List of École Polytechnique alumni

This is a list of notable people affiliated with the École Polytechnique. Alumni of the École Polytechnique are traditionally referred to as "X", or "Xnnnn", where nnnn stands for the year of admission into the school.

Nobel laureatesEdit

Name Class year Notability Reference(s)
Jean Tirole (1953– ) X1973 Economist, Nobel prize in Economics winner (2014) [1]
Maurice Allais (1911–2010) X1931 Economist, Nobel prize in Economics winner (1988) [2]
Henri Becquerel (1852–1908) X1872 Physicist, Nobel Prize in Physics winner 1903, [for] his discovery of radioactivity [3]

Science, technology, and mathematicsEdit

Name Class year Notability Reference(s)
François Arago (1786–1853) X1803 Mathematician, physicist, astronomer and politician. [4]
Roger Balian X1952 Physicist, noted for his works on quantum thermodynamics and theory of measurement, including the Balian-Low theorem
Gérard Berry X1967 Computer scientist, member of French Academy of Sciences, professor at Collège de France
Urbain Le Verrier X1833 Astronomer, predicted the existence and position of Neptune using only mathematics, leading to its discovery.
Paul Bert X1853 Father of Aviation Medicine
Hervé Faye X1832 Astronomer, discovered the periodic comet 4P/Faye on 22 November 1843.
Armand Considère X1860 Engineer, notable mainly for his work in confined concrete
Roger Béteille X1939 Notable aeronautical engineer, mainly for his work in Airbus A300
Jean Bertin X1938 Engineer, inventor of Aérotrain,a hovercraft train
Louis-Emile Bertin X1858 Naval engineer,reformed the Japanese military fleet,introduced the Jeune École philosophy
Fulgence Bienvenüe X1872 Father of Paris Métro
Jean-Michel Bismut X1967 Mathematician (Probability theory; differential geometry); recipient of Prix Ampère (1990); Member of French Academy of Sciences.
Yves Bréchet X1981 Physicist, materials scientist, recipient of Körber European Science Award,member of the French Academy of Sciences
Albert Caquot X1899 Engineer,considered the best living French engineer during half a century
Henry Darcy X1821 Work on hydraulics,notably the Darcy–Weisbach equation
Auguste Bravais X1829 Physicist, noted for his works on crystallography and Bravais lattices
Irénée-Jules Bienaymé X1815 Statistician
Alexis Thérèse Petit X1811 Physicist, noted for his works on Dulong-Petit Law
Pierre Louis Dulong X1801 Physicist, noted for his works on Dulong-Petit Law
Felix Savary X1815 Astronomer who worked on double stars
Jacques Babinet X1812 Notable work on optics and meteorology
Henri-Alexandre Deslandres X1872 Astronomer, studied the behavior of the atmosphere of the Sun. Director of the Meudon and Paris Observatories
Joseph Louis François Bertrand (1822–1900) X1839 French mathematician who worked in the fields of number theory, differential geometry, probability theory, economics and thermodynamics.. [5]
Jean-Baptiste Biot (1774–1862) X1794 Physicist, astronomer, and mathematician who established the reality of meteorites, and studied the polarization of light. [6]
Jean-Victor Poncelet X1807 Mathematician and engineer
Jean-Pierre Bourguignon X1966 Mathematician
Christophe Breuil X1989 Proved the Taniyama–Shimura conjecture together with Fred Diamond, Richard Taylor and Brian Conrad in 1999
Henri Georges Doll X1921 Notable geophysical physicist,developer of the jeep borne mine detector
Édouard Brézin X1958 Theoretical physicist, winner of Dirac Prize
François Hussenot X1930 Aeronautical engineer, perhaps the first person who invented the flight data recorder
Guy du Merle (1908–1993) X1927 Aerospace engineer, test pilot and first director-general of the École nationale de l'aviation civile (French civil aviation university)
Henri Brocard (1845–1922) X1865 Mathematician, Brocard points are named after him. [7]
Huy Duong, Bui (born 1937) X1957 French Academy of Sciences, European Academy of Sciences [8]
Emmanuel Candès X1990 Statistician, Mathematician, winner of Pólya Prize, Fellow of the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics
Rama Cont X1991 Mathematician, winner of Louis Bachelier Prize (French Academy of Sciences) (2010), Fellow of the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics
Jean-Marc Fontaine X1965 Mathematician, member of the French Academy of Sciences
