Six cutting-edge research institutes

Research at Centrale Nantes is conducted in six institutes.

Five of them are joint research units (UMR: unités mixtes de recherche *) with the CNRS - the National Center for Scientific Research. Four also work jointly with a third (or more) research partner - university, grande école or research institute.

These institutes bring together nearly 900 research personnel and over 300 PhD students.


* the UMR status is a mark of recognition for an institute, which makes it possible to recruit CNRS personnel and gives access to the organisation’s funds and international cooperation tools.

30% of French university institutes are joint research units in partnership with the CNRS. Joint research units are characterised by the diversity of their team members’ status and duties. CNRS researchers, engineers and technicians work alongside academics, researchers, engineers, technicians, PhD students, postdoctoral fellows from other institutions (universities, engineering schools, other research organisations).

Architectural and Urban Ambiances Laboratory (AAU) - UMR 1563

The AAU Laboratory is a CNRS joint research unit, associating the National Schools of Architecture of Grenoble and Nantes and Centrale Nantes.

Since its creation in 1998, the AAU Laboratory has had a strong interdisciplinary focus: in its composition (architects, sociologists, computer scientists, anthropologists, urban planners, geographers, physicists, historians, philosophers), in the issues it addresses (architecture, environment, urbanism), and in the tools it designs and implements (in situ surveys, modelling and simulation of factors of ambiance, virtual reality, etc.).



Research Institute in Civil and Mechanical Engineering
(GeM) - UMR 6183

The GeM is a Joint Research Unit of Centrale Nantes, the University of Nantes and the CNRS.

GeM's work is balanced between upstream research and applied research providing responses to concrete industrial problems in close collaboration with industry. The laboratory's mission is to be able to offer innovative manufacturing processes, simulation tools adapted to the dimensioning and life cycle control of products and structures. GeM works closely with other French and foreign research centres, particularly in the context of European programs or networks. 


High Performance Computing Institute (ICI)

ICI was established at Centrale Nantes in January 2015, following its successful application in the Pays de la Loire Connect Talent call for projects. Its primary role is to make state-of-the-art numerical tools for massively parallel computing more accessible and to develop innovative computing strategies integrating data and physical models for real-time simulation, addressing different applicative fields: manufacturing simulation, renewable energies, urban environment simulation and biophysical/biomechanical simulation.

ICI manages one of the largest regional supercomputing centres in France, with its computing facilities and LIGER, one of the top 5 Tier-2 regional supercomputers.




Research Laboratory in Hydrodynamics, Energetics & Atmospheric Environment (LHEEA) - UMR 6598

 The LHEEA, a CNRS joint research unit, advances theoretical knowledge and resolves concrete problems around four scientific themes: free-surface hydrodynamics, fluid-structure interactions, dynamics of the atmosphere and systems approach for ground and marine propulsion systems. Research problems are tackled by implementing a combination of approaches: numerical simulation (development and use of modeling software, especially in Computational Fluid Dynamics), experiments at model scale (engine test benches, ocean and wave tanks, atmospheric wind tunnels) and in-situ experiments (SEM-REV offshore sea test site).

Laboratory of Digital Sciences of Nantes (LS2N) - UMR 6004

A CNRS Joint Research Unit, the LS2N is supported by 4 other public institutions: the University of Nantes, IMT Atlantique, Centrale Nantes and INRIA (the French national research institute for the digital science).

A single objective: bring together Nantes' research expertise in computer science and cybernetics to develop digital sciences, inclusive of other disciplines and taking account of the social challenges involved. LS2N's five areas of expertise are: Industry of the future - Management of energy and environmental impact - Life Sciences - Vehicle and mobility - Design, culture and digital society.


Jean Leray Mathematical Institute - UMR 6629

Centrale Nantes is a partner of the Jean Leray Mathematical Institute, a CNRS joint research unit associated with the University of Nantes.

Some of Centrale Nantes researchers in Mathematics are members of the research group Statistics, Probabilities and Numerical Analysis in the Jean Leray Laboratory. The principal subjects of research in the Statistics, Probability and Numerical Analysis research group are: non linear PDE - scientific calculus - approximation - probabilities - statistics.
Published on March 28, 2017 Updated on April 4, 2019