The Centre is a mixed research unit of the CNRS (UMR 7633, Department of Sciences for the Engineer). Its aim is to conduct scientific research of the highest international quality on topics of industrial interest. It is a member of the Fédération Francilienne des Laboratoires en Mécanique et Matériaux whose purpose is to coordinate the initiatives of research laboratories in the Ile de France (Paris) region working on this theme. It maintains close links with major research institutions (CEA, ONERA) and technical centres (CETIM).

The École des Mines de Paris/ARMINES, the Génopole and the INSERM have established a joint microscopy and site imaging pole at Évry. Within this context, the partners have acquired a new transmission electron microscope, with substantial support from the Ile de France Region and the Department of the Essonne.

The Centre's researchers possess an international culture and a broad range of scientific and technical skills (chemistry, physics, materials science, mechanical engineering,...). They have at their disposal a comprehensive range of scientific equipment (facilities for physico-chemical and microstructural elaboration, processing and analysis, machines for mechanical testing and multiprocessor computers for numerical calculations,...) operated by highly qualified technical staff.

A feature of the research activities of the Centre is the close link between experimental approaches and the modelling of physical phenomena. The outcome of these activities are more and more frequently integrated into structural codes. A particular case is the material model library software, linked to the commercial suite of the finite elements code, which is now used in academic institutions, research centres and public and industrial research and development facilities all over the world.

The Ecole des Mines de Paris, and hence the Centre des Matériaux, is part of the Institut Carnot M.I.N.E.S. This distinction was awarded to the Group of Ecoles des Mines in 2006 by the French government in recognition of their success in developing collaborative research partnerships with industry.

The Centre des Matériaux is a major player in all relevant national research initiatives (ANR, PREDIT, DGA, national poles of competitiveness, Association des Structures de Recherche sous Contrat,...) as well as their international counterparts. It also enjoys the assistance of the permanent representation of ARMINES at the European Union and its membership of the European Association of Research and Technology (EARTO).

The Franco-German Fraunhofer ILT Laser Centre (CLFA) was also established recently at the Centre des Matériaux. The purpose of the partnership is to develop laser applications for materials processing.

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