French astronaut Michel TOGNINI’s visit to EPF Troyes | EPF Ecole d'ingénieurs

French astronaut Michel TOGNINI’s visit to EPF Troyes

Publié le 04/06/2019

On March 13th, Michel TOGNINI, a French astronaut from the European Space Agency, paid a visit to students, research engineers and teachers-researchers from the Troyes Campus. This was a key moment to exchange over scientific and technological practices.

Meeting Michel TOGNINI

Michel TOGNINI, a French astronaut from the European Space Agency was born in 1949 and graduated as an engineer from the French Air Force Academy in Salon-de-Provencein 1973.

After a career as a fighter pilot, he was selected in 1985 as an astronaut by the CNES (French space agency). He joined the Antarès mission in 1992 and carried out Franco-Soviet experiences for 14 days on board the international MIR space station.


He was appointed Head of the ESA astronauts in 2003, and head of ESA in Cologne in 2005. He was made Commander of the French Légion d’Honneur, Officer of the French Order of Merit, and distinguished member of the Soviet Order and Peoples’ friendship.

Michel TOGNINI was visiting Aube as part of a project to meet students from schools throughout the French territory. The visit was made possible with the collaboration of Isabelle VASSEUR, coordinator of the pilot centre ‘La Main à la pâte’.

On Anne MATHIEU’s initiative, executive assistant of EPF’s Troyes Campus, a scientific partnership was recently signed with said pilot centre. This tutoring that focuses on knowledge sharing, dear to Michel TOGNINI, is clearly different from other types of participations as it gathers teachers-researchers, research engineers and students around scientific and technological practices, with a view of mutual enrichment and share of competences.

Raising awareness to knowledge transmission and saving the planet

Once the introductions were made, Julien KAUFMANN - a research engineer at EPF - tackled the subject of thermal storage which revealed the major interest of one of the Troyes Scientific projects which blends two research topics: 3D printing and building thermics. “The metal printer that the Troyes campus is now equipped with will open new perspectives for metal foam manufacturing which, when coupled with a phase-change material, is the future of thermal storage” says Julien KAUFMANN. Metal printing is, according to Michel TOGNINI “a technology which will revolutionize the manufacturing of parts and tools directly in space and fill the gaps of polymer printing”. Students, teachers-researchers and research engineers were given the opportunity to debate on different topics with the astronaut such as energy control, notably through the Troyes Campus building (Low Energy Building) and its solar panels, Canadian well and connection to the biomass heating plant.

A presentation on measurement of thermal comfort by a thermo-physiological simulator (thermal manikin) contributed to enriching the debates.

This was also an opportunity to exchange on projects carried out by the students from the Building & Eco-cities Major and notably a renovation project of a Troyes secondary school in collaboration with 10-year old pupils who will be attending the school shortly, said the French astronaut.

The Troyes Campus would like to thank Mr. Michel TOGNINI for his time and these debates.