Training-Research, a dynamic link to initiate students in Research
Research is an important ingredient in teaching at ESTACA and is materialized by the strong involvement of teacher-researchers at various levels. As well as traditional “teaching” activities, they permanently update educations content according to their research work, take part in creating new courses and take on educational duties.
It is also materialized in the use of significant digital and experimental research resources as part of practical work and projects, especially in 4th and 5th years. Test benches developed during thesis work and industrial cooperation are also used in training.
The link between teaching and research has strengthened over the years with specific training activities through original projects and is enriched by considerable exchanges between Ph.D students and engineer students.
PIRATE (Project Initiation in Supervised Applied Research)
These projects are aimed at 3rd to 5th year students. By working in a research team, the main goals are to discover the research environment (challenges, pathways, opportunities) and acquire the skills necessary to conduct and complete research projects. In these projects, 4th and 5th-year students in particular are encouraged to publish their work in scientific production and participate in conferences open to students. The idea is also to motivate some students to continue with a thesis at ESTACA’Lab.
The PIRATE projects model was published in the educations review 3EI, No. 76, 2014 “Introducing students to the field of research in an engineering school: the example of PIRATE projects at ESTACA.”
Supervised by a teacher-researcher, these academic projects aim to meet industrial requirements. The goal is to train students in teamwork as experienced in companies in terms of organization, communication and compliance with specifications and to initiate industrial cooperation which may lead to a 4th-year or end-of-study internship. Supervised by research experts, this type of project is also an opportunity for more significant collaborations such as CIFRE theses.
This project is part of cooperation between ISAE schools (ISAE-SUPERAERO, ISAE-ENSMA, École de l’Air and ESTACA) with joint supervision by teacher-researchers and the support of technical referees from the European Gliding Development Association (EGDV) and Dassault Aviation. This multi-year project consists of developing an electrically-driven two-seater glider for teaching and training, with a view to industrialization (achieve TRL 7). It also promotes research cooperation within the ISAE group and with the associated industrial partners.
This training project aims at helping students to discover the design and production of a complete vehicle. With around forty 3rd and 4th-year students divided into six themed teams, EstaCars allows them to apply their theoretic knowledge to a concrete project. Supervised by teacher-researchers, the project offers links to certain research and teaching topics through projects. The teaching staff ensure the project is progressing and take part in the half-year assessment during the school year.
PITA Projects (Engineering, Technology and Associations)
These are innovation projects conducted by student associations involving 3rd and 4th-year students. Some of these projects are supervised by teacher-researchers, such as the NEO H-Plane project: conversion of a combustion aircraft to a hydrogen fuel-cell aircraft. The teacher-researchers are involved in the propulsion-energy chain study and in structural dimensioning.