The CNRS Institute for Engineering and Systems Sciences (INSIS) coordinates research at the interface of science, technology and society's requirements. The work of its laboratories focuses on the design, optimization and recycling of complex objects and systems. The research carried out concentrates both on how to obtain these objects and systems and how to operate them in hostile or constrained environments, and on their use for the reasoned development of humanity.

Responding to major socio-economic challenges

Environment, energy, health, telecommunications, transport, defence, industry; the aims and systems inherent in INSIS research relate to all types of fields. To meet these major challenges facing society, the Institute leads and coordinates the activities of its laboratories by relying on high-level academic and industrial partnerships.

Ensuring the continuum between fundamental research, engineering and innovation

Objects of study in the making

The research conducted at the INSIS concerns study objects to be designed and optimized, which are still in the process of development at the time when interest focuses on them. This characteristic leads to specific fundamental activities and research into the methods of the engineering sciences themselves. Most of these are contextualized by the evolution of society and its major issues, but also by the needs of industry.

An integrative or systemic approach

The INSIS is thus committed to developing the disciplinary base of engineering and systems sciences by advancing knowledge, methods and technologies. The Institute advocates an integrative (multi-scale and multi-physical) or systemic approach (taking into account the different subsystems and their interactions).

Multi- and interdisciplinary research

Most of the study objects tackled by the INSIS laboratories mobilize multidisciplinary corpuses and require interdisciplinary approaches (within the institute or via associations with other institutes).

The added value of academic and industrial partnerships

Universities and engineering schools

The INSIS laboratories are mostly co-managed with universities or engineering schools. The latter are partners with strong specific features. CNRS personnel account for a quarter of the permanent staff of the INSIS units, mainly made up of lecturer-researchers, thus ensuring a strong link between research and training.

The INSIS laboratories are heavily involved in the national network of doctoral schools in engineering sciences.

The REDOC SPI site


Interactions with the Epic Institutes

The INSIS maintains close links with various public establishments of industrial and commercial natures (CEA, DGA, Onera, Cnes, CSTB, IRSN, Ifsttar, etc.), making it possible to increase the interdisciplinarity and complementarity of the skills within its laboratories.


The INSIS is highly focused on socio-economic issues. So, over the years it has forged strong partnerships with various players in industry. Priorities are the creation of joint laboratories with major groups (Thales, PSA, Total, etc.) or SME-ETI, encouraging the creation of businesses or the establishment of strategic partnerships, both nationally and internationally. The INSIS is also involved in competitiveness clusters, the Carnot Institutes, technological research institutes (IRT) and institutes for energy transition (ITE).

Two regulatory bodies for monitoring and evaluation

The Institute Scientific Council (ISC)

Like all the CNRS Institutes, the INSIS is supervised by an Institute Scientific Council (ISC), which assists it in implementing its scientific policy. Council members are consulted in the event of disagreement over recruitment and the creation or closure of units.

The National Committee for Scientific Research (CoNRS)

The work of researchers and laboratories is evaluated by the National Committee for Scientific Research (CoNRS). The INSIS runs three interdisciplinary sections and commissions.

The CoNRS sections led by the INSIS

Section 8: Micro- and nanotechnologies, micro- and nanosystems, photonics, electronics, electromagnetism, electrical energy.

Section 9: Solid mechanics, Materials and structurals, Biomechanics, Acoustics.

Section 10: Fluid and reactive media: transport, transfer and transformation processes.

The institute's research also concerns sections 4 (Atoms and Molecules, Optics and Lasers, Hot Plasma Physics), 7 (Information sciences: signals, images, languages, automatic control, robotics, interactions, hardware-software integrated systems) and 28 (Pharmacology Engineering and technologies for health-biomedical imaging).

Organization chart


Director (1)

Management assistant

Scientific team

Micro- and nanotechnologies, micro- and nanosystems, photonics, electronics, electromagnetism, electrical energy (2)

Scientific Deputy Director (section 8)

Nanotechnologies, photonics, Renatech network

Scientific Officer


Scientific Officer

Acoustics, automation, bio-engineering, mechanics of materials and structures, robotics (4)

Scientific Deputy Director (sections 9, 28 et 7)

Mechanics of solids

Scientific Officer

Bio-engineering and bio-mechanic

Scientific Officer

Mechanics of solids

Scientific Officer

Bio-engineering and bio-mechanics

Scientific Officer

Fluid, processes, plasmas, transfers (1)

Scientific Deputy Director (sections 10 et 4)

Process Engineering

Scientific Officer

Site Policy

Scientific Deputy Director

Cellule Énergie du CNRS (The CNRS Energy Cell) (2)

Scientific Deputy Director

Scientific Officer

Cross-disciplinary missions


Scientific Officer

ITMO Technologies for Health - AVIESAN Alliance

Scientific Officer

High Performance Computing

Scientific Deputy Director

Continuing training courses

Scientific Officer

Scientific and Technical Information (STI)


Research Infrastructures

Scientific Officer

Administrative Team

Administrative Assistant Director (2)



Missions, tools and event logistics

Research platforms and infrastructures (1)

Implementation of the INSIS actions for platforms, administrative coordination and animation of the Renatech network.

Research platforms and infrastructures project manager

Structures and bodies (2)

Evaluation, creation, renewal and termination of research structures. Changing the scope of units. Interface with the CSI and sections 8, 9 and 10 of the CoNRS.

Structures and bodies manager

Human Resources (2)

Assistance in decision-making by the INSIS Scientific Directorate for the allocation of permanent and non-permanent posts. Follow-up of HR campaigns and processing of individual HR applications.

Human Resources manager

Human Resources administrator

Finance (2)

Elaboration of the Institute's budget request on behalf of the laboratories; preparation and arbitration of appropriations for the laboratories. Management of the INSIS units' budgets and follow-up of the Institute's PEPS campaigns.

Finance manager

Finance administrator

Communication (2)

Advice and support for laboratories in their communication and scientific mediation activities, promotion of their achievements to target audiences and enhance the influence of engineering on CNRS communication.

Communication manager

Communication officer

International and Europe (1)

Implementation of the INSIS international policy; support for researchers in their European and international projects, as well as in their international mobility.

International and Europe manager

Partnership research and innovation (1)

Follow-up and support of the units' promotion and development activities, implementation of the INSIS partnership policy (joint laboratories, industrial PEPS, GIS, GDR industrial club) and CNRS innovation policy (pre-maturity programme).

Partnership research and innovation manager

The INSIS in figures

As the third largest scientific community in the CNRS after the INSHS and the INSB, the INSIS represents more than 16,000 people working in research within several types of structures: joint research units (UMR), joint service units (UMS), research networks (GDR), research federations (FR).

16,600 research staff in 168 research structures

180 structures de recherche, dont :
111 unités de recherche, dont 7 à l'international
9 unités de service
8 unités d'appui et de recherche
2 équipes mixtes de recherche
143 unités INSIS secondaires
16 757 personnels de recherche, dont :

Sources :
Zento janvier 2020

6 646 chercheurs et enseignants, dont 1 114 CNRS
2 742 ingénieurs et techniciens, dont 1 042 CNRS
7 369 non permanents (doctorants, post-doctorants, agents contractuels)
8,2 % part des personnels permanents CNRS Ingénierie parmi les personnels du CNRS