Yves Lambert X1956 Aerospace engineer, former Director General of Eurocontrol
Nicolas Léonard Sadi Carnot (1796–1832) X1812 French physicist, mathematician and engineer who gave the first successful theoretical account of heat engines, the Carnot cycle, and laid the foundations of the second law of thermodynamics. [9]
Augustin Louis Cauchy (1789–1857) X1805 Mathematician, formulated the residue theorem [10]
André-Louis Cholesky X1895 Mathematician, known for the Cholesky decomposition
Georges Charpy (1865–1945) X1887 Invented the Charpy impact test
Michel Chasles (1793–1880) X1812 Mathematician [11]
Henri-Louis le Chatelier (1850–1936) X1869 Chemist, most famous for devising Le Chatelier's principle [12]
Émile Clapeyron (1799–1864) X1816 Physicist, one of the founders of thermodynamics [13]
Jean-Michel Coron X1975 Mathematician
Pierre Henri Hugoniot (1851–1887) X1872 Physicist, mechanical engineer and scientist. The Rankine–Hugoniot equation is named after him.
Gustave Coriolis (1792–1843) X1808 Mathematician, mechanical engineer and scientist. The Coriolis Effect is named after him. [14]
Charles Fabry (1867–1945) X1885 Physicist, co-inventor of the Fabry–Pérot interferometer [15]
Philippe Flajolet (1948–2011) X1968 Computer scientist
Augustin Fresnel (1788–1827) X1804 Physicist, major contributor to wave optics [16]
Eugène Freyssinet (1879–1962) X1899 Developed the prestressed concrete
Camille Jordan (1838–1922) X1855 Mathematician, known both for his foundational work in group theory and for his Cours d'analyse [17]
Joseph-Louis Gay-Lussac (1778–1850) X1797 Chemist and physicist. He is known mostly for the Gay-Lussac's laws related to gases.
Émile Lemoine (1840–1912) X1866 Mathematician, known for his proof of the existence of the Lemoine point (or the symmedian point) of a triangle [18]
Louis Leprince-Ringuet (1901–2000) X1920 Physicist, telecommunications engineer, essayist and historian of science
Albert Jacquard X1945 Geneticist, strong advocate of uneconomic growth
André Lévêque X1919 Corps of Mines, scientist
Gabriel Lamé X1815 Mathematician, noted for his work on Curvilinear coordinates and Lamé function
Paul Lévy X1908 One of the forefathers of the modern theory of stochastic processes
Alfred-Marie Liénard X1887 physicist and geologist, noted for his works on Liénard–Wiechert potential
Joseph Liouville (1809–1882) X1825 Mathematician [19]
Stéphane Mallat X1981 Mathematician
Étienne-Louis Malus (1775–1812) X1795 Physicist, mathematician, known for the Malus's law [20]
Benoît Mandelbrot (1924–2010) X1944 Mathematician, father of fractal geometry [21]
Albert Messiah X1940 Theoretical physicist, engineer of corps of mines
Charles Joseph Minard X1796 Civil engineer noted for inventions in the field of Information graphics
Claude-Louis Navier (1785–1836) X1802 Engineer and physicist who specialized in mechanics. The Navier–Stokes equations are named after him. [22]
Henri Poincaré (1854–1912) X1873 Mathematician, theoretical physicist, and a philosopher of science [23]
Siméon Denis Poisson (1781–1840) X1798 Mathematician, geometer, and physicist [24]
Alfred Potier X1840 Physicist
Jean Léonard Marie Poiseuille X1815 Physicist, noted for his works on fluid mechanics and the Hagen–Poiseuille equation
Henri Victor Regnault X1830 Physicist and chemist, mentor of William Kelvin,Copley Medal Recipient
Raymond Stora X1951 Theoretical physicist, winner of Dannie Heineman Prize for Mathematical Physics for the BRST quantization
Adhémar Jean Claude Barré de Saint-Venant X1813 Notable mechanician and mathematician
Jean Tirole X1973 Economist
Léon Charles Thévenin X1876 Extended the Ohm's law by Thévenin's theorem
Louis Vicat X1804 Engineer, inventor of the Vicat needle
Michel Virlogeux X1967 Engineer of the Millau Viaduct.
Jean Zinn-Justin X1964 Theoretical physicist, member of Académie des Sciences
Rose Dieng-Kuntz enrolled 1976 Artificial intelligence, first African woman to enroll in the École [2]
Alexis Bonnet X1985 Mathematician (1996 EMS Prize), investor, founder of the management company Methodology Asset Management
Louis Pouzin X1950 Inventor of the datagram and designer of an early packet communications network, CYCLADES
Anne-Marie Lagrange X1982 Astrophysicist, French Academy of Sciences, discovered the exoplanet Beta Pictoris b

