Erasmus Mundus for UTC

Pro­fes­sor Dri­tan Nace works at the Depart­ment of Com­put­er Engi­neer­ing with­in the UTC-Heudi­asyc lab­o­ra­to­ry. Since 2017, he has been respon­si­ble for the Labex Master’s degree in ‘com­plex sys­tems engi­neer­ing’, as well as the ‘sys­tems learn­ing and opti­mi­sa­tion’ path­way. He is cur­rent­ly coor­di­na­tor of the Eras­mus Mundus pro­gramme in sus­tain­able sys­tems engi­neer­ing (EMSSE).

In 2017, the «Com­plex Sys­tems Engi­neer­ing» Master’s degree was restruc­tured with the aim of giv­ing it greater vis­i­bil­i­ty among UTC stu­dents while con­tin­u­ing and accel­er­at­ing the imple­men­ta­tion of dou­ble degrees with for­eign aca­d­e­m­ic part­ners. This was done first with the Uni­ver­si­ty of Genoa (UNIGE) in Italy in 2016, then with the Poly­tech­nic Uni­ver­si­ty of Tirana (UPT) in Alba­nia in 2019 and final­ly with the Poly­tech­nic Uni­ver­si­ty of Cat­alo­nia (UPC) in Spain in 2021. These dou­ble degrees were made pos­si­ble by the intro­duc­tion of Eras­mus and Eras­mus Plus Mic by the Euro­pean Union (EU). The for­mer is designed to encour­age the mobil­i­ty of EU stu­dents, the lat­ter to encour­age the mobil­i­ty of non-Euro­pean stu­dents with­in EU universities. 

On the strength of this expe­ri­ence, the four part­ners decid­ed to join forces and pro­pose the «Euro­pean Mas­ter in Sus­tain­able Sys­tems Engi­neer­ing» (EMSSE) project. “This Eras­mus Mundus pro­gramme was ini­tial­ly led by the Ital­ians. «The project that the Ital­ians led for three years, although well rat­ed, did not come to fruition. This was prob­a­bly due to the juve­nile age of the dou­ble degrees. In any case, in 2022, togeth­er with our part­ners, we restruc­tured the project and, in agree­ment with them, it was the UTC that suc­cess­ful­ly led the project, financed by near­ly 5 mil­lion euros by Europe for a peri­od of six years and includ­ing 4 class­es of stu­dents. This fund­ing is used in par­tic­u­lar to award grants, more than two-thirds of which are reserved for stu­dents from out­side Europe. The Eras­mus Mundus pro­gramme is so selec­tive that no more than thir­ty stu­dents are enrolled each aca­d­e­m­ic year. In this respect, it can be said that Eras­mus Mundus is a show­case for Euro­pean high­er edu­ca­tion on a glob­al scale. Hence the hope of its ini­tia­tors that it will become a per­ma­nent fea­ture,» says Dri­tan Nace. 

What does EMSSE involve? «The EMSSE is built around three flag­ship Mas­ters cours­es at each uni­ver­si­ty: Learn­ing and Opti­mi­sa­tion of Sys­tems (AOS) at UTC, Sys­tem of Sys­tems Engi­neer­ing (SOSE) at UNIGE and Advanced Man­u­fac­tur­ing Sys­tems (AMS) at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Cat­alo­nia. The course, which is taught in Eng­lish and will start in autumn 2024, will focus on the engi­neer­ing of sus­tain­able sys­tems that are effi­cient, eco­nom­i­cal and envi­ron­men­tal­ly friend­ly. In short, engi­neer­ing that takes into account the envi­ron­men­tal, eco­nom­ic and social impacts of a sys­tem before and dur­ing its design, oper­a­tion, main­te­nance and final­ly its end-of-life phase. The aim is that, at the end of the two-year Master’s degree course, stu­dents will be award­ed a uni­ver­si­ty degree that is shared by all the aca­d­e­m­ic part­ners involved,» he explains.

The special feature of an Erasmus Mundus programme is the mobility requirement.

How does the EMSSE aca­d­e­m­ic pro­gramme work? «The spe­cial fea­ture of an Eras­mus Mundus pro­gramme is the mobil­i­ty require­ment: stu­dents enrolled on a course must spend the first year with aca­d­e­m­ic part­ners and the sec­ond year at the uni­ver­si­ty offer­ing the spe­cial­ism. For our part, we have decid­ed to leave stu­dents free to choose their place of study for the first semes­ter of Mas­ter 1, but that all stu­dents must attend the Poly­tech­nic Uni­ver­si­ty of Tirana for the sec­ond semes­ter, where cours­es will be taught by pro­fes­sors from the four uni­ver­si­ties», explains Dri­tan Nace. 

The con­sor­tium formed by the UTC and its aca­d­e­m­ic part­ners includes three offi­cial asso­ciate part­ners. These are Aise-Incose, the largest engi­neer­ing asso­ci­a­tion in Italy; Iker­lan, a cen­tre spe­cial­is­ing in indus­tri­al dig­i­tal­i­sa­tion, in Spain; and Savoye in France, a com­pa­ny spe­cial­is­ing in sup­ply chain sys­tems man­age­ment, with a strong inter­est in the deploy­ment of con­crete, sus­tain­able CSR poli­cies. To date, these offi­cial asso­ciate part­ners have been joined by a num­ber of indus­tri­al part­ners: Renault, Saint Gob­ain, Voltalia, Orange, Del­mon Group, CEA and Leonar­do, a group spe­cial­is­ing in space and defence tech­nolo­gies in Italy. Final­ly, the SNCF and Suez Smart Solu­tions in France, both long­stand­ing part­ners, have expressed an inter­est in the network. 

What is the role of these indus­tri­al part­ners? «They have two major roles. The first is to advise us on train­ing and how to adapt it to the chal­lenges they may face. The sec­ond con­cerns the more prac­ti­cal and pro­fes­sion­al aspects of the stu­dents’ course. They can wel­come stu­dents for work place­ments in their final semes­ter of study,» he concludes.

Le magazine

Avril 2024 - N°62

Faire face aux enjeux environnementaux

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