For first-year students, the real-world experience comes through concrete projects. This year, the 2025 class had the mission “to design and build a most efficient wind turbine and its alternator, in harmony with its environment”.
The learning-by-doing method is at the heart of the engineering curriculum at ESILV. As early as the very first year of the introductory engineering course, ESILV students learn to design and develop products based on a set of clearly stated specifications. The introductory engineering projects course (PIX) aims to develop the students’ technical and collaborative skills while confronting them with the challenges of project management. The 2020-2021 topic concerns the development of urban wind power, the key to the ecological transition process for cities.
The 2025 Class first-year projects: Designing an urban wind turbine
The course on smart city solutions, offered from the first year of the introductory program, is an opportunity for ESILV students to discover the world’s energy transition innovations. Whether they choose the “Energy and Sustainable Cities” major or another specialisation in the engineering cycle, students find how renewable energies work and learn to analyse and evaluate existing techniques.
This year, to go further in green innovation, the students of the class of 2025 had to develop prototypes of urban wind turbines that met the requirements defined by the teachers: devices made of recycled materials, with adapted alternators and a design that respects the limitations and particularities of urban areas.
A quick aside: to better embody the city’s scenery, the students were imaginative in their choice of plant and decorative elements surrounding the wind turbines. One of the challenges is to design wind turbines that elegantly harness the wind. The 2025 class’ Imagination and Exploration project, which began in November 2020, involved no less than 77 teams. It was a complex exercise, but also an eye-opening one. “What I liked most was the teamwork,” says Hugo, a first-year student.
“A project that lasts a whole year is a first for many of us. But, for Penelope, it was the idea of “starting from nothing and ending up with an urban wind turbine” that challenged her most.
Some 40 “project road managers” accompanied the teams during all the stages of the project. Among the project management experts who monitored and evaluated the PIX project were several 4th and 5th-year students. Agathe, the class of 2021, is one of them.
“As a student, I have a better interaction with the younger students, having been a student before, and I have done quite a few projects at school. I like to see how they think and also better understand where I started from and how I progressed.”
Throughout the engineering curriculum, projects in engineering school allow students to discover technology and project-group work. Discover the student projects at ESILV.