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The Institute


Supported by Le Mans University and the CNRS, the "Institut d'Acoustique - Graduate School" was launched in 2018.

Inspired by the Anglo-Saxon graduate school model, the Institute aims to become an international reference centre for research and training in the field of acoustics. This ambition is supported by the high level of training, research and innovation conducted for many years at the University of Le Mans in the field of acoustics.

This association of universities and research organisations makes it possible to integrate into a single structure a research laboratory, master's courses, engineering courses and doctorates on a given theme: acoustics.

It is notably thanks to a “Programme d'Investissement d'Avenir (PIA3)”, that Le Mans University can initiate its École Universitaire de Recherche en acoustique (EUR).

The quality of the training courses, research projects and the working environment as well as the strong international outlook and the synergies within the national and local socio-economic world are the foundation of this project.

The acoustical ecosystem

A favourable environment

The development of the institute within Le Mans University is perfectly articulated with:

  • The Le Mans Technocampus project dedicated to acoustics and materials. Supported by the territorial authorities, Le Mans University, the CTTM, the IRT Jules Verne and their socio-economic partners, on the aspects of industrial partnerships and innovation.
  • The new building for research and training in acoustics, financed under the "Contrat Plan Etat Région Le Mans Acoustique 2014-2021", to come.
  • The creation of the ECND Academy workshop-school (a PIA2 winning project under the "Partnership for vocational training and employment" action), based on non-destructive evaluation and control, which uses acoustics-based techniques.
  • The continuation of actions initiated as part of the 2014-2020 “Institut Recherche Formation Innovation (RFI)” project called "Le Mans Acoustics", which was led by Le Mans University. The project, initiated and financed by the Pays de la Loire Region, also benefited from the support of Le Mans Métropole and our international partners. In addition to the international and research aspects, one of the objectives was to federate the actors in the field of acoustics in Le Mans (ITEMM, Talm-Le Mans, CTTM, etc.). This is now the mission of the Le Mans Acoustics Association.

The director and project leader


The project to create the Institute of Acoustics - Graduate School has been assigned to Vincent TOURNAT in 2017, professor at Le Mans University and CNRS Research Director at LAUM.

"I saw a rare opportunity to structure in an original, innovative and efficient way a coherent thematic group, which is acoustics at the University of Le Mans, both in terms of research and training.

Concerning the training, one of the main objectives of the institute is the articulation between research and training (training for and through research). The complete integration of master’s students into the laboratories (and more broadly of graduate students; 1st and 2nd year master's students and 4th and 5th year engineering students), as practised in the USA, but also elsewhere, such as in Germany for example, seems to me to be interesting for several reasons.”

The list of expected benefits is long: better motivation, involvement, recognition, maturity and success of the students, acquisition of specific (and numerous) research skills, better knowledge of the world of scientific research and the functioning of team work, vitality, influence and attractiveness of the laboratory...


"Such changes of practice, combined with scholarship schemes for international student and researcher mobility, the provision of innovation spaces, and the creation of a new international "Wave Physics & Acoustics" master's course, are the main objectives of the Institute of Acoustics - Graduate School.”


As a project cannot be uniquely comprised of methods, it is also through our structuring, our organisation and the creation of this "Institute of Acoustics" that we want to gain visibility and attractiveness, and to continue the efforts made for several years in this direction, notably thanks to the RFI Le Mans Acoustics.

As the leader of the "University Research School" project financed by the ANR via the “Programme d'Investissement d'Avenir (PIA3)”, Vincent TOURNAT was elected Director of the Institut d'Acoustique - Graduate School, for a 4-year term, by a majority vote in June 2020. The Institute was officially created within Le Mans University by the adoption of statutes in early 2020.

The goals


The training offered and the research activities in acoustics are currently distributed within several entities of the University. The objective is to strengthen the structural links and synergies between the Faculty of Science and Technology, the National Engineering School of Le Mans (ENSIM), the Acoustics Laboratory of the University of Le Mans (LAUM - UMR CNRS 6613) and the Doctoral School SPI (Sciences Pour l'Ingénieur).


  • Strengthening the link between education and research.
  • Consolidate the links between universities and research organisations (CNRS).
  • Increase cooperation with economic actors.
  • Promote the professional integration of students at both master's and doctoral level.
  • Improve the impact and international attractiveness of institutions.
  • Reinforce the link between Bachelor, Engineering training, Master and Doctorate.


Within 3 years, the Institute of Acoustics - Graduate School will have a specific legal status and governance. The idea is to group together the research, training and innovation activities in acoustics carried out within the university in order to pool and harmonise activities, in the interests of students and research.

At the same time, the accreditation of the new training on offer will make it possible to propose a new global and coherent training offer in acoustics at the University.

Research training through research

In terms of teaching methods, graduate students will work in total immersion in the laboratories. The notions of practical work and tutorials will disappear to leave more room for work in the laboratories and personal work. Throughout the course, tutors will accompany students (as in a PhD) as they work on specific research projects within specialised teams.


New international training course

A new Master’s course in Acoustics opened in September 2019, entitled Wave Physics and Acoustics. It aims to train students in research through research, with a strong international focus on wave physics, with a focus on acoustics.

Fifty percent of the learning time will be devoted to laboratory research within the LAUM (UMR CNRS 6613) on projects proposed by the researchers, most often in the framework of international collaborations.

Various methods and resources will be setup, such as mobility actions, scholarships for excellence, innovative teaching methods and project-based evaluation.


Adapted teaching rooms

As part of the implementation of the project, several pedagogical innovation rooms will be created. These are to offer students a reconfigurable place with adapted furniture, to meet, exchange on their research project, and work together or individually in the best conditions.

The first master's room was installed in September 2019, within the Faculty of Science & Technology.

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