History

 

Origins... 

The Institut Universitaire de Technologie de Cachan is part of the first wave of IUTs formed in August 1966 following the organic decree of January 7, 1966, which created the IUT.

Our first graduates received their degrees in July 1967 ( Diplôme Universitaire de Technologie Génie Electrique [Electrical Engineering Degree from a Technical University] ). Indeed, the IUT de Cachan was one of four experimental sites which opened in October 1965 through a transformation of BTS classes.

In 1968, the IUT de Cachan was integrated into the premises of 9 Avenue de la Division Leclerc. The building was entirely renovated over the period of 1999 to 2007.

In 1970, the IUT de Cachan was organized into what has since remained its current facility capacity.

The IUT de Cachan has always limited itself to 2 basic specializations: Electrical Engineering (which became Génie Electrique et informatique industrielle [Electrical, Electronic and Computing Engineering] in 1985) and Mechanical Engineering (which, also in 1985, became Génie Mécanique et Productique [Mechanical Engineering and Manufacturing] ) with the capacity to welcome approximately 450 new students (300 in GEii, 150 in GMP) annually. 13,000 DUTs have been awarded by the IUT de Cachan from the first class in 1967 to the most recent class of 2007.

Rather than trying to increase the facility’s capacity or the number of specializations offered, the IUT de Cachan has focused instead on innovating its educational methods and on diversifying the program levels and the pathways to student success.

All the preparatory paths towards a DUT...

In the 70s, students with the level of Bac+2 (two years beyond high school) could complete the DUT in 1 year while the continuing education program allowed working people to complete a DUT in their free time or by taking a year of educational leave.

In 1980, distance learning was established; this was a program which was to be completed in three years with periodic academic meetings. At first the program was limited to students in continuing education, but then it was adapted to undergraduate degrees. Other IUTs and different specializations followed this trend. The digital IUT campus, iutenligne (www.iutenligne.net ), created in 2000, is a result of this experiment from the 80s and 90s. The IUT de Cachan remains an active participant in it regarding the specializations in which it is concerned.

The option of doing a DUT GEii in a sandwich course/work and study program is an innovation since the new millennium. It functions like the Validation des Acquis de l'Expérience or VAE (earning credit for knowledge and skills gained through professional experience).

Initially limited to the DUT, the programs offered at the IUT de Cachan have evolved; in the 80s, the first Diplômes Techniques d'Université (Technical Degrees from a University), under the auspices of the Université Paris Sud 11, were recognized as post DUT degrees. Specializations in technical sales, robotics, digital electronic systems, and computer assisted design were the pioneers of the Bac+3 which have successively evolved to gain greater recognition: Diplôme National de Technologie Spécialisé (National Diploma of Specialized Technology) (1995), and then Licence Professionnelle (Professional Bachelor Degree) (2000).

The Licences Professionnelles (Professional Bachelor Degrees)...

The IUT currently offers 5 professional degree specializations in partnership with other components of the University or with high schools (J Ferry – Versailles, G Eiffel – Cachan).

The sandwich course/work and study program track is the preferred way of pursuing an LP, but it is also possible to do it as a full time student or through continuing education (with a professionalization contract, or through VAE).

The IUT de Cachan, conscious of the changing qualification requirements and professional careers of working professionals, developed the continuing education program beginning in 1971 (law of 1971 concerning continuing professional development). Professional training courses allowed technicians and engineers to learn about new technologies such as microprocessors, Robcad software or the functional dimensioning and tolerancing of ISO. Custom tailored training courses structured in partnership with companies (THOMSON – THALES, EDF, GDF, RATP, RENAULT, SNCF, TDF, SFP, INA …) allowed employees in redeployment, or who were changing positions, to complete a DUT, a University Degree or an Engineering Degree. All of those who took part in these training programs were therefore able to advance professionally within their companies.

Engineer Training...

It was over concerns about this evolution that, in 1990, the IUT de Cachan, through the Université Paris Sud 11, pioneered the Nouvelles Formations d’Ingénieurs (New Engineer Training) for Bac+2 graduates (DUT, BTS) who already possessed adequate professional experience. The specialization in Techniques Electroniques Analogiques et Numériques (Digital and Analog Electrical Techniques) was developed and has been run by the IUT de Cachan for its entire 14 years of existence. It is now one of the academic programs in the engineering continuing education of the Institut de Formation d'Ingénieur de Paris Sud or “Institute of Engineer Training of Southern Paris”.

