two flagship institutions, the Minister of Defense, convinced that innovations stemming from marine and digital technologies will be decisive for the future, reaffirmed the crucial role of high level training and research for innovation and the technological progress of French defense and high tech businesses.

The aim is for the two Engineering Graduate Schools to jointly boost their appeal, dynamics and ambitions. They presented their ambition to ultimately develop an engineering hub of excellence that will serve as a benchmark in western France.