Dual Master's Degree Program in Aerospace Engineering or Aeronautics and Fluid Mechanics
2010 Heiskell Award Winner: International Exchange Partnerships
Nomination submitted by: Guruswami Ravichandran, John E. Goode, Jr. Professor of Aeronautics and Mechanical Engineering; Director, Graduate Aerospace Laboratories (GALCIT)
Building on existing joint agreements between the two institutions, the California Institute of Technology and Ecole Polytechnique in Paris successfully launched the Dual Master's Degree Program in Aerospace Engineering or Aeronautics and Fluid Mechanics in 2007. In addition to the funds provided by the two institutions, the program sought external funding from the Partner University Fund, a public-private partnership launched by the Embassy of France which supports research and graduate education partnerships between French and American Universities.
The dual degree program spans two academic years, with students spending a year at each institution, with all classes taught in English. French and American students enter separate tracks, with the Caltech students following the regular Master of Science Program at Caltech the first year, and the master's program in fluid mechanics at Ecole Polytechnique the second-year. Conversely, students originating from Ecole Polytechnique follow the regular master's program in mechanics syllabus in France the first year and the Master of Science syllabus at Caltech the second.
The program also includes a six-month internship in academic or industrial laboratories. "Caltech students will benefit from the rigorous academic program at Ecole Polytechnique and also the availability of research opportunities at the French Space Agency and the French National Aerospace Laboratories," says Jean-Lou Chameau, President of Caltech.
Recognized for its unique multidisciplinary nature, the dual degree program has been developed for the long term. "The agreement already serves as a model for future joint programs that we seek to foster with other world-class universities," says Xavier Michel, President of Ecole Polytechnique.