Groupe Eurotunnel SA and the École des Ponts ParisTech create the first Chair in “Railway Transport Science”

Groupe Eurotunnel and French Grand École, the École des Ponts ParisTech, have signed a long term partnership, in association with the Fondation des Ponts to develop the study of “Railway Transport Science”.

The partnership culminates in the creation of the first academic Chair dedicated to “Railway Transport Science”, which will comprise both academic and research roles. The objective of the position will be to further advance science through a broad study of the railway sector to include operations, traffic management, safety, the sustainability of equipment and technology, respect for the environment and transport economics. It will bring together, for the first time, the experience of Groupe Eurotunnel SA, the world leader in piggy-back transport and operator of a high speed railway network, and the complementary expertise of the French engineers’ Grande École, the École des Ponts ParisTech, a reference for training and research across the world. The primary research areas for the new Chair will concentrate on the technological evolution of railway infrastructure, the analysis of its lifecycle, the conception of railway intelligence systems and the understanding of the phenomenon of massification.

The first study projects will be launched in September 2013. Groupe Eurotunnel SA will finance this new Chair with €150,000 per year over five years, will provide test locations and prototype workshops at the Channel Tunnel and will provide access for academic researchers and students. Staff from the group will also play a role in the conception of projects, the subjects for dissertations and the modules to be taught.

With the creation of the Chair in Railway Transport Science, Groupe Eurotunnel SA will contribute to a close collaboration between the railway industry and the academic world and will help develop synergies between its own industrial R&D and academic research. For the École des Ponts ParisTech, this is an opportunity to concentrate a part of its higher education program on the upcoming challenges for the railway transport industry, a sector with great potential as the demand for mobility grows and high speed rail takes on an increasingly international dimension. This collaboration is in line with the objectives of the École des Ponts ParisTech to become a centre of excellence in engineering for towns and the environment.

Armel de la Bourdonnaye, Directeur of the École nationale des Ponts et Chaussées, stated:

“Whilst the École des Ponts ParisTech is already recognised around the world for its engineering expertise in construction and infrastructure management, this new relationship with a company like Groupe Eurotunnel SA will ensure that the School remains perfectly positioned for the major challenges to come in terms of innovative technologies and organizational change.”


Jacques Gounon, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Groupe Eurotunnel SA, stated:

“This new Chair in Railway Transport Science is a clear expression of Groupe Eurotunnel’s strategy to pursue and accelerate the process of innovation and to position rail as a sector for the future. To do this with the École des Ponts ParisTech will enable Groupe Eurotunnel to benefit from a structure of academic thinking and research of the highest level”.