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Photonics engineering

Science and technology of light

Engineering students specialising in « Photonics » are trained to have the skills to design, develop and implement systems functioning primarily with optical and optoelectronic technologies, to use these systems within their electronic and software operating environments. Graduates can work in all fields where modern photonics are actively used including telecommunications, imaging, visual technology, diagnostics and optical measurements, industrial instrumentation and metrology.

Photonics encompasses all la lumière -related (photon-related) sciences and technologies, ranging from ultraviolet to infrared. Photonics is one of the six Key Enabling Technologies (KET) recognised by the European Commission. These technologies are considered to be primary innovation generators due to their continued expansion throughout numerous industrial fields/their wide spectrum of application areas.

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Photonics technologies are a key development factor for many high-growth industries such as the environment, health, telecommunications, car manufacturing, lighting, etc... Photonics engineers have technical expertise in all areas relating to light emissions, detection and propagation/transmission, particularly with regards to lasers. Their electronics and signal processing skills enable them to integrate complete photonics systems (from components to the man-to-machine interfacing).

"A multidisciplinary innovation-orientated training course"

Photonics students are gifted engineers with highly-developed knowledge of components and photonic systems focused within four key areas of interest:

  • "optics" : light properties, components, fibres;
  • "physics" : light sources, detectors, sensors;
  • "electronics, numerical systems and signal processing";
  • "photonics systems": methodological approach to the three previous areas, aimed towards potential applications.

They have in-depth knowledge of specialised fields such as optical and network telecommunications, instrumentation and metrology, biophotonics and industrial photonics applications.

Throughout their training course, ENSSAT engineers benefit from considerable core mathematics-based teaching. They also undertake company life and management training in social sciences modules.


"From fundamentals to application opportunities"
The photonics course is centred around acquiring strong photonics knowledge, expertise in the fields of optics and related physics coupled with additional electronics, signal processing and numerical systems training.

The 1st academic year focuses on the study of core fundamentals, beginning with an "adjustment semester" tailored to the students' backgrounds.

The 2nd year is dedicated to learning the advanced techniques photonics engineers need to master. It enables students to acquaint themselves with modern photonics topics such as sources, optical components, detectors, propagation/light transmission, interfacing and signal processing techniques, etc.

The 3rd year offers students the chance to further their training abroad, work in research or management and pursue opportunities in the fields of:

  • Optical and network telecommunications
  • Instrumentation and metrology
  • Biophotonics
  • Industrial photonics applications

"Looking towards future technologies"

ENSSAT is one of the few engineering schools in France offering a 3-year photonics training course. This enables our engineers to acquire highly-developed technological knowledge, be open-minded and to perfect the necessary abilities to adapt their skills efficiently within the extremely innovative field of photonics.

The educational methods of the photonics training course focus on:

  • offering a high-level optics and photonics training course: lessons are continuously reviewed and adapted by the Foton laboratory teacher-engineers who are involved in national and international research projects;
  • providing a multidisciplinary training course by combining three main areas of study: photonics, electronics and computing;
  • building knowledge through hands-on training : students have access to regularly updated cutting-edge training equipment, undertake technological projects in ENSSAT's research laboratories and gain professional experience by completing a work placement lasting a minimum of 40 weeks;
  • making the most of the region's outstanding economic status : the school is located in the heart of  Anticipa technology hub, the 'Photonics Bretagne' group of companies, and the Images and Networks hub. ENSSAT also boasts established partnerships with many small and medium-sized photonics companies as well as key industry players. Accordingly, a number of lessons are taught by engineers and company Directors working at the cutting-edge of innovation.