History of the School

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Last updated: 09-02-2015

The ENSG forms part of the National Polytechnic Institute of the University of Lorraine. The life of the School began in 1908 with the creation of IGAN (the Nancy Institute of Applied Geology) by René Nicklès.


Major dates in the history of ENSG include:

1938: The position of IGAN Director falls to Marcel Roubault.

1944: By decree of the Minister for National Education, IGAN becomes the École Supérieure de Géologie appliquée et de Prospection minière. The concours system of competitive examinations is introduced for gaining entry to the School programme, which has an academic duration of 3 years.


1948: The School becomes ENSG: the École Nationale Supérieure de Géologie appliquée et de Prospection minière.

1959: Construction of new buildings at the Montet in Vandoeuvre begins, allowing the School to welcome a greater number of students and broaden its activities.

1961: The first group of buildings, the ‘Laboratoires de Recherches Géologiques de Nancy-Vandoeuvre’ is inaugurated. The Laboratories comprise the Centre de Recherches Pétrographiques et Géochimiques, the Centre de Recherches Radiogéologiques and the Centre de Recherche sur la Valorisation des Minerais.

1971: Construction of a new building: the Centre de Mécanique des sols et des roches (Soil and Rock Mechanics Centre). 1971 is also marked by the formation of INPL (the National Polytechnic Institute of Lorraine) from the merger of five Grand Ecoles: ENSG, ENSAIA, ENSEM, ENSIC and ENSMN.

1992: Students attend their courses at two different sites: Nancy and Vandoeuvre. A reconstruction plan is put in place with a view to constructing additional buildings that will enable all the courses to be taught on a single site.

1998: Inauguration of the new ENSG buildings at the INP site of the University of Lorraine in Vandœuvre.

2008: The ENSG Centenary, celebrating 100 years of the School. With a variety of activities and exhibitions, the centenary is an opportunity for local schools and members of the general public to discover the Geosciences and, through the many industries and ENSG partners present, the different Geoscience-related careers.


2011: ENSG is awarded the status of “Sciences of the Universe Observatory” Lorraine Earth and Environment Observatory. This status allows the School to carry out observation projects of national interest in the Sciences of the Earth and Universe.

2012: Birth of the University of Lorraine and ENSG’s inclusion as an associate member in the Institut Mines-Telecom network.