Institut polytechnique des sciences avancées

French engineering college in aerospace

The Institut polytechnique des sciences avancées, often called IPSA, is a private aeronautical university localized next to Paris, Lyon, Marseille and Toulouse in France, in the Île-de-France and Midi-Pyrénées, The university is part of IONIS Education Group[4] and has been created in 1961.[6][7][8]

Institut Polytechnique des Sciences Avancées
MottoL'air, l'espace, l'IPSA
Motto in English
The air, the space, the IPSA
Typeaerospace engineering university
Director-GeneralAnne-Ségolène Abscheidt
Students2188 (in 2022)
48° 48′ 49″ N 2° 23′ 33″ E
Coloursblue, black         
Affiliations3AF,[1] Aerospace Valley, ASTech,[2] CDEFI, Concours Advance, Elles Bougent,[3] IONIS Education Group,[4] Erasmus, ISSAT[5]



1965 - 1999


IPSA was founded in 1961 in Paris by Michel Cazin (private secretary to Louis de Broglie and teacher at the mechanical department of Conservatoire national des arts et métiers), Maurice Pradier (aerospace engineer[9]) and Paul Lefort (engineer and professor of helicopter).[10] Twenty students started the training.[11] At that time, the course was in four years and the first promotion is graduated in 1965. The same year, the Alumni association is created in Paris by Maurice Ribonnet.[12] In 1982, the first trip for students is organized in Guyana at the European Space Agency center.[13] The year 1987 saw the university bought by Henri Hertert (IPSA 1976 and pilot at Air France).[14] The institute moved in 1989 into the towers Les Mercuriales at Bagnolet, in which it stayed for ten years. Then, beset by financial difficulties, the university is bought by IONIS Education Group in 1999 and moved at Le Kremlin-Bicêtre close to the university EPITA.

1999 - today

Campuses of the Institut Polytechnique des Sciences Avancées

In 2005, the Master issued by IPSA is recognized by French State at the higher level, after accreditation by the Commission nationale de la certification professionnelle.[15] The year 2006 sees the institute hosting the 6th European Congress of the Mars Society to promote the exploration of Mars.[16] In 2007, IPSA opens a second campus in Toulouse, joins the Erasmus programme and concludes double degree agreements with foreign universities. Following its establishment in Toulouse, the university joins the Institut au service du spatial, de ses applications et technologies[17] during the year 2008. The next year, IPSA joins Aerospace Valley[18] and moved in Ivry-sur-Seine close to the university ESME-Sudria,[19] before being recognized by the French State in 2010.[20]

In 2011, the university is accredited by the Commission des titres d'ingénieur.[21] In January 2013, IPSA became member of the Conférence des directeurs des écoles françaises d'ingénieurs.[22]

History of directors


The current director is Anne-Ségolène Abscheidt, who is also vice-president of Ingénieurs et scientifiques de France. This is the tenth person to hold that function since 1961. She was appointed director of IPSA in June 2023.[23]

List of directors
Name Years
Michel Cazin, Maurice Pradier and Paul Lefort 1961 to 1987
Henri Herter 1987 to 1998
Guy Robin 1998 to 1999
Aimé Merran 1999 to 2009
Hervé Renaudeau 2009 to 2016
Francis Pollet 2017 to 2022
Valérie Cornetet 2022 to 2023
Anne-Ségolène Abscheidt Since 2023



Member of IONIS Education Group,[24] the group President, assisted by a general manager, is the President of the university. He is a member of the four directorates of the university:[25]

  • Development and international relations directorate which also managed the communication and admissions ;
  • Training directorate with a manager for the Bachelor cycle and another one for the Master cycle ;
  • Corporate relations directorate ;
  • Research and quality directorate.

Training and research




IPSA wants to be close to other universities with a strong theoretical training for research and development jobs in order to graduate engineer in aeronautical and space engineering with a good general knowledge in aerospace.[26] The course is in five years with five possibilities in the fourth year:[27] "energy, spacecraft propulsion and engine", "mechanics and aircraft structure", "telecommunications, radar and radio navigation", "embedded system", "mechatronics". The students choose also one minor from ten: "Entrepreneurship", "business marketing", "association management", "Research Management", "Conduct of an international project", "project personnel development", "Board and consulting", " human resource management", "cultural management", "financial management".

In the fifth year, four options are available independently of the choice made in the fourth year:[28] "Avionics", "Aeronautical Systems Design", " Space Systems Design" and "Management and Industrial Logistics".

The particularity of the university is to offer from the first year lessons relating to aeronautics in addition to basic scientific education and to provide a large part in project-based teaching throughout the curriculum. Students also have the opportunity to attend a technical and managerial course sanctioned by a Master of Business Administration in "business and international negotiation" of the Institut supérieur de gestion in addition to the diploma of the university, or to make the last year of studies in a foreign university in partnership with IPSA. Eleven months of internship are planned in the curriculum.

After graduation, graduates are represented by the association AAEIPSA (IPSA Alumni association).[29] They work, for 70% of them, in the aerospace industry, mainly in research and development (46%) and in the Île-de-France region (57%).