Humanities, arts, and social sciencesEdit

Name Class year Notability Reference(s)
Auguste Comte X1814 Philosopher, founder of the discipline of sociology and of the doctrine of positivism. [25]
Roger Guesnerie X1962 Economist
Charles Koechlin X1887 Composer
Edmond Malinvaud X1942 Economist, first president of the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences.
Pierre Schaeffer X1929 Noted for innovative work in communications and acoustics
Jean Tirole X1973 Economist
Marc Chervel X1952 Economist


Name Class year Notability Reference(s)
Bernard Arnault X1969 CEO of LVMH
Claude Bébéar X1955 Former CEO and Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Axa, widely considered the Godfather of French business
Jean-Paul Béchat X1962 former CEO of Safran
Jean-Louis Beffa X1960 CEO of Saint-Gobain
Driss Benhima X1974 Chairman of the Board and CEO of Royal Air Maroc
Georges Besse CEO of Renault when assassinated by Action directe
Fulgence Bienvenüe X1870 Founder of the Paris Métro
André Citroën X1898 Founder of Citroën Corporation
Serge Dassault X1946 CEO of the Dassault Group
Thierry Desmarest X1964 CEO of Total
Guy Dollé X1963 CEO of Arcelor
Patrick Drahi X1983 Founder and CEO of Altice.
Marc Fleury X1989 Founder of JBoss Inc.
Jean-Martin Folz X1966 Former CEO of PSA Peugeot Citroën
Jean-René Fourtou X1960 CEO of Vivendi
Pierre Gadonneix X1962 CEO of Électricité de France
Carlos Ghosn X1974 CEO of Nissan and Renault [26]
Paul Hermelin X1972 CEO of Capgemini
Jean-Paul Herteman X1970 CEO of Safran
Alexandre de Juniac X1981 CEO of Air France–KLM
Patrick Kron X1973 CEO of Alstom
Didier Lombard X1962 CEO of France Telecom
Jean-Marie Messier X1976 Former head of Vivendi Universal
Gérard Mestrallet X1968 CEO of Suez
Frédéric Oudéa X1980 CEO of Société Générale [27]
Michel Pébereau X1961 head of BNP Paribas
Pierre Pringuet X1969 CEO of Pernod Ricard
Denis Ranque X1970 CEO of Thales Group
Antoine Rostand X1982 President, Schlumberger Business Consulting
Ambroise Roux CEO, Compagnie générale d'électricité
Conrad Schlumberger X1898 One of the Schlumberger brothers who founded the Société de Prospection Électrique, that became later Schlumberger Limited
Serge Tchuruk X1958 Former CEO of Total, CEO of Alcatel
Tidjane Thiam X1982 CEO of Credit Suisse [28]
Philippe Varin X1973 CEO of PSA Peugeot Citroën, former CEO of Corus
Sir James Wilford X1947 Former Senior Partner of Defoe Fournier & Cie.

Politics and public serviceEdit

Name Class year Notability Reference(s)
Jacques Attali X1963 writer and President Mitterrand's advisor
Christian Beullac X1943 Industrialist, Minister
Philippe Crébassa X CEO of Toulouse–Blagnac Airport
Marie François Sadi Carnot X1857 former President of the French Republic
Valéry Giscard d'Estaing X1944 former President of the French Republic
Fabienne Keller X1979 former mayor of Strasbourg
Nathalie Kosciusko-Morizet X1992 Secretary of state of ecology
Albert Lebrun X1890 former President of the French Republic
Bruno Mégret X1969 French far-right politician
Francis Mer X1959 former Minister of Finances
Louis Pailhas X1946 civil servant, former head of the École nationale de l'aviation civile
Jean Peyrelevade X1958 civil servant, politician and business leader.
Gérard Rozenknop X1969 former head of the École nationale de l'aviation civile
Jacques Rueff X1919 former Deputy Governor of the Bank of France
Jean-Paul Troadec X1967 President of the French Bureau d'Enquêtes et d'Analyses pour la Sécurité de l'Aviation Civile [3]
Farid Zizi X1982 CEO of the Direction des Services de la navigation aérienne [4]
Abdourahmane Cissé X2001 Minister to the Prime Minister in charge of the Budget of Côte d'Ivoire


