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The ISAE Group (ISAE-SUPAERO, ISAE-ENSMA, ISAE-SUPMECA, ESTACA, and l’École de l’Air) recently took part in the Paris Air Forum, which was held on Monday, June 21st, at the Musée de l’Air et de l’Espace in Paris. It was an opportunity for Olivier Lesbre, President of the ISAE Group, to remind us of what still inspires careers in the aeronautics sector among the future generations of engineers.

PAF accueil


Organized every year by La Tribune this event brings together the main economic, institutional and political players in the aeronautics and space sector. Half virtual, half face-to-face, this 8th hybrid edition dealt with the topic "Sustainable Air & Space Mobility". In all, some one hundred personalities shared their viewpoints and their expertise at the some thirty debates and interviews scheduled.

“Can aviation still inspire career aspirations?” was the subject of a roundtable attended by Max Armanet, journalist, Olivier Lesbre, President of the ISAE Group, Elodie Brunot, student at ESTACA, Laura André Boyet, Instructor at ESA, Denis Mercier, Chairman of the Board of Directors at l’École de l’Air and Bertrand Piccard, Explorer and Chairman of the Solar Impulse Foundation.


“Contrary to what we had feared, the engineering schools in the ISAE Group had no problem recruiting young people in 2020. We even had more international applicants than in previous years at ISAE-SUPAERO,” said Olivier Lesbre at the opening of the roundtable.

PAF plateau

The answer to the question, “Can aviation still inspire career aspirations?” is clear: aeronautics and space are still the stuff dreams are made of for the younger generations. Many young people chose the schools in the ISAE Group because they have had a real passion for aeronautics and space since childhood, like Elodie Bernot . Others discover this passion over the years of their education.

General Mercier, Chairman of the Board of Directors at l’École de l’Air, reminded us that “Vocations are built on an idea that one doesn’t necessarily have at a very young age – a certainty that you are taking part in something that is going to change the world. This is forged over time.”

Speaking about vocations in aviation, Bertrand Piccard pointed out that “You don’t have to be a superman to be an astronaut, explorer or pioneer. You just have to embrace the unknown, challenge yourself and acquire the resources to make your dreams come true.”


Olivier Lesbre also point out the importance of the values that govern the aeronautics community. “We are in a milieu that quite naturally produces this passion, a milieu with powerful values – a concern for transmission also has a strong presence in the French aeronautics and space community, backed up by an exceptional history”.

This passion notably develops thanks to meetings with many inspiring alumni who have had a major impact on students, or the opportunities for internships at companies that are partners with the schools in the ISAE Group. The Group thus trains young people with excellent potential who tomorrow will be able to meet the needs of industry, notably in terms of the major transitions in the sector.


Aviation was, is and will always be a sector at the leading edge of innovation. The schools in the ISAE Group make a large contribution to this by training more than half the engineers hired in the aviation sector each year and working on research subjects that, with industry, will enable us foresee a totally decarbonized airplane. While the technological lines have been identified, the development of a new aviation with no climate impact is a major challenge to be taken up by the new generations of engineers. These perspectives explain why the training given at the schools in the Group continue to attract just a many brilliant, passionate young people.

Higher education and research are major levers in the transition to a sustainable society. That is why the ISAE Group is mobilizing its pedagogical skills and its scientific expertise to contribute to the construction of the aeronautical and space components of this sustainable society, and notably to invent the decarbonized air transport of tomorrow.

Architecture inédite : configuration bimoteur électrique, en arrière des ailes permettant d’obtenir les réserves de puissance nécessaires au décollage.

There are many initiatives along these lines, and they are nothing new: a two-month certification course on aviation and the environment has been open to students in the ISAE Group since 2015, and the Euroglider project for an electric glider with autonomous takeoff, whose test bench glider demonstrated its capacities in front of the press a month ago, was launched in 2014. They are becoming more generalized today, especially as our students are now much more aware of this subject and are highly mobilized.

Further information on the roundtable

The ISAE Group’s vocation is to bring together schools in the field of aeronautics and space engineering under the same banner. It seeks to meet the needs of the aerospace sector by offering a wide range of dedicated training programs (Engineering, Masters, Advanced Masters and Doctorates) so as to constitute a quality label for these programs and develop joint projects among its members. With five schools, some thirty training programs and more than 1,500 graduates a year, the ISAE Group provides the industrial and institutional players in the aeronautics and space sector with a wide range of graduates with high-level scientific and technical profiles unique in Europe.

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