Admission to the university is possible after a Baccalauréat by succeeding to the competition "Advance" organized in partnership with EPITA and ESME-Sudria. In total, the three universities offer approximately 900 places.[30] It is also possible to integrate the university in the second, third or fourth year studies for students coming from a two-years degree after the Baccalauréat, Bachelor or Master.[31]

Since 2017, IPSA has also some Bachelor's degree program in aerospace.[32]

International relations

Menzies building. Monash University.

Partnerships allowing students to obtain a Master of Science with the degree of IPSA exist with Shenyang University in China,[33] Cranfield University in UK,[34] Moscow State University in Russia, the Université Laval in Canada[35] and the National Cheng Kung University in Taiwan[36] · .[37]

Students can also use the Erasmus programme.[38]

The university has also other partnerships[39] with Arizona State University, San Diego State University, University of California at Davis and Monash University.

Research activities


Research at IPSA is realized in 2011 by three laboratories : 3D computer graphics - calculation, mechatronics and fluid mechanics applied to aerodynamics.

The laboratory of 3D computer graphics and calculation creating new algorithms to solve problems of processing and analysis of signals and images. It works in partnership with the laboratoire des signaux et systèmes (L2S) (signals and systems laboratory) (agreement signed in 2010), a laboratory of the French National Centre for Scientific Research based at Supélec.[40]

IPS'action association has launched in 2006 the « UNIV'air » challenge in order to present to people research projects in partnership with the Association Aéronautique et Astronautique de France and other universities such as the École nationale supérieure de l'aéronautique et de l'espace or EPF.[41]

In 2008, an aircraft without pilot project named « Hélitronix » and realized by students and researchers of the mechatronics laboratory was selected during the « Minidrone » challenge funded by the General Directorate for Armament and organized by the Office National d'Études et de Recherches Aérospatiales.[42] The same laboratory works on the « Perseus project » which consists of the development of rockets from the Centre national d'études spatiales, in partnership with « AéroIPSA » student association.[43]

Moreover, IPSA participates to « ASTech Paris Région ».[44] It contributes at its development in many sectors : aircraft engine, onboard energy, aircraft design, material, training and research, and maintenance.

In November 2011, the fluid mechanics applied to aerodynamics laboratory created in 2009 has adopted a new calculation tool allowing for the end of 2011 the commissioning of a digital wind tunnel.[45]

Notable people




Several managers have studied at the university, like Cyril Bourlon de Rouvre (1965), French businessman and politician, Philippe Harache (1976), former[46] Executive Vice-President "customers" Eurocopter,[47] Christian Gras (1983), Executive Vice-President "customers" Eurocopter[48] or Éric Boullier (1999), Team principal McLaren. Stéphane Gaillard (1997), Technical Assistant to Vice President development flight test Airbus,[49] Gilles de Richemond (1997), head of IT of AccorHotels, Julien Simon-Chautemps (2002), race Engineer Marcus Ericsson Sauber[50] · ,[51] Nicolas Tenoux (2007), airline pilot and manager,[52] and Maxime Cadé (2018), Fencer,[53] are also alumni of IPSA.

Teachers and former teachers

  • Denis Maricourt, general knowledge teacher[54] and author of Figures de l'éclectisme dans la seconde moitié du XVIIIe siècle (Figures of eclecticism in the second half of the eighteenth century).[55]


