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Meet the Engineering School Leading the Way in Energy Management Projects and Economic Decisions

Meet the Engineering School Leading the Way in Energy Management Projects and Economic Decisions main image

Sponsored by École des Ponts ParisTech

Energy resources are a vital element in societies and economies all over the world as they support domains such as public health, education, industrial production and agriculture.

Population and economic growth, as well as the growing interconnections between countries mean the world’s energy systems are becoming larger and more complex. Pressures on planetary resources and environmental issues, including climate change and threats to biodiversity, question the way we produce and consume energy globally.

Innovation is the key to ensuring energy resources are available, accessible, affordable and acceptable in the 21st century, which means highly qualified workers with the skills to design, evaluate and manage energy projects are in demand more than ever.

We spoke with the specialists at École des Ponts ParisTech to find out more.

Finding the solution

Institutions such as École des Ponts ParisTech are developing new training programs to ensure the next generation of managers and decision makers are up to the challenge.

“Today’s energy markets are going through major changes almost all over the world, which offers many opportunities for our students at École des Ponts ParisTech,” said Louis-François Durret, Director of the Post-Master’s program in Management of Energy Projects.

Given the importance of the energy sector worldwide and its highly technical nature, Durret believes a well-rounded approach to managing such complex and multi-faceted projects is imperative: “Energy projects are more complex to manage than projects in other businesses, so it’s key we as project managers have a holistic approach to such projects and keep checking the coherence of project components.”

When asked how the École des Ponts ParisTech Post-Master program prepares its students to develop and manage energy projects, Durret said: “The first important step of a project is the design of a sound and robust business model.

“In order to achieve this, in short, one must fully understand the energy market evolutions, societal aspects of the project since the public acceptance is a prerequisite for a smooth project evaluation, the pro and cons of the technologies that can be used, as well as their lifecycle characteristics.”

“The project will then go through all the steps of the financial evaluation, and once approved, be finally implemented. A project team will then be set up, the project governance decided upon, and the supply chain will be developed.”

‘Project management is in our DNA’

“École des Ponts ParisTech alumni have left remarkable footprints in France and worldwide. They keep reshaping our planet, building hydro-dams and nuclear plants, highways, high speed trains and other infrastructures, as well as designing electricity tarification systems,” said Durret.

Managing complex energy projects means dealing with a number of big challenges – one being the evolution of technologies, market demands and consumer needs within the project lifetime, so the skills and knowledge students learn at École des Ponts ParisTech is crucial to ensuring success.

“We train our students to see clearly through all the phases of the project life, from design to execution, and to also understand how the various aspects of the project are connected and impact each other, such as technology, supply chain, business model or financing plan. A dimension that is becoming more and more important today is to think and plan the end of life of energy projects.”

Project evaluation, viability and decision making tools

As we’ve already mentioned, all projects go through rigorous processes to ensure their viability and practicality – this is particularly important in a field where technological and business model innovation constantly reshuffle in the energy transition.

This is also where close connections with logistics and other critical business functions, such as cost-benefit analyses and economic decision tools come into play.

Carine Staropoli, Director of the Master of Science in Economic Decision And Cost Benefit Analysis (EDCBA) told us: “In addition to managing and financing, the MSc EDCBA also focuses on project evaluation which is complementary to the Advanced Master in Management for Energy Projects.”  

The MSc EDCBA offers a set of courses that are dedicated to the energy sector which are essential for anyone who’s interested in working on energy management systems and projects. It also covers aspects which can help to better understand and evaluate investment decisions in this field, including how projects are integrated into the broader economic and social context.

Staropoli said: “The MSc in EDCBA trains students to have an in-depth knowledge of the tools and methodologies necessary to evaluate investment projects and public policy applied within various sectors.”

Students study a range of applications of cost-benefit analysis methodologies as part of the program, including energy and sustainable development, digital transformation and smart cities.

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Written by Stephanie Lukins
As the Head of Sponsored Content for TopUniversities.com and TopMBA.com, Stephanie creates and publishes a wide range of articles for universities and business schools across the world. She attended the University of Portsmouth where she earned a BA in English Language and an MA in Communication and Applied Linguistics.

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