ENSTA Bretagne : Des parcours talentueux récompensés

Rewarding achievements of students and staff

ENSTA Bretagne
2022 was a tremendous year of achievements! Multitalented engineering students, PhD students and staff all took on new challenges and were rewarded for their efforts this year.

These members of the ENSTA Bretagne community distinguished themselves by inventing new technology, accomplishing original scientific research or successfully combining studies with sports training – and achieved inspiring milestones in the process. Find out more about them in this review… 

ENSTA Bretagne : roues auto-adaptatives en test sur une plage

Two lecturers reinvent the wheel…

Designing an all-terrain wheel that can be used on any surface: this is the challenge that Yannick Argouarc’h and Hervé Trébaol, mechanical engineering lecturers at ENSTA Bretagne, set themselves. "“In response to a request from EDF, we initially came up with a magnetic wheel for a robot for hydroelectric dam penstock inspection, then we developed a deformable wheel for all types of vehicle that can automatically adapt to the rolling surface,” explains Yannick Argouarc’h. “This wheel comprises a set of side-by-side discs that adapt to the geometry of the surface on which it runs."  

The two lecturers constantly fine-tuned the concept, building digital models, prototypes and demonstrators…the result is astonishing and protected by two European patents! Several manufacturers are already showing an interest in these inventions, and there is no shortage of ideas for their application, including development of wheels for land vehicles, heavy load transporters or industrial casters. 

…while two colleagues specializing in information technology and signal processing defend their research findings to gain the prestigious Accreditation to Supervise Research (HDR)

Although their subjects might appear more abstract, the technological merits and applications of their research are very real. Angélique Drémeau and Arnaud Coatanhay gave an outstanding defense of their scientific output and careers to gain the Accreditation to Supervise Research (HDR) – the highest university qualification in France. This status recognizes their original scientific careers of significant interest and has earned them the congratulations of their peers and colleagues. 

hdr angélique et arnaud

Since joining ENSTA Bretagne, Angélique Drémeau and Arnaud Coatanhay have focused their research on environmental observation, but according to different observation systems.

Arnaud Coatanhay’s research looks at how to improve radar remote sensing techniques. His contributions to modeling the distribution and interaction of electromagnetic waves impacting sea surfaces have demonstrated their merits in this respect. "For me, the HDR was a milestone – an opportunity to take stock and think about new research prospects. I have spent the past few years closely studying the contribution that quantum information can make to electromagnetic remote sensing. Incidentally, one of my PhD students has just given a defense on this subject, but there is still so much left to do!" Arnaud Coatanhay tells us excitedly. 

Angélique Drémeau’s work, meanwhile, on variational Bayesian approximation – the main focus of her research – has demonstrated its relevance in underwater acoustics. The researcher says: "The Bayesian framework is perfect for modeling the random fluctuations of the ocean environment then incorporating these into source localization procedures, for example. I’m fortunate to work with colleagues specializing in different areas of expertise (oceanographers, acousticians) who are familiar with the marine environment and can help me fine-tune the models. These complementary viewpoints are what I find the most rewarding."

This recognition highlights the quality of their scientific accomplishments as well as the determination and motivation to learn and share that they have had to show. Well done them!

An engineering student and PhD student finish their studies in the spotlight…

Experienced researchers aren’t the only ones to have earned accolades this year! 

Tyméa Perret, who recently graduated from ENSTA Bretagne, was awarded the prize for best end-of-study project in hydrography at the “HYDRO22” international conference in Monaco. "I didn’t expect to win the prize, but I am thrilled that the hydrographic community appreciates my work and finds it interesting." Since October 2022, she has been doing a thesis jointly supervised by ENSTA Bretagne and Ifremer  on the same subject: “Machine detection of fluid echoes in water column acoustic backscatter data using a Deep-learning artificial intelligence method”. 

Her colleague, Lorenzo Bercelli, was also commended for the presentation of his thesis research at the 38th Journées de Printemps of the French Society for Metallurgy and Materials (SF2M). He won the Jacques Pomey prize. "I presented an overview of my research on the fatigue characterization of materials and structures obtained by the WAAM¹ process. This is a steel manufacturing technique similar to 3D printing, by stacking layers of material." 

Incidentally, Lorenzo Bercelli has decided to explore this subject further by doing a post-doctorate at ENSTA Bretagne on the use of an experimental method for fatigue crack detection by infrared thermography.

sportifs de haut niveau ENSTA Bretagne

… and three elite athletes recently enrolled in engineering also have medals in their sights.

While Tyméa Perret and Lorenzo Bercelli have ended their studies on a high note, other students are already off to a flying start. Julien, Alexandre and Benoit are elite athletes who have decided to study engineering while pursuing their sporting ambitions. All credit to them for passing the admission exam to ENSTA Bretagne after juggling the advanced & special math preparatory classes alongside demanding competition schedules! Their goals? 

Elite rower Julien is enrolled in the robotics engineering course, with a packed weekly schedule. "I’ve already tried flexible study arrangements in the past, and found that this wasn’t for me. I felt like I was falling behind the other students."

Benoit made the same decision. This windsurfing and windfoiling² champion is gradually finding a balance between his studies, competitions and social life. "I made time to take part in a few activities during the fresher’s period when I had the chance. Now that the main sporting and academic dates have passed, I’m making the most of it to go out a bit.” He will clarify his engineering choices in time – there are wide-ranging options open to him.

As for Alexandre, his involvement in the sailing world (he races in a Laser class sailing dingy) and interest in naval architecture inspired him to study at ENSTA Bretagne. Unlike the others, he decided to complete his first year over two years. "I thought I’d find it hard initially to keep up with my studies with all the travel I do, but actually I soon got used to it."

Just like their scientific colleagues, these three elite athletes have decided to wholeheartedly pursue their passions. The path to winning a medal may be long and uncertain, but they can already be proud of their outstanding academic and sporting achievements thus far.


¹ Wire and arc additive manufacturing
² Foil windsurfing. Benoit is a member of the "Pôle France" certified national sailing training center in Brest