  1. (in French) Transmettre les savoir-faire Archived 2012-01-17 at the Wayback Machine
  2. (in French) Les Membres
  3. (in French) IPSA Archived 2012-07-28 at
  4. 4.0 4.1 IPSA-The Aerospace Engineering School
  5. (in French) Membres Archived 2011-06-11 at the Wayback Machine
  6. IONIS Education Group
  7. (in French) IONIS Education Group, 1er groupe français de l'enseignement supérieur privé[permanent dead link]
  8. (in French) IONIS Education Group développe son campus urbain à Bordeaux.
  9. (in French) La Promotion E.A. 52 Archived 2014-04-17 at the Wayback Machine
  10. (in French) IPSA : 50 ans aver l'aéronautique
  11. (in French)Book AAEIPSA - 50 ans d'histoire p.55
  12. (in French)Book AAEIPSA - 50 ans d'histoire p.64
  13. (in French)Book AAEIPSA - 50 ans d'histoire p.79
  14. (in French)Book AAEIPSA - 50 ans d'histoire p.84
  15. (in French) Résumé descriptif de la certification Archived 2015-09-24 at the Wayback Machine
  16. (in French) L’Architecture Martienne
  17. (in French) Membres de l'ISSAT Archived 2011-06-11 at the Wayback Machine
  18. (in French) LISTE DES MEMBRES Archived 2016-03-04 at the Wayback Machine
  19. (in French) IPSA - Ouverture d’une 3ème année à Toulouse et déménagement à Ivry[permanent dead link]
  20. (in French) Arrêté du 14 avril 2010 portant reconnaissance par l'État de l'Institut polytechnique des sciences avancées
  21. (in French) Ingénieur diplômé de l'Institut polytechnique des sciences avancées Formation initiale sous statut d'étudiant Archived 2017-01-04 at the Wayback Machine
  22. (in French) Institut polytechnique des sciences avancées
  23. (in French) L’IPSA prépare son avenir avec l’arrivée d’une nouvelle équipe de Direction
  24. (in French) Ecoles d’ingénieurs: qu’est ce que c’est ?
  25. (in French) L'équipe Archived 2012-04-26 at the Wayback Machine
  26. (in French) IPSA Paris
  27. (in French) Année d'études AERO 4 Archived 2015-05-12 at the Wayback Machine
  28. (in French) Année d'études AERO 5 Archived 2015-04-02 at the Wayback Machine
  29. (in French) Association des Anciens Élèves de l'IPSA (AAEIPSA)[permanent dead link]
  30. (in French) ESME Sudria : implantation à Lille et Lyon, nouveau campus à Paris, nouveau concours Advance et intégration dans APB Archived 2013-05-13 at the Wayback Machine
  31. (in French) IPSA Ivry-sur-Seine
  32. (in French)Orientation : l'Ipsa ouvre des bachelors d'aéronautique
  33. (in French) Succès pour la première promotion d'élèves de l'IPSA en Chine
  34. European Partnership Programme : Institut Polytechnique des Sciences Avancées
  35. (in French) Partenaires du département de génie mécanique Archived 2011-09-17 at the Wayback Machine
  36. (in French) Aéronautique : 30 étudiants de l’IPSA bientôt en stage à Tainan Archived 2016-03-04 at the Wayback Machine
  37. Taïwan[permanent dead link]
  38. (in French) SEJOUR OU STAGE ERASMUS EN AERO 3, 4 ou 5 + DE 30 PLACES DANS 11 PAYS DE L’EUROPE Archived 2011-11-21 at the Wayback Machine
  39. (in French) La mobilité internationale - présentation Archived 2012-05-11 at the Wayback Machine
  40. (in French) IONIS Mag, n° 12, p. 15
  41. (in French) La Lettre numéro 5 Archived 2008-11-25 at the Wayback Machine
  42. (in French) Hélitronix, le projet des étudiants de l’IPSA sélectionné[permanent dead link]
  43. (in French)Book AAEIPSA - 50 ans d'histoire p.46
  44. (in French) Les membres
  45. (in French) L'IPSA se dote d'un nouvel instrument de calcul Archived 2012-02-12 at the Wayback Machine
  46. (in French) Christian Gras[permanent dead link]
  47. "Philippe Harache". Archived from the original on 2010-03-23. Retrieved 2012-05-16.
  48. "Christian Gras". Archived from the original on 2011-03-16. Retrieved 2012-05-16.
  49. (in French) Conférence : Airbus et les essais en vol
  50. (in French) Lotus Renault GP recrute Julien Simon-Chautemps Archived 2012-03-31 at the Wayback Machine
  51. Julien Simon-Chautemps
  52. (in French)Découvrez le portrait de Nicolas Tenoux, officier pilote de ligne
  53. (in French)Un IPSAlien à la conquête du monde : suivez les exploits de l’escrimeur Maxime Cadé (promo 2018) ! Archived 2018-06-09 at the Wayback Machine
  54. (in French) Le corps professoral de l'IPSA à Paris et à Toulouse Archived 2015-09-14 at the Wayback Machine
  55. (in French)Figures de l'éclectisme dans la seconde moitié du XVIIIe siècle, Champion, Paris, 2003, ISBN 978-2-7453-0868-9

Further reading

  • Lucien Robineau (dir.), Les Français du ciel : Dictionnaire historique, Paris, le cherche midi, 2005, 782 p. (ISBN 2-7491-0415-7), p. 628
  • André Turcat, Pilote d'essais : Mémoires II, Paris, le cherche midi, 2009, 199 p. (ISBN 978-2-7491-1374-6), p. 197
  • (in French) Ginibrière Gaëlle, IPSA : 50 ans avec l'aéronautique, L'Express Emploi, 15th of June 2009
  • GIFAS, Une formation pour un métier dans l'industrie aéronautique et spatiale, Paris, 2011, 62 p., p. 46
  • AAEIPSA, Annuaire 2011 - 50 ans d'histoire, Paris, 2011, 412 p.
  • (in French) Mariama Diallo, L'IPSA, école d'ingénieurs aéronautique depuis 1961, Le Journal de l'aviation, 24th of April 2012
  • (in French) Nicolas Tenoux (IPSA 2007), 6 mois dans la vie d’un Pilote de ligne: Les secrets du quotidien..., 15 April 2020, Amazon, 51p., (ISBN 9798637449200), p. 10
  • Nicolas Tenoux (IPSA 2007), 6 months in the life of an Airline pilot: Daily life secrets …, 5 October 2020, Amazon, 77p., (ISBN 9798693699175), p. 10
  • (in French) Le futur de l'avion : Les prochains défis de l’industrie aéronautique, Ivry-sur-Seine, FYP Éditions, 2020, 160 p. (ISBN 978-2-36405-203-1)

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