Estelle Iacona is elected President of Université Paris-Saclay
On Tuesday 28 June 2022, Estelle Iacona was elected President of Université Paris-Saclay during a meeting held by the members of the University’s Governing Board. Professor Estelle Iacona has been Vice President for the University’s Governing Board since March 2020. Since the appointment of Sylvie Retailleau as Minister of Higher Education and Research to the French government on 20 May 2022, Estelle Iacona has been the University’s interim president.
During a meeting held by the Governing Board on 28 June 2022, Estelle Iacona was elected during the first round of voting, with 25 votes in favour of her election, and 8 blank votes, out of a total of 33 voting members. The University’s Governing Board is comprised of staff and student representatives, as well as figures from outside the institution. Brigitte Gauthier, a specialist in American culture and civilisation and a Professor at Evry University, was also a candidate in the election.
During her first speech as president to the University’s Governing Board, Estelle Iacona reminded the board of her project, which “is, of course, part of the continuity of the actions undertaken since 2020. The priority policy will be to consolidate and sustain the institutional model, bringing together the strengths, potential and complementary assets of universities and Grandes Écoles, in close collaboration with national research organisations.” The newly-elected president was pleased that, “this great research-intensive university will contribute to understanding the challenges of the 21st century and offer lasting solutions to build a fairer and more humane society. Through its core missions, which cover undergraduate study to PhDs, the production of knowledge, and its ambitions for sustainable development, innovation, dialogue with civil society and the relationship between political decision makers and citizens, Université Paris-Saclay will take its place as a driving force in the European area.”
On 5 and 6 July 2022, the president will propose to the Governing Board, the Research Commission and the Commission for Education and University Life that they proceed to the election of their respective vice presidents. The University’s remaining governing bodies remain in place and the elected members of the institution’s various boards will complete their current mandates until their term of office at the start of 2024.
Estelle Iacona’s Biography
Estelle Iacona is an engineer and a graduate of Polytech Nantes. She obtained her PhD from the École Centrale Paris, today known as CentraleSupélec. Funded by the European Space Agency, Estelle Iacona worked as a postdoctoral fellow at Johns Hopkins University in the United States, where she has recently been made a member of the university’s Society of Scholars. Estelle’s research focuses on gas radiation and coupled heat transfers, and her main publications cover the fields of applied physics, heat and mass transfer, the radiative properties of gases, porous media, as well as future energy challenges.
As a professor at CentraleSupélec since 2007, Estelle Iacona was deputy head, and later head of the Macroscopic Molecular Energy and Combustion Laboratory (EM2C - UPR CNRS). In 2012, she was appointed Vice President and Head of Research at CentraleSupélec, before becoming Executive Vice President for Academic and Research Affairs in 2016 until 2018. In 2019, Estelle Iacona became advisor to the President of CentraleSupélec for the deployment of the Université Paris-Saclay project. In May 2019, she joined the presidency team at the Paris-Saclay Community of Universities and Institutions (COMUE), coordinating cross-cutting projects for the French national Investments for the Future Programme (PIA). In March 2020, she was appointed Vice President for the Governing Board of Université Paris-Saclay.
Estelle Iacona was also a member of the board at the École Centrale Casablanca from 2015 to 2019. She is also an independent member of the Board of Directors for XFAB Silicon Foundries, which designs and produces integrated circuits for industry stakeholders on six sites around the world and currently employs 4,000 people.