This same concern about offering students academic programs that would allow them to obtain higher professional qualifications than the IUT of Cachan had been able to lead to the idea for the Institut Universitaire Professionnalisé Génie Electrique de l'Université Paris Sud 11 (Professionalized University Institute in Electrical Engineering) (1993). The Engineer Master’s program (Bac+4) of the IUP GE was extended from the development of the sandwich course/work and study programs at the IUT de Cachan. This method of learning through alternating time in the classroom and time on the job), guarantees a better professional insertion and was then successfully taken up by other professional bachelor degrees.

The IUP GE sandwich course/work and study academic program, difficult to recognize under the ranking system of Bachelor—Master—Doctor, was transformed into IFIPS in 2003, an engineering program run in partnership with the educational team at the IUT de Cachan.

Technology Transfer...

Beginning in the 1980s, under the impetus of some of the Mechanical Engineering and Productics faculty, the IUT took measures in order to allow for technology transfers with companies.

The special partnership with Renault (since 1982), in the domain of industrial robotics, is at the origin of the development of the robotics department which united the knowledge of different pedagogical teams from two different specializations at the IUT de Cachan. Various industrial application contracts, originally headed by the Centre d'Etudes et de Recherche en Mécanique Appliquée (Center for Studies and Research in Applied Mechanics), enabled the acquisition of an expertise in robotics that has influenced, and that continues to influence the educational philosophy of the three departments at the IUT in a significant way. Notable impacts of this program:

- The Industrial Production professional bachelor degree specialized in Robotics
- The participation of GMP students, and later those of GEii as well, in the coupe de France de Robotique (French Cup of Robotics)
- The mobile robot platform which acts as a guiding principle for the electrical engineering and industrial data processing faculty in the GEii departments (over 300 copies sold in the GEii departments). This innovative pedagogical step was followed by the Bac STI Génie Electrotechnique in the academies of Ile de France in 2006.
- The technological menagerie, a group of “fun” robots used to promote science and technology to children.

Other focuses of applied research have allowed colleagues of the IUT to develop applications with interesting industrial and pedagogical impacts. For example, the computer assisted design software GM2D (1985) and its evolution 3D GMPCAD (1993), sold 400 copies to small and medium businesses and industries and, most notably, to l'Education Nationale (the French National Education System) with more than 6000 licenses for 20,000 work stations installed in IUTs and STS. The management and production software LISA also had a wide distribution in education and industry.

All technology and pedagogical transfer activities are now organized by the Centre de Ressources et d'Innovations Industrielles et Pédagogiques (CRIIP) (Center for Industrial and Pedagogical Resources and Innovation).

Research...

In addition, the majority of the research professors conduct their research in the laboratories of the Université Paris Sud 11 (Institut d'Electronique Fondamentale, Laboratoire de Génie Electrique de Paris, Laboratoire des Signaux et Systèmes) or at L'Ecole Normale Supérieure de Cachan (Systèmes et Applications des Technologies de l'Information et de l'Energie, Laboratoire Universitaire de Recherche en Production Automatisée…).

International Relations... 

International relations have an important place in the history of the IUT.

The development of these relations, beginning in the 90s, has encouraged student mobility. More than 15% of the students at the IUT de Cachan who are working on a DUT do their end of the second year work placement/internship abroad.

It has also enabled "educational transfers" to countries who wish to benefit from the experience of the IUT de Cachan, or from the IUT network, in order to equip themselves with a competitive system of superior short-term technological education.

The support of the creation of the Palestine Technical Colleges (1995), the implementation, every year since 1997, of the Université d'été du Moyen Orient (Summer University of the Middle East), teacher training program for the instructors in this region of the world, the partnerships for the development of similar establishments in Slovenia, Romania, Vietnam and Laos…are all concrete achievements of the strong commitment of the IUT de Cachan.

Success... 

For over forty years, the educational teams of the IUT of Cachan have shown the dynamism, responsiveness and creativity necessary to keep up with advances in technology, careers, qualifications, and educational philosophy, and, thereby, to meet student expectations as well as those of the socio-economic world.

The success of the IUT de Cachan resides in its capacity to provide both quality teaching and technical support dedicated to the personal development and success of its users.