Propulsion and Transport

Head: Georges SALAMEH


This specialisation is intended to provide an opening into the fields of activity linked to propulsion and transport whilst retaining the multi-disciplinary nature of the Centrale Nantes engineering programme.

Given the diversity and complexity of the different propulsion systems (aeronautical, land, rail and maritime) present today; good knowledge of the systems themselves must be complemented by an analysis of their development in order to deal with today's constraints in terms of energy (e.g. reduction in consumption, energy transition), the environment (e.g. reduction in emissions) and the economy. The blend of skills acquired will allow students to get to grips with propulsion systems in their entirety, using an energy-based approach (modelling, experimentation and simulation), whilst studying the complexity associated with these systems. Students following this specialisation will take part in the development of new concepts (e.g. technical solutions to constraints, integration in complete systems) and of new methods of transport that respect technical, economic and environmental challenges. The originality of this specialisation lies in its multi-disciplinary nature (thermodynamics, gas dynamics, combustion, optimisation). Students are prepared to become key players in this specific field of engineering.

List of Courses

  • Combustion and pollutant emissions
  • Turbomachinery
  • Applied thermodynamics
  • Internal combustion engines
  • Gas dynamics
  • Energy management in automotive applications
  • Aircraft propulsion
  • Project 1
  • Automotive propulsion
  • Marine propulsion
  • Project 2
  • Space propulsion
  • Railway engineering
  • Practical work in propulsion



Examples of past projects

  • Influence of the geometry of an intake line on the performance of an internal combustion engine
  • 0D modelling of a thermo fluid system and experimental validation
  • Energy optimisation onboard ship
  • Characterisation of friction losses in a turbocompressor
  • Heat release on an engine exhaust (thermo-electricity)

Examples of past internships

  • Improvement in thermal simulation of an internal combustion engine through nodal modelling of the cylinder block and head (Mann+Hummel)
  • 0D / 1D fluid modelling of a cryogenic upper stage (ESCA) for Ariane 5 (Arianespace)
  • Kinematic study of the control system with variable valve high pressure compressor (Safran)
  • Engineering on engine test bench (AVL)
  • Study and development of water, oil and air regulations in order to simulate F1 engine behaviour during a lap (Renault F1)
  • Combustion modelling for spark-ignition engines (PSA)
  • Reduction of the pollutant emissions for a ship (STX)
  • Determination of the gas consumption of buses (Semitan)
  • Pressure losses in the exhaust post-treatment devices of internal combustion engines (Renault)
  • Eco-Drive, high-speed train simulator (Alstom)
  • Experimental study and control of a multi-evaporator air-conditioning system for cabin and battery cooling (University of Liège)
  • Research into pre-design rules for space turbo pumps (CNES)
  • Development of an engine simulation model (Volvo Trucks)

Sectors of activity and employment prospects

This specialisation prepares students to take up opportunities in energy-related propulsion from system design to implementation in the automotive sector, aeronautics, aerospace, maritime transport, engineering consulting etc in companies such as: Renault, PSA, EADS (Airbus, Eurocopter et Astrium), Naval Group, Alstom, Mann+Hummel, Valeo, Faurecia, Bosch, D2T, Delphi, John Deere, Renault Sport, Volvo Powertrain, Man Diesel, Bombardier, SNCF, TAN, RATP, Bureau Veritas, IFPEN, Le Moteur Moderne, Daher, Safran (Snecma, Herakles, Turbomeca et Techspace Aero), Cenaero, LMS, Continental Automotive etc.
Published on November 2, 2015 Updated on November 19, 2020