The Ecole des Ingénieurs de la Ville de Paris (EIVP, the Engineering School of the City of Paris) will be holding its summer school from August 31 to September 4, 2009. The School was established to meet the city's need for engineers in 1959. EIVP, the only accredited school to deliver an urban engineering degree, is now celebrating its fiftieth anniversary. EIVP (with a new status since 2006) has developed research on sustainable cities with a focus on new energies, mobility solutions, and city resilience. The top-level graduate school, which is already actively involved in networks bringing together distinguished schools of higher education, has taken another step by partnering with Ecole des Ponts Paris Tech.
Until 1986, EIVP only trained civil servant-engineers working for the city of Paris. However, as the city's needs leveled off at about twenty to thirty engineers per year, the school decided to train 'civil' engineers, as well. EIVP has delivered diplomas to about 1,500 engineers, including 60% that now work for the city of Paris, 26% for the local authorities and mixed economy companies, and 14% for the private sector mainly in service activities Since January 2006, the school has acquired a new status meaning it has greater governance and development policy leeway. Today the EIVP trains about 80 students per year, including twenty or so for the city of Paris. "To meet the needs of the regional authorities and the needs generated by sustainable development, our goal is to double our graduates, so that we can reach critical mass. The training will comprise undergraduate courses, specialized master's degrees, or adult education," explained EIVP Director Regis Vallée.
The Marriage of Urban and Civil Engineering
For several years research has been top of the agenda at the school. Research focuses on three major topics, i.e., new energies, mobility, and city resilience. The school is involved in more than a dozen research projects, including some ANR (French national research agency) funded projects, accounting for nearly 1.7 million euros in contracts over a four-year period. The School also has close relations with foreign teams in Delft, Netherlands and Tessaly, Greece (among others) for European projects. "We are working on a design for the storage of incineration plant energy in deep water tables," explained the School Director. The ongoing projects on mobility mainly deal with the impact of work sites on cities and the mobility problems they may cause. City resilience, which is defined as the ability of a city to recover and relive after a natural or non-natural disaster, increasingly generates studies and research addressing sustainable city issues.
Therefore, EIVP has decided to partner with Ecole des Ponts Paris Tech to continue this development policy, specifically in research, and optimize it. The marriage between urban and civil engineering is certainly a moving event. "Of course, both establishments will maintain their legal, financial and academic autonomy. But the partnership agreement between the two schools, which addresses all the topics of our activities and specifically research, will allow us to submit an application to join the Paris-Est Pôle de Recherche et d'Enseignement Supérieur (PRES, center for research and higher education). In broader terms, the partnership agreement means that the two schools will be working together on student recruitment with a focus on foreign students, through the Mines-Ponts competitive examination. They will also be organizing joint undergraduate and adult education courses and specialized master classes. "Our goal for 2011 is to have 15 to 20% of foreign students in our student body."
A Wonderful Opportunity for EIVP
EIVP and Ecole des Ponts Paris Tech also have an edge on the international arena. "We'll be working on finding the answers to large city development. By combining our skills and expertise with those of the Ecole des Ponts Paris Tech laboratories, we will be able to broaden substantially our ability to bid for tenders," said Régis Vallée. In a situation where global awareness of sustainable development issues is growing and after the Grenelle Environment Summit, EIVP is undertaking a sweeping change. As urban engineering is the ability to roll out technologies that enable sustainable city growth, on the occasion of its fiftieth anniversary celebrations, the School is being handed a wonderful opportunity. Not to mention that EIVP is also working with the Ecole Supérieure d'Architecture de Paris-La Villette (EAPLV, graduate school of architecture) and Ecole Spéciale des Travaux Publics (ESTP, school of special public works) to study the creation of a double engineer-architect diploma, "a profile that cannot be found in the building trade or among the regional authorities," remarked the EIVP Director.