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Renewal of the André Citroën chair for imagining the cars of the future

What will cars be like in the future? This is the focus of the André Citroën chair, created in 2011, renewed in 2016 and extended on Tuesday 10 September 2019.

Renouvellement de la chaire André Citroën

Benoit Deveaud, Research and Teaching director at École polytechnique, Grégoire Olivier, general secretary of Groupe PSA and Thomas Mulhaupt, campaign director at Fondation de l’X formally approved the renewal on 10 September 2019 of the André Citroën teaching and research chair.

Given developments in the automotive industry, new subjects related to materials, electric engines, batteries, and pollution sensors will be at the heart of this collaboration.

The André Citroën chair encourages students to undertake initiatives in this field and develops research with particular attention given to sustainable manufacturing and reducing structural weight, but also to questions of aesthetic appeal, health and well-being on board. The chair also supports teaching at l’X and the organization of numerous scientific events.

Research that addresses real issues facing the automotive industry

In the framework of this chair, the research projects are conducted in two laboratories of École polytechnique: LMS - Laboratory of Solid Mechanics and LPICM - Laboratory of Physics of Interfaces and Thin Layers (both joint CNRS and École polytechnique research units). When the chair was first created, the subjects taken up fit mainly into LMS’s expertise in structural sustainability and analysis, but this has changed in recent years as the focus has shifted to the materials that make up electric motors, and batteries and pollution sensors, for instance. Thus, the chair promotes dialogue between physicists and mechanics by combining experimentation, modelling and numerical simulation in a “Multiphysics” framework to solve concrete problems facing the automotive industry of tomorrow.

A collaboration that enriches teaching at l’X

One of the goals of the André Citroën Chair is to enhance teaching, which it does by encouraging initiatives in the automotive field and confronting students with realistic situations of technological innovation that involve major scientific issues. In practice, this mission takes the form of collective scientific projects, internships, seminars, participation in master’s level teaching programs and scholarships to help international students.

An international reach

The chair supports research and teaching activities that foster international cooperation, such as extending invitations to professors from abroad, organizing international conferences, and promoting student exchange programs with some of the most prestigious institutions in the world. Several partnerships have been established with the California Institute of Technology (Caltech), Jiao Tong University in Shanghai and Peter the Great St. Petersburg Polytechnic University, (SPbPU), and other projects are being considered with the Technische Universität München (TUM).

The holder of the chair

Eric Charkaluk embodies the synergy between the École Polytechnique Research Center and the PSA group. After completing a CIFRE thesis with the PSA Group in the LMS, he joined the company where he stayed until 2002 working as a research engineer on problems linked to the thermomechanical behavior of materials. Now Research Director at the CNRS in the LMS and Associate Professor at the École Polytechnique, his research concentrates more particularly on the behavior of metallic materials and their fatigue damage at different scales. This research combines theoretical works, through modelling and numerical simulations, with experimental works focused recently on additive manufacturing of metals (3D printer).