• The harmonisation of training projects and the promotion of student mobility, especially within the application programmes in third year.
• The co-ordination of research policies and the improvement of their complementarities.
• The development of industrial relations and the implementation of experiences in an international environment.
Centrale Nantes has a total of 350 students (for three years of studies) including 250 Masters or PhD students and 150 continuous training students. The research and teaching staff counts 120 persons.
The training of the students is organised in 6 teaching departments:
• Automatics and Robotics
• Computer Science and Mathematics
• Fluid Mechanics and Dynamics
• Computational Structural Mechanics
• Production Design and Industrial Systems Development
• Foreign languages department
During the first two years of training, the students are grouped in a unique common core teaching program. For the third and last year the students have to choose a Major in one of the following training fields:
• System engineering, image and signal processing.
• Computer science.
• Product design and industrial systems development.
• Materials engineering.
• Computational structural mechanics.
• Hydrodynamics and ocean engineering.
The “Hydrodynamics and ocean engineering” program is led by a professor, assisted by 5 assistant professors. These academics are specialized in wave resistance, seakeeping, computational fluid dynamics (CFD) and other topics related to naval hydrodynamics, ship design and ocean engineering This program has many academic partners inside and outside Europe. Partnership activities include exchanges of students for traineeship periods, mobility of professors, etc.
These topics are also covered by the Master ‘Hydrodynamics, Dynamics and Propulsion, opened to bachelors, and leading to a Master degree through a 2-year, 120 credits program. This Master will be delivered to students following successfully the proposed Erasmus-Mundus program.
Centrale Nantes is involved today in two existing Erasmus Mundus programs: the EMARO program (European Master on Advanced Robotics) and the Erasmus Mundus Master in Computational Mechanics.
The research activity in Centrale Nantes is organised in four laboratories covering the following fields: Automatics and Robotics, Mathematics, Civil engineering and mechanics, Fluids mechanics. Each of these laboratories is associated with the French Center for Scientific Research, CNRS.
The Fluid Mechanics Laboratory comprises 4 different groups, in which the hydrodynamics and ocean engineering group is the largest, with about 40 persons. The Hydrodynamics and Ocean Engineering (HOE) group is a key contributor to the field of numerical models for free surface hydrodynamics, with application to ship and offshore structures. In addition, the HOE group is in charge of the experimental facilities (towing tank of 150m long, wave tank of 50 m length, 30 m width and 5 m depth with a multiflap wavemaker able to create multidirectional waves of 1 m height) which are unique in the field of academic research in France. The HOE group is involved in many French or European collaborative research projects and has a substantial consulting activity with industrial partners.
Professors and researchers involved in “Advanced Ship Design” Erasmus Mundus project are involved in the training of students of the ‘Hydrodynamics and ocean engineering’ major (see above) and in research activities of the Hydrodynamics and Ocean engineering group of the Fluid Mechanics Laboratory. Their expertise is at the highest level of international recognition with for example their substantial participation in international expert groups: two experts in ITTC (International Towing Tank Conference) technical committees, participation in the paper selection committees of numerous international conferences, etc.. They have also recently received several awards in major international conferences. Their participation in the FP6 integrated project VIRTUE (http://www.virtual-basin.org), related to the development of a virtual environment for ship design, is also to be mentioned.
Highly qualified staff from the recently launched spin-off company of Ecole Centrale de Nantes, Hydrocean (http://www.hydrocean.fr), will also contribute in the teaching program, especially in relation with multidisciplinary optimisation.