IFP School’s new Dean

Pascal Longuemare officially took over as Dean of IFP School on September 1st, for a three-year term. He succeeds Christine Travers, who has held the position since 2017 and is now retiring.

With a PhD in Mechanics of Materials and Structures from the University of Lille, Pascal began his career at IFP Energies nouvelles (IFPEN) in 1996 as a Research Engineer. Within the Applied Mechanics department, he was in charge of industrial projects, before being seconded to Total, where he helped industrialize R&I work carried out with IFPEN.

Portrait de Pascal Longuemare

He successively headed the Geomechanics and Mechanical Engineering departments before becoming Head of the Experimentation department in 2013, where he led the design of technological equipment and the characterization-qualification of materials, fluids and processes at a lab scale.

Prior to his appointment as Dean of IFP School, Pascal was Director of the Powertrains and Sustainable Mobility Center. A position he has held since January 2021, and will continue to do so on an interim basis.
He talks to us about his ambitions for the School and upcoming projects...

1.      What is your vision for IFP School’s Specialized Engineers?

An IFP School Specialized Engineer is someone with solid scientific and technical skills, coupled with varied, high-level experience in his or her chosen field of expertise.
Students acquire a broad view of the industrial world, but also develop their interpersonal skills and gain practical experience by doing field trips, visits to industrial sites, practical work applied to real-life cases and placements within companies. By the end of the course, not only will they be able to grasp the ins and outs of an industrial issue, but they will be equally capable of zooming in on any particular point to investigate it in greater detail.

The content of our programs is constantly being adapted to keep pace with changing business needs. As a result, Specialized Engineers leave IFP School with a "toolbox" that makes them immediately operational, and capable of addressing the needs of companies and society as a whole, both in terms of innovation and ecological transition, in the fields of Energy and Sustainable Mobility.

Nearly 180 companies trust us to train the next generation of Specialized Engineers: our training ensures they become competent, open-minded and responsible professionals who will contribute to the development of both companies and society as a whole. They will have a sharp critical sense and be experienced in making sound judgments while taking into account key societal issues.

2.      What are your ambitions for the School?

The School's “raison d'être” is to prepare its students for careers in the Energy and Powertrain sectors. The rapid transition of the Energy sector towards new, low-carbon energies, and the need to fully integrate environmental challenges, are generating a strong need for new skills in these fields. The School must support the industry in this process.

My primary ambition for IFP School is to provide students, who have come from around the world with all the technical and interpersonal skills they need for both today's and tomorrow's job opportunities, while maintaining our position in the energy mix. This ambition is underpinned by a number of initiatives. To give just a few examples, I would like to begin with our project to create new certifying programs (on Hydrogen, Offshore Wind Power, Electricity and Digital, etc.). These will allow us to train the talents of tomorrow who will help manufacturers achieve their ecological transition. Secondly, this shift in the industrial sector will require both students and professionals, in France and abroad, to be trained in these fields. In this context, the School will be able to contribute to the development of spin-off certifying programs on these new themes, in partnership with IFP Training.

Our innovative approach to teaching, deployed at the School level thanks to Lab e-nov™, must continue to gain momentum and develop its activities in its four fields of expertise (pedagogy, MOOC & SPOC, immersive realities, entrepreneurship), with its main aim being at the service of pedagogy and the IFPEN group. Finally, I'd like to mention my determination, and that of the teaching staff, to integrate Data Science and Artificial Intelligence into the skill sets of our Specialised Engineers so that they can contribute to the profound transformation taking place in the Energy and Powertrains sectors.

3.      What are the major projects and/or upcoming challenges for IFP School?

Over the past few years, our programs have undergone far-reaching changes to position us in the fields of the Energy Transition and Sustainable Mobility, so that our courses meet the needs of the industry. These changes will continue to integrate the challenges of the Environmental Transition. IFP School's major projects are linked to the ambitions I mentioned earlier.

One major project involves creating four new programs focusing on Hydrogen, Offshore Wind Energy, Electricity and Digital Technologies, and Energy Management. Our teams are already hard at work on this project, developing new content, coming up with innovative teaching methods, identifying the key industrial partners, and promoting our activities to boost our visibility and make ourselves (re)known in this market.

Furthermore, in today’s digital age, the development of Data Science and Artificial Intelligence will have a major impact on tomorrow's professions. The challenge will be to integrate them into our programs at the right pace, making sure we are always in-sync with the market’s rate of transition, the changes to existing professions and the needs of the industry.

Since it was created in 1954, the School has never stopped evolving and reinventing itself. One of tomorrow's challenges will concern training, the teacher-learner relationship, and the changes to learning methods, notably with the development of virtual reality experiences, blended learning, and so on. The 4Digital label awarded to us this year by the ‘Conférence des Grandes Écoles’ (CGE), enables us to consider creating new distance learning courses with Lab e-nov™’s support. We'll talk about these exciting projects in a future newsletter!

4.      IFP School will celebrate its 70th anniversary in 2024. As IFPEN will soon be changing its name, has the School considered a new name too?

IFP School is the name commonly used, rather than the École Nationale Supérieure du Pétrole et des Moteurs. This official name, which dates back to 1954, the year the School was founded, no longer reflects our current positioning. Because the School is resolutely forward-looking, we are currently considering a name that reflects both the fields of the training we offer and our ambitions. A new name has not yet been defined; however, our criteria include reaffirming our positioning as an ‘École Nationale Supérieure’, being coherent with the future name of IFPEN and highlighting the themes of Energy, Transport and the Environment. To be continued...

Interview conducted by Meyling Siu