1919 - 2019 | 100 years of history

1919 - IPO founded

[legende-image]175[/legende-image] Nantes City Council passes a bill approving the creation of the Institut Polytechnique de l'Ouest, as proposed by Aymé Poirson in August 1919.
An engineer connects science and industry, with the ability to design and produce. It is therefore essential that he/she has a modicum of theory to coordinate, interpret and bring together, within the same rational formula, what appear to be very diverse facts.

Nantes City Council, (1919) Institut Polytechnique de l'Ouest, Nantes

The curriculum is short: 3 years with a foundation year where necessary. Students study general engineering in their first year and for part of the second year. The IPO offered 4 specialisations: shipbuilding, electricity, chemistry and public works, mechanics and engines.

In 1929, the IPO was selected by the Ministry of Air, as part of a national research programme on fluid mechanics, to carry out research into aeronautics.

Professor Le Rolland, recipient of the Montyon Prize of the Academy of Sciences in 1931, is appointed director of the IPO in 1934. The Ministry of the Air subsequently designates the school a control laboratory for aeronautics materials in 1935.

1947 - IPO is renamed ENSM

[legende-image]1488297231091[/legende-image] [legende-image]1488297231087[/legende-image]
After WW2, the school becomes an Ecole National Supérieure d'Ingénieurs (National Engineering School) in 1947 and is renamed École Nationale Supérieure de Mécanique (ENSM).

Student numbers in 1947: 80 students recruited via an examination.

1969 - ENSM celebrates its first 50 years

[legende-image]1488297231090[/legende-image] The ENSM celebrates its 50th Anniversary with a symposium on the theme "The role of research, technology and management in engineering training". This is followed by a gala evening at the Graslin Theatre with an opera and a ballet.

342 students, 48 of whom are married, are currently pursuing their studies, among them 16 foreign students... The programme lasts 3 years and represents 2700 hours of curricular activities. Of the 9 teaching periods, 5 are devoted to a common core curriculum, after which students join one of five options: a maximum of 48 students specialise in civil engineering, the others in applied mechanical engineering, naval or aerospace engineering, or design and manufacture of mechanical equipment.

1977 - Move to new premises - 1 rue de la Noë

Louis Arretche, urban architect, draws up the plans for the future ENSM site, but its implementation is entrusted to a young architect from Nantes: Jean-Michel LESPINAI.
Building work is completed in the summer of 1977 and in September, the ENSM settles into its new premises located 1 rue de la Noë, near the River Erdre. The new ocean test tank facility measures 70 metres by 5 metres.


31 July 1991

In a decree published in the Official Journal the ENSM takes the name of Ecole Centrale de Nantes, member of the Ecoles Centrale Group and now a general engineering school.


The four directors sign the Intergroup charter on 5 December 1990

École Centrale de Nantes now recruits its students via the Centrale-Supélec examination and no longer via ENSI. The intergroup agreement offers engineering students the possibility to choose a final year option from amongst all those on offer in the 4 schools, about fifty in all. Exchanges between schools are also organized.
In September 1993, the school becomes a public institution with a scientific, cultural and professional vocation (EPSCP). Its status is now that of a school independent from the universities. Henceforth, the director is appointed by the Ministry for Higher Education and Research, and the school is accredited to deliver PhD degrees.

2009: Centrale Nantes celebrates its 90th anniversary

Over 300 members of the Centrale Nantes community came together to celebrate the 90th anniversary of Centrale Nantes on Saturday 28th November 2009



2013 - 2014 Centrale Audencia Ensa Alliance


Centrale Nantes signs a structuring alliance with Audencia Nantes in 2013.

The following year, Ensa, école nationale supérieure d'architecture de Nantes joins the  Centrale Nantes and Audencia in the Alliance, which brings together engineering, business studies, architecture and design in order to enhance teaching, research, industrial partnerships and international visibility.

Published on April 9, 2019 Updated on July 17, 2019