As head of the Social and Management Sciences department at IMT Atlantique, Professor Bénédicte Geffroy is fully committed to interdisciplinarity: "Technological universities teach their students to solve complex problems and encourage interdisciplinarity."
"Our mission is to train engineers in the challenges we face in environmental and societal transformation," continues Bénédicte Geffroy. "The department's aim is not to train specialists in the field, but to provide scientific teaching based on research."
The SSG department also includes research projects involving extensive interdisciplinary collaboration. Sometimes, this is the case within the department itself, with projects bringing together sociologists, economists and management science researchers on subjects such as digital transformation.
But more often than not, several departments tare involved. For example, SSG researchers have worked with their colleagues in the Subatech laboratory on the role of scenarios in the energy transition and the resilience of combined energy sources in the future.
Some large-scale projects even involve a very wide range of profiles - and therefore disciplines. For example, Labex IRON ("Innovative Radiopharmaceuticals in Oncology and Neurology"), which brings together some 160 researchers from a wide range of backgrounds: chemistry, radiochemistry, radiopharmacy, biology, nuclear medicine, medical physics - and also social and human sciences. For the SHS founding project, research focused on the spread of innovations in nuclear medicine, particularly in the case of multimodal imaging.
"Generally speaking, IMT Atlantique encourages collaboration between disciplines," enthuses Professor Bénédicte Geffroy. Every year, the research department organises a 2-day research seminar attended by lecturers from the various departments. This is an opportunity for researchers to present their work and gain an overview of the activities of other departments. Another recent implementation is the "Integrated Scientific and Technological Initiatives" (ISTI), with a very broad scope - such as cybersecurity, artificial intelligence or the factory of the future - all of which help to encourage disciplines to work together.