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Polytechnique Montréal and Safran set up two new research chairs

Human resources

On April 24 in Montreal, longstanding partners Safran and Polytechnique Montréal set up two new research chairs dedicated to designing a new generation of lighter, quieter and more-efficient aircraft—a great way to mark the partners’ successes in more than ten years of working together.

3D loom : carbon fiber

New partnerships shaping the future of aerospace

Stéphane Cueille, Senior Executive Vice President, R&T and Innovation, was at Polytechnique Montréal on 24 April to set up two new industry research chairs with the Canadian engineering school, one focused on additive manufacturing of organic matrix composites (AMOMC) and the other on multifunctional passive acoustic treatments for turbofan composite structures (TAPPIS). These two chairs will “bolster the research we have been doing together for the last ten years while seeking to develop disruptive aerospace technologies” he said.

The new chairs will address two major challenges facing the aviation sector: the need to develop ever-lighter, more reliable and more corrosion-resistant aircraft, and to significantly reduce aircraft noise on takeoff and landing.

The first chair, led by Professor Daniel Therriault of the school’s Department of Mechanical Engineering, aims to develop a new generation of advanced manufacturing approaches and mathematical models to conceive high-performance composite structures for the aerospace industry. The second chair, led by Professor Annie Ross, also with the Department of Mechanical Engineering, will develop advanced multifunctional materials able to absorb and dissipate noise from aircraft engines. This will include construction of a technology demonstrator incorporating the new materials in a full-scale fan case.

Longstanding partnership delivers results

To keep pace with evolving global markets, Safran is stepping up its R&D efforts, including expenditures of some €1.5 billion in 2018. Present in Canada for more than 70 years, Safran is today a top industrial player and has built its success there on technological expertise and the close ties established with local partners like Polytechnique Montréal, an engineering school of excellence. “The people at Safran and Polytechnique Montreal are working closely together over the long haul to explore innovative technologies geared toward meeting the major environmental challenges facing our industry in the years ahead” said Stéphane Cueille.

Safran is supporting the school’s research and innovation initiatives in a number of areas, such as surface treatment, ceramics and health monitoring. These initiatives are finding real-world applications in the aerospace industry. For example, their joint research efforts in composite materials were instrumental in developing the fan blades for CFM International’s* LEAP engine. “The industrial research chairs we are announcing today are a perfect illustration of the value of combining academic and industry research interests to meet the constantly evolving technological, environmental and social needs of a top-tier industry player” commented François Bertrand, Senior Vice President and Vice President of Academics and Research at Polytechnique Montréal.

The two chairs will support the training of 80 students from all university programs in fields highly sought after by Canadian industry, especially transportation and aerospace. Other projects are likely to follow, as Safran and Polytechnique Montréal are already in talks about possible future collaborations.


*CFM International is a 50/50 joint company between GE and Safran Aircraft Engines



Learn more:

Safran in Canada at a glance

  • Present for more than 70 years
  • 2,000 employees
  • 5 industrial facilities


About Polytechnique Montréal

Founded in 1873, the Polytechnique Montréal technological university is one of Canada’s largest engineering teaching and research institutions.

  • More than 120 training programs, 260 professors and 8,600 students
  • Annual research budget of $81 million
  • More than 49,000 graduates
  • 22% of engineering professionals are members of the Order of Engineers of Quebec (OIQ)


The new chairs in the news:

Polytechnique researchers want to get planes flying without the noise, CTV News