Name Class year Notability Reference(s)
Caroline Aigle X1994 First woman to be fighter pilot in the French Air Force.
Jules Brunet X1857 inspired the motion picture The Last Samurai
Pierre Philippe Denfert-Rochereau X1842 French colonel who successfully defended Belfort during the Franco-Prussian war
Alfred Dreyfus X1878 Dreyfus affair
Jean-Baptiste Eugène Estienne X1879 "Father of the Tanks"
Honoré d'Estienne d'Orves X1921 "First martyr of Free France"
Émile Fayolle X1873 Marshal of France promoter of artillery during World War I
Ferdinand Foch X1871 Supreme Allied Commander in World War I
Joseph Joffre X1869 Commander-in-chief of French forces of the Western Front in World War I from 1914 to 1916
Emile-René Lemonnier X1912 French general beheaded by Japanese forces in French Indochina at the beginning of World War II for refusing to sign surrender documents.
Agénor Azéma de Montgravier X1828 Chef d'escadron of Artillery from 1850, deputy director of the Ecole d'Artillerie de Montpellier from 1859, pioneer archaeologist in North Africa.
Robert Nivelle Commander-in-chief of French Forces of the Western Front in World War I from 1916 to 1917

Aviators and astronautsEdit

Name Class year Notability Reference(s)
Jean Boulet X1940 World record for helicopter altitude still standing
Jean-François Clervoy X1978 Three space missions
Philippe Perrin X1982 One space mission with three EVAs

Religious leadersEdit

Name Class year Notability Reference(s)
Menachem Mendel Schneerson Considered one of the most influential Jewish leaders of the 20th century [29]


  1. ^ "Jean Tirole". Nobel Foundation. 2014-10-13. Retrieved 2014-10-13.
  2. ^ "Maurice Allais – Currilculum Vitae". Nobel Foundation. 1988-12-10. Retrieved 2007-10-16.
  3. ^ "The Nobel Prize in Physics 1903". Nobel Foundation. Retrieved 2008-10-09.
  4. ^ "Arago biography". MacTutor History of Mathematics archive.
  5. ^ "Joseph Louis François Bertrand". MacTutor History of Mathematics archive.
  6. ^ "Biot biography". MacTutor History of Mathematics archive.
  7. ^ "Brocard biography". MacTutor History of Mathematics archive.
  8. ^ "Huy Duong Bui : repères biographiques". Académie des sciences.
  9. ^ "Carnot Sadi biography". MacTutor History of Mathematics archive.
  10. ^ "Cauchy biography". MacTutor History of Mathematics archive.
  11. ^ "Chasles biography". MacTutor History of Mathematics archive.
  12. ^ C. H. Desch (January 1938). "Henry Louis Le Chatelier. 1850–1936". Obituary Notices of Fellows of the Royal Society. 2 (6). The Royal Society. pp. 250–259. JSTOR 769060.
  13. ^ "Clapeyron biography". MacTutor History of Mathematics archive.
  14. ^ "Gaspard Gustave de Coriolis". MacTutor History of Mathematics archive.
  15. ^ Joseph F. Mulligan (1998). "Who were Fabry and Perot?" (PDF). American Journal of Physics. 66. p. 797. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2014-08-22.
  16. ^ "Fresnel biography". MacTutor History of Mathematics archive.
  17. ^ "Marie Ennemond Camille Jordan". MacTutor History of Mathematics archive.
  18. ^ "Emile Michel Hyacinthe Lemoine". MacTutor History of Mathematics archive.
  19. ^ "Joseph Liouville". MacTutor History of Mathematics archive.
  20. ^ "Étienne-Louis Malus". MacTutor History of Mathematics archive.
  21. ^ "Benoit Mandelbrot". MacTutor History of Mathematics archive.
  22. ^ "Claude Louis Marie Henri Navier". MacTutor History of Mathematics archive.
  23. ^ "Jules Henri Poincaré". MacTutor History of Mathematics archive.
  24. ^ "Siméon Denis Poisson". MacTutor History of Mathematics archive.
  25. ^ Michel Bourdeau (2018). "Auguste Comte". Auguste Comte: Stanford Encyclopaedia of Philosophy. Stanford Encyclopaedia of Philosophy. Metaphysics Research Lab, Stanford University.
  26. ^ [1]. Retrieved March 1, 2015.
  27. ^ Societe Generale Group – General management committee. Retrieved on 2011-07-04.
  28. ^ "Tidjane Thiam".
  29. ^ Fishkoff, Sue. The Rebbe's Army: Inside the World of Chabad-Lubavitch. Schocken. p. 73. Retrieved 14 June 2019.