Research and Development

Programme Overview

The Research and Development professional option is designed for final-year engineering students who are keen to discover how academic and private research and its various professions work, from upstream research to advanced R&D work.

The option is structured into two teaching modules: 'Industrial property and innovation' and 'Research methodology, overview of public and private R&D careers', and a supervised Research and Development project.

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International students can follow this option, taught in French, via:

  • A double degree programme - Open to international students selected by our partner institutions. Selected students spend two years studying courses from the engineering programme at Centrale Nantes. This usually includes one year of the common-core engineering curriculum followed by one year of specialisation. Double degree students are typically accepted after successfully completing two or three years of higher education in their home institution.
  • The fast-track engineering programme: Open to students with a Bachelor's or equivalent degree in science. Our fast-track programme gives international students who are qualified to bachelor level the opportunity to gain the 'diplôme d'ingénieur' in just two years.
Course Content

Industrial Property and Innovation

This course aims to raise students' awareness of industrial property issues, the innovation process and project management: how to carry out a technological watch on a cutting-edge subject? How does the idea of a technological innovation emerge and how can its development be financed? How to protect it through industrial property (patents, copyright etc), transform it into a product and get it on the market?

Research methodology and overview of jobs in public and private R&D

This course offers an introduction to the methodology at the basis of any research activity, around the questions of bibliographical research, scientific ethics, dissemination via publications and social networks. An overview of the different professions related to R&D activities is then provided, through the testimony of researchers and R&D engineers working in different types of industrial structures, ranging from startup to multinational group. A presentation of the different academic research professions, in France and abroad, is also proposed: PhD thesis, careers as research engineer, researcher in academia.

Research and Development project

The project is supervised by a member of a Centrale Nantes laboratory and part of a research programme involving other academic or industrial partners. Generally carried out in pairs, the project extends from September to March and may cover any of the scientific fields addressed in the Centrale Nantes laboratories. Project topics are generally proposed by the members of the laboratories, in support of their research activity, but can also be defined on the students' initiative.  

Download syllabus

Examples of past projects and internships

Examples of past projects

  • Determination and identification of a behaviour law for a polymer material
  • Additive manufacturing for climbing
  • Validation of a behaviour model for thermoplastic materials
  • Simulation in an atmospheric wind tunnel of dispersion in an urban canopy: concentration measurement by optical technique
  • Design of a Flettner rotor to demonstrate offshore wind energy recovery by a hydro-wind vessel
  • Optimization of the anchoring system for a floating wind turbine
  • Analysis of radio emission spectra for the study of the interstellar medium
  • Design of a robotic system for otologic surgery
  • Search for attractors in the study of discrete dynamic systems
  • Recognition of objects in an urban video using neural networks

Examples of past internships

  • Similarity algorithm for 3D scans of megalithic rock art (University College Dublin)
  • Multiscan registration for surface defect detection on aerospace components (McGill University, Montreal)
  • Existence and uniqueness of linear and non-linear evolution equations (Universidad Cardenal Herrera, Valencia)
  • Numerical simulation of the ventilation inception on surface-piercing hydrofoils (LHEEA, Centrale Nantes)
  • Development of a wave-powered marine desalination system (Oneka, Port St Lucie, Florida)
  • Microstructure modeling of cast iron (SINTEF Industry, Oslo)
  • Metocean study and extreme value analysis of PTO extension in a wave energy converter (Carnegie Clean Energy, Perth)
  • Software development for an augmented reality system (Thales, St-Héand)
  • Modeling of piplines in composite materials (Bureau Veritas, Paris)
  • Fluid and thermal study of an innovative cooling system for an electrical module (Faurecia, Montbéliard)
  • Development of a modelling and simulation tool for heating networks (CFERM Engineering, Paris)
After the option

Career prospects

  • PhD thesis
  • Researcher in academia
  • Research Engineer
  • R&D Project Manager
  • R&D Consultant
  • Business creator (start-up)
Published on November 5, 2015 Updated on January 2, 2024