Lafarge and the Ecole des Ponts ParisTech strengthen their partnership

9 June 2011

Lafarge and the Ecole des Ponts ParisTech are renewing the Materials Science for Sustainable Construction (SMCD) teaching and research chair for five years. The aim of the chair is to promote research and innovation in the field of building materials in order to improve the environmental footprint of constructions. This is also a strategic challenge shared by the Lafarge Research Center and the Laboratoire Navier (a combined research unit of Ecole des Ponts ParisTech, IFSTTAR and CNRS) which have decided to work together by signing a new framework research contract.

Supporting the training of future engineers and researchers

Lafarge supports the training of young engineers to provide them with quality teaching in the performance of materials and sustainable construction. For the past five years, the SMCD Chair has supported a Master's course focusing on the environmental footprint of materials. Students benefit from an interdisciplinary program unique in the world, drawing on the expertise of professors from the Ecole des Ponts ParisTech and Lafarge engineers and researchers. The course prepares students to contribute to future scientific advances within cutting-edge companies and large research organizations.
Most of the students trained so far have continued their studies, going on to research a doctoral thesis. Thanks to the Chair, several foreign students have been awarded grants enabling them to take part in the program. International seminars as well as visits to prestigious international universities are organized each year to foster high-level exchanges on the latest progress in materials science.

The Laboratoire Navier: cutting-edge research to develop the materials of the future

As part of its R&D program, Lafarge works with leading research centers, universities and schools around the world to develop innovative new construction solutions. As part of this approach, the Lafarge Research Center has signed a framework contract with the Laboratoire Navier, a research unit working in the field of mechanics and physics of materials, structures and geomaterials, bringing together high-level researchers from the Ecole des Ponts ParisTech, CNRS and IFSTTAR. As part of this collaboration, the Laboratoire Navier will contribute to research into the implementation properties, mechanical performance and durability of new concretes developed by Lafarge for low carbon construction. This type of partnership brings additional scientific expertise to enhance Lafarge's research program and accelerate innovation in construction.

Significant synergies exist between this research contract and the SMCD Chair. As part of their Master's and PhD training, students benefit from high-level teaching and supervision from the Laboratoire Navier's researchers. As a result of the framework contract, students are able to train in cutting-edge materials science aimed at reducing environmental impact, through internships or doctoral theses carried out at the Laboratoire Navier, the Lafarge Research Center or in an associated laboratory.


Lafarge is the world leader in building materials, with top-ranking positions in all of its businesses: Cement, Aggregates & Concrete and Gypsum. With 76,000 employees in 78 countries, Lafarge posted sales of Euros 16.2 billion in 2010.
Lafarge was ranked 6th in the "Carbon Disclosure Project" and entered the global "Dow Jones Sustainability Index" in 2010 in recognition of its sustainable development actions. With the world's leading building materials research facility, Lafarge places innovation at the heart of its priorities, working for sustainable construction and architectural creativity.

The Ecole des Ponts ParisTech provides master's and doctorate degrees and continuing education for engineers with high-level scientific, technical and general skills, enabling them to hold positions of responsibility in national planning and development, construction, transport, industry and the environment. Its research allows the teaching provided by the school to draw on a strong scientific corpus. This high-level research, at the intersection of the fundamental and the applied, is carried out in close contact with companies and public authorities. A founder member of the Université Paris-Est and ParisTech higher education and research clusters, the school works with numerous international partners. It offers the full range of courses in the LMD framework, the international reference for higher education qualifications. It has 2,000 students and 360 researchers working in its 11 laboratories. Developing innovative materials and structures which respond to environmental issues raises numerous challenges. The Ecole des Ponts ParisTech is equipped to meet these challenges as a result of the courses offered by the Civil Engineering and Construction department and the Mechanical Engineering and Materials department and the research carried out by the Laboratoire Navier (CNRS combined research unit and joint laboratory with IFSTTAR).

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