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ex-École Spéciale de Mécanique et d'Électricité
Logo esme.jpg
MottoEcole d'ingénieurs de tous les possibles
Motto in English
For more than a century, the ESME-Sudria has been training engineers in the fields of Energy, Electronics, Telecommunications, Mathematics and Computer Engineering
TypePrivate Science & Engineering School (Grande Ecole)
Established1905 by Joachim Sudria
PresidentMarc Sellam
DeanVéronique Bonnet
Location, ,
CampusIvry-sur-Seine, Montparnasse, Bordeaux, Lille and Lyon
AffiliationsIONIS Education Group, Concours Advance, Elles Bougent, CDEFI, ASTech, CGE, Medicen, UGEI

Coordinates: 48°42′30″N 2°09′50″E / 48.70833°N 2.16389°E / 48.70833; 2.16389 The Ecole Spéciale de Mécanique et d'Electricité (English: Special School of Mechanics and Electricity), called ESME Sudria is a private engineering school in France that was founded in 1905.[2] It is part of the IONIS Education Group.[3]

Founded in 1905 by Joachim Sudria and certified by the State since 1922, the diploma is signed by the French Education Ministry and authorized by the "Commission des titres d'ingénieur"; the ESME-Sudria is also member of the "Conférence des Grandes Ecoles"[4] and of the Union of Independent Grandes Écoles.[5] Students & Graduates of the school are called the Sussus.

The school is graduating students at different levels:

Known for its competitive entrance, students are usually admitted after highschool and the French Baccalaureat examination or two years of highly selective university-level preparation in mathematics and physics.

Since 2006, the school is part of the IONIS Institute of Technology from IONIS Education Group.[6]

The School[edit]

For nearly a century, since 1905, the ESME-Sudria has been training engineers in the fields of Electrical Engineering, Electronics, Telecommunications, and Computer Engineering[7].

The curriculum of the school, which is taught in French, has evolved significantly over the years: it covers the full range of technologies from electrical power to the management of complex systems and intelligent networks.

The urban campus of the ESME-Sudria is on the doorsteps of Paris in Ivry-sur-Seine (two kilometers from inner Paris). Currently situated on 7,500 m², the campus includes laboratories (4500 m²), classrooms (2500 m²), right on the RER C (express subway) and only 3 stations from Boulevard Saint Michel. Newly, the school is sharing the campus with 3 others schools of the IONIS Institute of Technology (IPSA "aerospace engineering", ETNA "computer technology" and IONIS School of Technology and Management "double degrees in technics and management")[8].

These modern premises include lecture rooms, self-access laboratories, and a cafeteria.

Since 1905, over 14,000 engineers have graduated. 9,000 are currently active. The legal status of the school today is an « Association loi 1901 » i.e. a non-profit making association[9].

There are approximately 1500 students (of which 15% are girls), taught by 220 members of faculty and research staff.


1875, Joachim Sudria, founder of the school, was born in Perpignan. Although from a modest family, the young Joachim, supported and encouraged by his teachers, succeeded in entering the l'Ecole Polytechnique, he graduated as an officer in the research and development of the army.

Joachim Sudria

A University career with a Doctors Degree[10] and a chair at the « Universite libre de Paris » graduation as an engineer from the prestigious Ecole Superieure d'Electricite (Supelec).

Some of his friends, who acknowledged his pedagogical skills, asked him to tutor their children in preparation for the Competitive exams to the « Grandes Ecoles ».

Following up on this success, Joachim Sudria founded the ESME in 1905, an Engineering School which at that time offered a two-year degree after the baccalauréat. Having experienced material difficulties during his own studies, which he achieved only with the aid of State grants, he remained aware of his students' difficulties, and adapted solutions to each case.

The school, situated rue Bertrand in the 7th district, developed to approximately 50 graduates (1905-1914).

The First World War (1914-1919) nearly caused the school to close. Students were lacking, and available faculty staff were rare. (About 30% of the students died during the war). Then, the school expanded during 1920-1935, and multiplied the number of graduates by nine over a period of three years.

In 1922, the school obtained state-recognition, and extended the degree to three years after the baccalauréat.

The premises became too small, so a new site was created rue de Sèvres in Paris (1925), in buildings which have since been demolished and replaced by the « Services d'Urologie » of the Hôpital Necker. One of the school's neighbors was the École polytechnique féminine [fr] (EPF, today situated at Sceaux) founded and directed by Mademoiselle Paris. The bond between the two schools was reinforced when Madame Piguet, the first female graduate of the ESME, was appointed Studies Director at the EPF.

1935, Still expanding, the ESME moved to rue Blaise Desgoffe in Paris, which has remained its principal address until 2004. In 1936, the « Commission des titres d'ingénieur » was created, and accorded the ESME the right to deliver the degree of Mechanical-Electrical Engineer[11].

The ESME was affected like many other schools, by the Second World War (1939-1945), with professors and students being enlisted, it gave shelter to students who were French Resistants, and was victim of a Gestapo descent.

In 1941, Pierre Doceul, a graduate of the Ecole Polytechnique and an Armaments Engineer, son-in-law to Joachim Sudria, was appointed Deputy-Head of the school. Under his direction a section of Electronics Engineering was opened in 1949 to complete the Electrical Engineering section, and the school awarded both degrees, it was only 15 years later that the two sections both awarded a degree as an Engineer Graduate of the ESME[12].


