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Master Thesis of Engineering

Overview

Program at a glance

 

Why choose this program?

  • You benefit from an essential experience linked to, and recognized by, the economic world.
    • Icam launched it’s R&D – Services to Business – in 1980. Since then, Icam has been working on real-life problem situations raised by its industry partners on a wide range of technological or organizational fields. 
    • You will be part of a project team tasked to perform technological transfers and R&D for industry partners during your 5-month (18-week) thesis period. This experiential learning is a very powerful and effective tool to prepare you for the future.
    • The topics are normally for master-level thesis work, but can be adapted for students working on their bachelor-level thesis.
  • You shift from student scholar to junior consultant
    • Given that the problem situations arise from real-life company issues and are funded by the industry partner, the project teams are held accountable to results and professional quality of work.
    • The project teams are in direct interaction with a company representative. This is an excellent springboard to prepare you for your professional career and professional life.
  • You benefit from the rich expertise within the “Services to Businesses Unit Pole” 
    • Icam experts supervise each project team and provide the expertise that students may need in terms of technical, scientific, engineering or project management topics.

TIP: Make the most of your time in France and stay for 2 years and get an Icam general engineering diploma! Invest a whole year at Icam with the first semester taught in English of French, and a second Master’s level concentration semester at one of the 4 possible locations. Top this off with a second year of R&D and an internship. It will let you truly experience French culture, gain valuable foreign language skills and be exposed to French companies.

 

Program highlights

  • An Industrial R&D thesis means that the topic is selected and funded by one of Icam’s industry partners. This ensures a very concrete problem statement, with regular follow up from a representative of the company. 
  • Icam has topics in various business lines, handling approximately 300 projects annually, with around 100 project teams on the move. 
  • This entails a 5-month full-time work defined within the framework of a contract with a company.
  • You will be carrying out a technology transfer to solve a problem within a company
  • You have the opportunity to indicate your preferred field of science or technology. This preference can direct you to one of the 6 possible Icam campuses.
  • You will collaborate with a fellow student.
  • You will work both at Icam’s laboratories and at the company, depending on the type of project.

 

Location

  • Within the laboratories of one of the 6 Icam campuses in France, depending on the subject
  • Depending on the project, you may adapt the time spent on company premises. 

Language

A mix English / French both for oral communication and written documents and resources. Working alongside a French-speaking colleague will make it possible for you to pick up French quickly. 

 

Resources

Icam ensures that all the resources required for project success are within reach of the junior student consultants.

  • Icam experts and researchers
  • Proven methodological supports
  • Documentary base of numerous previous studies
  • Cutting-edge tools 
    • CAD, modelling and calculations (design)
    • workflow modelling
    • plastic recycling (injection, extrusion, 3D printing)
    • measuring equipment (material characterization, NDT, etc.) 
    • electronics and connected objects
    • custom-made test benches
    • assembly – prototyping

English subtitles coming soon.


 

Program structure

The program lasts 18 weeks. Project topics are defined by the “Services to Business” department together with industry partners.

Students are assigned to topics in pairs of “junior consultants”. Selection criteria are as follows:

    • students profiles and how their skills complement
    • competences required to perform the project
    • students’ preferences

Project workflow

The following R&D steps have to be performed by the junior consultants in order to design a robust and fitting solution to the initial problem: 

    • Conduct state of the art and benchmarking of the core technology or organizational topics
    • Consultation with experts and service providers
    • Field measurements and analysis
    • Scientific and experimental probation of models
    • Construction of prototypes
    • Sustainability analysis and overall impact analysis of the solution
    • Change management, communication and consultation with the company’s stakeholders, from technicians all the way to management

The table below gives a detailed view into a project roll-out:

PROJECT PROCESS

DETAIL CONTENTS

DELIVERABLES

Problem Definition

Assimilate the context and the issues for the company

Understand customer needs

Opportunity assessment

Situation Analysis

Identify resources

Identify constraints and risks

Define the objectives and validate them with the customer

Establish specifications

Feasibility Study

Risk Analysis

Specifications Summary

Choice of a strategy

Make a list of the strategic choices and choose a project strategy [securing, confidentiality, ethical choices  …]

Strategic Document  – Charter

Criteria for choice

Setup and Planning the Project

Create the Project Plan and Approach:

– Planning : validation stages, activities, expected deliverables

– Define and validate the working methods with all the stakeholders (internal, customer, external…)

– Gain perspective on the economic issues 

– Define key performance indicators (KPIs) and management tools

Organization Chart

Planning

Financial set-up

Project Implementation

Implement the project

Use the follow-up indicators (technical, financial …)

Establish corrective action plans (evolution of needs, making up for delays, managing hazards  …)

Manage communication with each one of the stakeholders

Dashboards

Intermediate deliverables and analysis

Operational reports

Synthesis

Manage the end of the project and handover

Check that the specifications correspond to the result

Make a report of the results of the project

Synthesize the technical and methodological inputs

Discuss future prospects

Extrapolate from experience

Written and oral syntheses of the results

Report and presentation to the customer

 


 

Students are in direct contact with the company representatives but have an Icam advisor or tutor who coaches and fosters the autonomy and efficiency of the junior consultant pair. 

The tutor and the team frequently conduct follow-up project reviews.

The success of the project is evaluated against the following:

  • Results of the study compared to the defined objectives of the mission
  • Interim evaluations with the tutor and company representative
  • Minutes of meetings (once a week in average) and decisions taken with the customer company throughout the course of the project
  • Technical report with all the specifications of the study results and project deliverables
  • Recommendations for project improvement
  • Final defense

Below is a detailed breakdown of the key milestones and evaluation criteria.

