The HVAC and energy engineering specialization trains HVAC engineers for the construction sector and industry, capable of designing energy and resource-efficient, low environmental impact HVAC systems, of supervising their implementation and of managing their operation and maintenance. These systems control artificial climates in residential, tertiary and industrial buildings.
A qualified HVAC and energy engineer is capable of managing the technical, organizational, economic and human sides of projects in the main areas of HVAC engineering(heating, ventilation, air conditioning), sanitary installations, building energy engineering, thermal and cooling energy production and distribution and distributed generation, air quality, etc.
He or she will apply their skills in an approach that combines sobriety, energy efficiency and promotion of renewable and recovered energies. HVAC engineers therefore have a major role to play in the response to the challenges of the energy transition and to the energy and climate issues.
This aims to give the trainee engineer the knowledge and skills to enable him or her to adapt to changes in the profession or the environment and be operational as soon as he or she qualifies from INSA. The common thread running through the academic training can summed up by the following keywords:
- energy and environmental efficiency,
- promotion of renewable and recovered energies.
Training backed by the profession
As well as the training at INSA Strasbourg, complementary technical training based on the current and future needs of this sector of industry is provided in the last term of the course in a training center in the Paris region: at the COSTIC (Scientific and Technical Committee of the HVAC Industry), except for the architecture-engineering course.
Training by and in companies
Throughout the training course, in-company technical days are organized at manufacturers’, as well as professional encounters and visits to installations, building sites and trade fairs.
Some of the practical professional teaching is wholly or partly done by engineers from partner companies.
The department has built strong, long-term partnerships with institutions and businesses, at both regional and national level.
These partnerships can take the form of year group sponsoring, tutoring of students, bursaries, etc. and the contacts established make it easier for students to find internship places and jobs.
Collaboration with the architecture specialization
A joint course on thermal building design is run for architecture students and for engineering students on the HVAC and energy engineering course. Joint projects are conducted to introduce students to high energy performance in buildings. Mixed teams are formed to enter architecture competitions.
Over the duration of the course students must complete four mandatory internships:
- at the end of Year 1, a “discovery” placement in a company (4 weeks minimum)
- at the end of year 3, a practical placement on a jobsite or in a production setting (4 weeks minimum)
- at the end of Year 4, a technician placement in a design office (8 weeks minimum)
- during the last semester of the course, a period spent shadowing a project engineer in an operational or installation company (4 weeks).
final course project
The engineering students’ final five or six months are devoted to a personal project on a subject proposed by a company, a design body or a research laboratory.
The first aim of the final course project (PFE) is to place the student in a situation of complete responsibility to carry out a task entrusted to him or her by the host body.
This project must be a targeted “study” that:
- draws on the scientific, technical and project management knowledge learned in the classroom,
- demonstrates an ability to take into account the “management” and “organizational” aspects,
- shows that the student has a good grasp of the context behind the project.
The engineering student is placed in a real situation, focused on a real issue that he or she must resolve. He or she must meet a need expressed by the host structure. Faced with this problem, the student is expected to show autonomy, initiative and the ability to put into practice the knowledge and skills acquired during the training.
The academic training given, completed by the internships and final course project (PFE) produces engineers with skills in the following areas:
Design of climate control systems
- analysis and restatement of the need
- dimensioning and modeling of systems with the aim of improving energy efficiency (reduced energy consumption, increasing the share of renewables, energy recovery) in line with the latest regulations and standards.
- inclusion of the environmental (air quality, life cycle, carbon content, etc.) and safety dimensions.
- introduction of a commissioning process (development, tracking of energy performances)
conduct and implementation of energy renovation operations
- introduction of an energy management approach applied to the building and industry sectors (from auditing to monitoring).
Management of multi-stakeholder projects
- conducting projects in a collaborative approach with other parties involved (architects, etc.)
- taking into account the interactions between the different parties involved in a project.
Engineer and architect
INSA Strasbourg’s dual architect and engineer’s training begins at baccalaureate + 1 year level (after the INSA Strasbourg first year course for the engineers, after the competitive entrance exam for the architects). This is the only way of joining the course.
Students can also train in architecture by choosing the 6-year dual engineering and architecture course. They will gain a bachelor’s in architecture and engineering (a degree issued by the school equivalent to a bachelor’s degree in architecture) on top of their INSA diploma in engineering.
Following the bachelor’s in architecture and engineering, the students can apply to spend an extra three years on a single course to prepare the two INSA Strasbourg diplomas, in HVAC and energy engineering and architecture (7-year course).
This specialization can be taken as a sandwich course.
The scientific and technical training provided well equips students to continue their studies with a PhD in a laboratory in France or abroad in the fields of heat transfer or building and systems energy engineering. Students can go on to prepare a thesis while working in the civil and energy engineering team at the ICube laboratory: research in building energy engineering, on energy systems (micro-CHP, geothermal energy), innovative wall systems (ventilated walls).
Double degrees offers double degrees with institutions in Germany, Austria, Canada, Romania and Morocco.
The most common areas where graduates find work are:
- in HVAC equipment installation companies (project engineer),
- in engineering offices or consultancies, or with project owner or project management assistance firms (design engineer)
- in energy services, operating or maintenance companies
- with HVAC equipment manufacturers (R&D engineer, marketing, etc.)
- in energy production and distribution companies
- in industrial companies (methods or works engineering working in energy management)
- in research laboratories (research engineer)
- with local authorities (Energy-Climate/sustainable development project manager, territorial engineer, etc.)
- in circular economy companies (re-use of resources)
- creation of new businesses (SMEs, SMIs)
Students also find openings in design offices, professional bodies, research and training institutions.
Jean-Baptiste Bouvenot, head of the HVAC and energy engineering specialization
Charlène Wolff, secretary of the HVAC and electrical engineering department