ENSTA Bretagne : Architecture Navale

Naval and Offshore Architecture

ENSTA Bretagne : enseignement et recherche en ingénierie et architecture navales

ENSTA Bretagne offers France's most comprehensive naval architecture and engineering program with the highest enrollment.

In this world-class program, all the parameters required for smooth ship operation are addressed: hydrodynamics and aerodynamics, durability, stability, propulsion, structural calculations, maneuverability, seaworthiness, ergonomics, etc.

The program applies to all types of ships and platforms: sailing and motor yachts, offshore racing boats, cruise ships, passenger boats, cargo vessels, LNG carriers, container ships, ro-ro ships, offshore platforms, civil professional vessels, military ships, submarines, etc.

Inventing the vessels of the future also means seeking more environmentally-friendly and more energy-efficient materials and propulsion systems. The Mechanical Science Research Department at ENSTA Bretagne contributes to this effort through the IRDL (Institut de Recherche Dupuy de Lôme), a CNRS Joint Research Center which is leading the way on these issues.

Program strengths

International renown

Each year, the Royal Institute of Naval Architects, in partnership with Bureau Veritas, awards a prize to the top student in this major. Other examples of academic partnerships around the world: United Kingdom (Cranfield University), Australia (Australian Maritime College, University of Australia, Flinders)…

Prizes and awards

ENSTA Bretagne students have won prizes at several editions of the international HydroContest which focuses on naval energy efficiency, reaching the top of the podium on several occasions. These successful results reward the practical application of the program's content.

Applied research to boost learning

Through the Institut de Recherche Dupuy de Lôme (IRDL) and shared research laboratories with industry, the research work conducted on campus focuses on improving ship performance and in particular on ship-sea interactions, in all conditions, including the most hostile.

This applied research is conducted in collaboration with many businesses and organizations in the maritime sector based both in France and around the globe.

Digital simulation in naval hydrodynamics

Digital simulation tools for fluid mechanics and fluid-structure interactions are developed to meet the challenges raised during the naval design phase: advance resistance assessment during the pre-project phase, assessment of the hydrodynamic performance of propulsion systems, behavior of marine structures in swell, structures exposed to impact.

Extensive experimental equipment

Many scientific studies, ranging in scale from that of the material to that of the entire structure, are validated using our extensive and unparalleled experimental facilities. These facilities, which form the MASMECA platform, at the ENSTA Bretagne campus, are also used by students for applied projects.
In addition, every year hydrodynamics study days are organized at the DGA Techniques hydrodynamiques center and throughout the year at Ifremer's test tanks, situated only a few kilometers from the campus, as part of joint scientific programs. 

Deeply invested in developing the maritime sector

In addition to the teaching programs and research on offer, ENSTA Bretagne contributes to the development of the maritime sector by injecting its expertise into numerous networks: as a board member of the Pôle Mer Bretagne-Atlantique, a globally-oriented competitiveness cluster, and as a member of GICAN, the French Maritime Cluster (CMF), the Institut Français de la Mer (IFM) and the business network Bretagne Pôle Naval.

The Program
ENSTA Bretagne : Formation Architecture Navale
"Diplôme d'ingénieur" (i.e. MSc in Eng.) program, Naval and Offshore Architecture major
Co-operative engineering program, Naval and Offshore Architecture major
Parcours de 4e année pour élèves Polytechniciens

Cette spécialité est offerte aux élèves Polytechniciens dans le cadre de leur 4e année.

Master in Marine Engineering
Advanced Master in Marine Engineering/Naval and Offshore Architecture
Master orienté recherche

Le Master "Sciences Marines", parcours "Hydrodynamique navale" est délivré par l’ENSTA Bretagne et l’UBO (Université de Bretagne Occidentale), établissements co-accrédités par le Ministère de l'Enseignement Supérieur, de la Recherche et de l'Innovation (MESRI).

PhD Program
ENSTA Bretagne : logiciels partenaires en architecture navale

In the context of student projects, the ship design loop in particular, engineering students in the naval and offshore architecture major make use of dedicated professional software, in partnership with Bureau Veritas, DNV-GL, MARIN, Sistre and NDAR.

There are also many opportunities in the naval sector open to students studying information and communications technology.

ENSTA Bretagne : ANO
© Marine nationale

This laboratory is a CNRS joint Research Center. IRDL brings together mechanical science research teams from Université de Bretagne Sud, ENSTA Bretagne, Université de Bretagne Occidentale (UBO) and ENIB. It is internationally recognized for its marine research.

ENSTA Bretagne teams’ involvement is concentrated around 3 research areas.

RESEARCH TOPIC: Structures, fluids and interactions

The mechanics research teams at ENSTA Bretagne form an integral component of IRDL (UMR 6027): the leading research center in marine mechanical systems based in Brittany. It brings together teams from ENSTA Bretagne, Université Bretagne Sud, ENIB, UBO and CNRS. 


Using innovative techniques to assemble dissimilar materials, with a view to extending their operating lives in harsh conditions such as the marine environment.


Other main research topics include the fatigue and durability of structures under load, particularly in a marine environment.


ENSTA Bretagne contributes to numerous national and international projects aimed at building cleaner and more reliable, cost-effective and intelligent ships.

One such initiative is the Beyond The Sea project. Supported by the French Environment and Energy Management Agency (ADEME), it develops kite propulsion for large ships in order to reduce the carbon footprint of maritime transport.

The APPHY project (a French National Research Agency defense research and innovation project) employs analytical models of wave impact loads to obtain more precise structural calculations. This increased precision will help to lighten the weight of ships and lengthen their operational lives.

Funded by ADEME's Investments for the Future "Ships of the Future" program, the e-PANEMA project uses innovative technologies (electromagnetic techniques, sensors etc.) to improve ships’ safety and efficiency. The project draws on the expertise of Lab-STICC's Information and Communication Technology and Science teams.


Pierre-Michel Guilcher
Research Professor
‘Structures, Fluids and Interactions’ Team, IRDL Laboratory


Sylvain Calloch
Full Professor
Institut de Recherche Dupuy de Lôme (IRDL, UMR CNRS 6027)
+33 (0)2 98 34 87 23
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