In 1950, Joachim Sudria retired only a few months before his decease, nominating Pierre Doceul as Director. Following the principles set by his predecessor, Pierre Doceul continued to apply a high-level of theoretical training completed by a well-developed practical formation; this combination has led to the success of the ESME in the corporate world, which recognizes in the ESME engineers a particularly strong adaptability and a rapid operational level.[citation needed]

The ESME created a languages department (1952): a great innovation for its time.

In 1965, new premises, today abandoned, were opened in Paris; the length of studies increased from three to four years.

The computer science department was created (1966); this subject was generalized to the other departments. The school obtained first a terminal linked to the IBM center, then two of the famous VAX computers, and this was followed by a 360-30, which today seems quite a monument, it was also the period of the perforated cards, which were long and with frequent errors.

After 1967, the annual promotion figures were above 200, new premises and new laboratories were opened. Inductive pedagogy was introduced through the development of long projects, and work in pairs and groups of three. Internship periods were lengthened.

Jean Doceul

1980, Jean Doceul, Engineer of the Supélec, was nominated to take over the school.

He developed contacts :

  • on one hand, by participating in different education fairs, and instigating presentations in high schools thanks to the creation of a Communications Department
  • on the other hand, by multiplying partnerships with enterprises, and also by creating a research association, the Association ESME-Recherche for contracts concerning research, the turnover of which has increased steadily to reach a sum superior to 350,000 Euros in 2003.

The first specialized options were installed (1985) : nuclear engineering in the Electrical Engineering Department, and Biomedical engineering in the Electronic Engineering Department; these specializations were closed in 1989 for lack of job openings.

In 1989, the first partnership was set up for a dual degree with the University of San José in the USA, where nowadays approximately fifteen students still study every year. During 1990-1993, the number of graduates reached nearly 300 each year, creating the need for new premises. A 2,500 m² annex to the campus was opened in new premises right on the RER in Ivry, only 20 minutes away from the Paris campus.

An important reform to the program was introduced during 1995-1998.

The five-year studies was divided into two cycles, a first two-year preparatory cycle followed by an engineering cycle of three.

The first two years of this engineering cycle remain common to all students, while the final year offers three departments:

Each department has four specialized options : one original, one theoretical, one classical, and one management oriented[13].

In 1998, the independent International Relations Department was created, and in four years they have established:

  • 3 double-degree partnerships with Spain, Germany and Canada
  • 10 partnership agreements with China, India, Thailand, Mexico, Argentina, Chile, Lebanon, Bulgaria and Switzerland
  • 2 double degree programs with American universities.

1999-2000, the Ivry campus was enlarged to 4,500 m² - added to the Paris campus, the school premises total nearly 8,000m².

In 2014, the university will open a new campus in Beijing and a Mastère en sciences course in partnership with the Beijing Institute of Petrochemical Technology.[14]

Dean history[edit]

List of ESME-Sudria directors
Name Years
Joachim Sudria 1905 - 1950
Pierre Doceul 1950 - 1980
Jean Doceul 1980 - 2003
Hervé Laborne[15] 2003 - 2011
Roger Ceschi 2011 - 2014
Eric Simon 2014 - 2015
Véronique Bonnet Since 2015

Known Alumni[edit]


  1. ^ ‹See Tfd›(in French) ESME Sudria : implantation à Lille et Lyon, nouveau campus à Paris, nouveau concours Advance et intégration dans APB
  2. ^ International Association of Universities (2016). World List of Universities / Liste Mondiale des Universites. Springer. p. 195. ISBN 9781349120376.
  3. ^ "Décision n° 2016/12-02 relative à l'habilitation de l'Ecole spéciale de mécanique et d'électricité (ESME SUDRIA) à délivrer le titre d'ingénieur diplômé" (PDF). Commission des titres d’ingénieur. 2 December 2016.
  4. ^ ‹See Tfd›(in French) Conférence des grandes écoles
  5. ^ ‹See Tfd›(in French) Union des Grandes Ecoles Indépendantes
  6. ^ IONIS International
  8. ^ Esme Sudria
  9. ^ [ Décision n° 2013/04-05 relative à l’habilitation de l’Ecole spéciale de mécanique et d’électricité à délivrer le titre d’ingénieur diplômé]
  10. ^ Joachim Sudria (1875-19..)
  11. ^ Décision n° 2010/07- 05 relative à l’habilitation de l’École spéciale de mécanique et d’électricité (ESME Sudria) à délivrer un titre d’ingénieur diplômé
  12. ^ ESME Sudria 1982 - 1986
  13. ^ L’ESME Sudria et l’énergie. 106 ans d’histoire en évolution permanente
  14. ^ ‹See Tfd›(in French) IONIS Education Group se fixe de nouveaux défis très ambitieux
  15. ^ ‹See Tfd›(in French) Hervé LABORNE
  17. ^ ‹See Tfd›(in French)MARC SELLAM
  18. ^ ‹See Tfd›(in French)Technip nomme Bernard Di Tullio directeur général
  19. ^ ‹See Tfd›(in French) Les Jeudis de l'Ingenieur de l'ESME Sudria
  20. ^ Naissance de la Fondation ESME Sudria, sous l'égide de la Fondation de France
  21. ^ ‹See Tfd›(in French)Guy Lacroix, élu Président du SERCE

External links[edit]