A school for tomorrow's technologies
School of engineering in Physics, Applied Physics, Electronics & Materials
Louis ZANGARA, co-founder of DOLPHIN Integration, which designs integrated circuits, and director of the Minalogic competitive cluster, explains the importance of business involvement in the life of an engineering school.
As co-founder of DOLPHIN Integration and Chair of the Phelma board for eight years, why are you involved in the life of the school?
I chaired the Phelma board in a voluntary capacity for eight years. I tried to bring the perspective of someone who works in industry and who directs an SME to the school so that it could supply highly skilled engineers who will be the driving force behind our businesses of tomorrow. As a Phelma alumnus, I have the good fortune to work in a profession that, in addition to the exciting technical aspect, allows me - if I am successful - to create jobs: Work more to recruit more.
Jobs in France result from an eco-system that is based on three linchpins: training and research; industry; and the state. The first linchpin, training and research, is a source of high-level engineers and innovation. As regards the second linchpin, a strong industrial base is a source of employment and, it follows, prosperity. And the third linchpin, the state, has to find the catalysts for stimulating industry, which is what it does via the Research Tax Credit, competitive clusters and the Investissements d'Avenir - the Investing in the Future government programme.
In brief, industry without innovation, without talented people and without financial resources cannot be competitive in a globally competitive environment. Those are the reasons why I try and support these three linchpins.
How would you rate the quality and skills of the school's graduates?
Four hundred engineers graduate from the school every year and fill the ranks of companies in the eco-system. DOLPHIN, which is an SME, has hired at least one engineer from Phelma every year, which gives you an idea of the employability of students who take this training. Faced with global competition, one of the challenges for DOLPHIN is to recruit high-quality candidates. Business expertise relies on the skills of our engineers.
How would you rate the quality of relations between Phelma and the world of industry?
The quality of the school's relations with the industrial network can be seen in the high number of representatives from the world of industry on the school's board.
I cannot claim to give instructions to the people who are qualified to run the school, but as a customer we have considerable influence, and the extent to which the research lecturers listen to us is impressive.
As an example, we helped to draw up the programmes for the new apprenticeship, which highlights the willingness of lecturers at the school to set up quality training courses in line with the demands of industry.
Date of update April 22, 2013