HIGHER EDUCATION. ISAT, the French School of Automotive and Transportation Engineering, founded in F-Nevers, (Nièvre), which trains 150 engineering graduates every year, is becoming an increasingly attractive option.

The average four to five job offers received by fifth year students, before even having obtained their diplomas, is a testament to the schools’ reputation.

Focus on the only French public engineering school, specializing in automobile, by the director Luis Le Moyne (*).

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When visiting companies part of  the Pôle de la Performance of Nevers-Magny-Cours, we often come accross ISAT trainees or alumni. Is this the result of the quality of the education and the partnerships fostered with local companies and the surrounding community ?

In the past two years, 30% of our graduates have integrated into the local industry. I see an answer to an urgent need for recruitment but more importantly, the influence and recognition of the school’s reputation in the community. ISAT was founded in 1991, alongside the new race circuit of Nevers Magny-Cours, for political leverage. This pre-determined location for the new school has now proven to be a very strategically beneficial decision, although at the time, it was not an evidently favourable choice. Moreover, 10% of our graduates - 850 to date – find employment abroad and more than one third are recruited by prestigious companies, mainly in Ile-de-France (Paris area).  The automobile industry offers four to five solid employment opportunities to all of our fifth year students, and this even before the completion of their diplomas.

Is ISAT’s appeal in the eyes of reputable employers a direct result of any particular criteria?

As a faculty of the University of Bourgogne, ISAT is already the only higher education public engineering school specializing in automotive and therefore, by comparison, our administrative and tuition fees are much more financially feasible. In other words, we receive students from a variety of social backgrounds, in which 50% of them are granted scholarships. This social inter-mingling provides incentive for the students throughout their studies. Students are eligible for our five-year program based on a national admission exam (concours) or the three-year program following the completion of a two year preparatory school. All of our students are required to spend at least one semester abroad, either in the form of an internship or with one of our 30 partner universities. Our students possess a strong work and life experience as a result of internship opportunities throughout their studies at ISAT, which means they are exceptionally well prepared for the work force upon employment. The downside to this is that they are less exposed and concentrated on the theoretical aspect by comparison to other schools, but is this considered a real handicap….

How prominent is research at ISAT ?

Not as much as it should be in my opinion as we are working on highly visible & expectant programmes from our cutting-edge in-school platforms: composite materials, vibration & acoustics, engine-oriented energy and embedded electronics. Moreover, ISAT co-manages two laboratories with local companies (Danielson Engineering & Anvis). May I point out that ISAT held the expertise part in hybridation for the NOAO (**)- Know How à la française -, unique hybrid vehicle with electrical propulsion for competition series, developped in a joint project with the Pôle de Performance de Nevers-Magny-Cours. We are now leading a second more in-depth R & D phase.

What kind of high calibre projects will you be carrying out in the short term ?

ISAT needs space... New premises over 2 000 sq.meters dedicated to research are due to open in 2014 with 3,7 millions euros in investments. At a time where everyone is promoting learning through apprenticeship, ISAT recently opened a 3-year engineering apprenticeship degree focusing on procurement/sourcing and ergonomics. Courses are held at ISAT whereas all the organizational & educational support is borne by ITII (***) in Auxerre, Yonne.

(*) Director of ISAT nominated one year ago (4 millions euros global budget, 70 employees), Luis Le Moyne, 42 years old, Mexican-born, Engineer & Phd, conducts many research activities (specialisation : motorization)

(**) Racing autonomy hits 100 kph and maximum speed 200 kph

(***) ITII Bourgogne is the first establishment accredited by the Commission des Titres d'Ingénieur to train engineers through apprenticeship and continuing education through apprenticeship. ITII Bourgogne is a result of a partnership between the University of Bourgogne and the metallurgy trade unions of all four departments in the Bourgogne region. Headquarters are located at La Maison de l'Entreprise de l'Yonne.

Lire la traduction française publiée sur ce site le 1er février 2012 : L'ISAT tient bien la route à Nevers

Copyright: ISAT et ISAT/C.Boulicault/Groupe Archimède

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