X. Lefranc

ICAM (Institut Catholique d’Arts et Métiers) was founded in 1898 in Lille. It is composed of eight engineering schools in France and abroad : Lille, Nantes, Toulouse, La Roche sur Yon, Vannes, Pointe Noire / Douala (Central Africa) and Loyola Icam College of Engineering and Technology, in Chennai city, (capital of Tamil Nadu state, South India). Icam remains true to its Jesuit heritage, and strives to form each student into a whole person of solidarity who will take responsibility for the real world. With over 3000 students on all its campuses, Icam is a well known generalist engineering school in France.

Icam’s pedagogy ensures a blend of theory and practice, and is based on an important collaboration with industry.

After three years of basic courses in every engineering fields (Mechanical Engineering, Fluid Mechanics, Material Engineering, Design and Manufacturing Engineering, Electrical Engineering, and Computer Sciences), the fourth year allows students to form in the following areas: agri-food, construction and public works, transportation, energy, information and communication technologies. All these courses are taught by industry professionals, making the vision of future jobs for students very concrete.

In the last year of formation, their activities focus on Resarch and Development, through projects realised in collaboration with industry (over 1000 projects during the five past years); R&D projects are carried out by teams of 2 students working full time for one semester, and monitored by a teacher/lecturer (30 ECTS credits).

All R&D projects are performed under contract with companies (from small and medium businesses to large companies), helping students to have a better understanding of practical and industrial applications.

This also helps every engineering department to develop strong links with local industry.

These collaborations « school – industry » offer several advantages from an educational point of view : student motivation, project management suited to customer expectations (deadlines, methodology), consideration of financial aspects, work on concrete problems, work on different themes using a personalized program of study (development of new materials, product design and special machines, process improvements, quality procedures…), etc.

Examples of projects :
- LE RELAIS : development, caracterization, optimization, and industrialization of a new insolation material made from recycled textiles.
- STAUB : support for environmental compliance of a foundry.
- TOLES PERFOREES DE LA SAMBRE : development of an evanescence oil cleaning system based on luminous flux for perforated steel sheets.
- RAILTECH : process modeling of aluminothermic welding of rails.