Project Workflow

Project Process

Detailed Contents

Deliverables

Problem Definition

Assimilate the context and the issues for the company

Understand customer needs

Opportunity assessment

Situation Analysis

Identify resources

Identify constraints and risks

Define the objectives and validate them with the customer

Establish specifications

Feasibility Study

Risk Analysis

Specifications Summary

Choice of a strategy

Make a list of the strategic choices and choose a project strategy [securing, confidentiality, ethical choices  …]

Strategic Document  – Charter

Criteria for choice

Setup and Planning the Project

Create the Project Plan and Approach:

– Planning : validation stages, activities, expected deliverables

– Define and validate the working methods with all the stakeholders (internal, customer, external…)

– Gain perspective on the economic issues 

– Define key performance indicators (KPIs) and management tools

Organization Chart

Planning

Financial set-up

Project Implementation

Implement the project

Use the follow-up indicators (technical, financial …)

Establish corrective action plans (evolution of needs, making up for delays, managing hazards  …)

Manage communication with each one of the stakeholders

Dashboards

Intermediate deliverables and analysis

Operational reports

Synthesis

Manage the end of the project and handover

Check that the specifications correspond to the result

Make a report of the results of the project

Synthesize the technical and methodological inputs

Discuss future prospects

Extrapolate from experience

Written and oral syntheses of the results

Report and presentation to the customer

Milestones and Assessment

Key Milestones

Details

Criteria – What is required to be assessed ?

Weight

1st Review of the Project

(additional reviews may be planned during the course of the project)

Objective(s): Ensure good project operation 

 

Each team reports the project progress to the Icam advisor and to the customer.  The project report is presented in the form of a summary (simple Powerpoint, mapping…)

Clarity and understanding of the context of the study and the stakes for the customer

Completeness of the objectives to be attained (technical, scientific and economic)

Path taken to attain these objectives, halting points or intermediate validation, inventory and prévention of risks, command of the project process

5%

Half-way Evaluation

Objective(s): Take stock half-way, stimulate and reposition, if necessary.

An auditor (industrial manager or leader of another team) can help the team re-focus half-way through the dissertation. He brings an expert and fresh view to the project.

Ownership and mastery of the subject and its progress towards agreed objectives and timings

Problem points are addressed with precision.

10%

Customer Closure Review

Results

Objective(s) : Enable the students to close the project for the customer in the presence of the Icam advisor.

 

Icam, which has authorized the team of students, evaluates all the work done and the delivered results. The Icam advisor will include customer satisfaction in this evaluation.

Result of the work with respect to the initial  contract  and the alterations during the project

Ability of the students to develop the whole project in a synthetic way, in an industrial  environment .

45%

Scientific dissertation report

Objective(s) : Analyze, develop and document the project processes and methods, scientific processes and knowledge industrial solutions and services provided.

 

Document is evaluated by the Icam advisor.

 

Quality of overall command and execution of the project.

Ability to structure the dossier, taking into account alterations where needed

Capacity for critical analysis of the processes and  methods

Scientific and technical consistency  (calculation notes in the annex…)

Evaluation of operation by possible potential buyers

20%

Academic defense with objectivity

Objective(s) : enable each student to expound on the areas covered by the Scientific Dissertation Report

 

Jury: ICAM advisor + Chairman of the Panel (member of the Management, Industrial Manager…)

 

Supporting material provided by the  student :

A summary in French and English (Major challenges and objectives of the project, results achieved, progress made in the technical and scientific areas)

– A flyer (one A4 or A3 sheet in French and English) giving a visual and commercial presentation of the project

Ability to give a report on the  consolidated knowledge and competencies acquired during the dissertation

Quality of the summary in French and English

Quality of the Flyer

20%

 

 

 

100%

 


 

Each project team has an Icam expert who coaches and fosters the autonomy and efficiency of the junior consultant pair. Students are in direct contact with the company representatives. 

  • Product & Process Innovation
    • Modeling and numerical simulation
    • Design studies – Special machines
    • Production of models, prototypes and test benches
    • Environmental analysis
    • Process and building energy efficiency
    • Traceability, RFID
    • Robotics
    • Composites and new materials
  • Industrial Methods & Organisation
    •  Implementing a continuous improvement approach 
    • Studies (value analysis, feasibility)
    • Process analysis, lean manufacturing, stock/surface… optimization
    • Tests and measurements – characterizations
    • Ergonomics and improvement of working conditions
  • Business Intelligence, Information systems
    • Software Development (Artificial intelligence, Web, BDD, vision…)
    • Embedded systems
    • Data Mining
    • Support for the implementation of Information Systems

 

Admission & fees
  • Application Schedule:
    • Fall Semester: April 1 – May 30
    • Spring Semester: September 1 – October 30 
  • Important dates: Consult the important dates in the Academic Section here.
  • Admission criteria
    • The complexity of the engineering thesis can be adapted to two levels:
      • for students in Engineering Master’s program
      • for students in the last year of their Scientific/Engineering Bachelor’s program. Juniors may already start applying if their universities already start thesis preparation in their junior year. 
    • Personal motivation
      • Eager to gain exposure to the different engineering fields, and management practices
      • Keen to work with industry experts
    • Language requirement: A B1 level in English and French is recommended. 
  • Tuition fees
    • Students from Partner Institutions: Students are bound by the general terms and conditions of registration at their home institution. Student exchange contracts stipulate that students will pay tuition and other administrative fees at the home institution.
    • Students from non-Partner Institutions: N/A – This program is currently open to students coming from partner institutions.

All students are expected to cover the cost of their travel to and from the host university and their living expenses. To estimate your other essential expenditures, please refer to our sample budget. You can check if you may benefit from scholarships and grants, details of which are shown in this link.

 

How to apply

Please refer to the procedures proposed by your internationationalization department or your program advisor. Should you have any other questions, feel free to contact us below: