The HECS curriculum teaches knowledge that is up-to-date from a research perspective, but also industrially relevant, as confirmed by the following support letters originating from global corporations, high-tech companies, and competitivity clusters.
At Airbus, we are convinced users of formal techniques for the development of safety-critical avionics software. We use techniques and tools based on abstract interpretation, deductive methods, and SMT-solving, for the verification of both synchronous/sequential and asynchronous multithreaded systems.
We therefore have increasing needs for engineers with extensive background in logic, programming-language semantics, and related formal verification techniques. In this perspective, the objectives and course programme of HECS are very relevant.
David Delmas – Avionics Software, Airbus Operations SAS
Cyber-physical systems (CPS) are of great importance for industry and society, so for students looking for valued positions alike.
I fully support the GOALS page of the HECS Web site. Grenoble is a unique place for such a training. In Grenoble, research (CEA, CNRS, INRIA, University, Verimag) and industry, especially in micro-electronics and new physical devices, are both strong and world-visible. French scientific and engineering education has international reputation, including in the USA (West coast inclusive), for two main reasons: extensive mathematical background and integrative approach to system engineering.
The integrative approach, as opposed to the stovepipe approach (electrical engineering / control engineering / software engineering / system engineering / mechanical engineering / computer science, etc.) provides a set of cross-domain skills that gives the “big picture” view on system issues. Mixing theoretical foundations and engineering practices on all aspects of system engineering (physics, control, distributed computation, local sequential computation, timing analysis etc.) is exactly what HECS does. It will be state-of-the-art lectures that will value the profile of HECS students internationally.
Choosing HECS’ curriculum is actually a good idea and will give students plenty of opportunities to work later in other domains, as CPS engineering intersects with many other fields, e.g.:
- Image processing: networked video sensors are now on nearly any new transportation vehicle and infrastructure, with the related data processing and storage capabilities to develop.
- Big data: in aerospace, crash recorders are now supplemented with data loggers (for security) and mass data recorders (for safety) that record tens of thousands of CPS state parameters per second. They are processed on-line and off-line for new functionalities drawing from machine learning and data analytics, named maintenance on condition, and predictive maintenance.
Working in these fields requires a strong portfolio of skills in CPS engineering, and HECS is definitely a good step towards this end.
Emmanuel Ledinot – Head of Scientific Studies, R&T Directorate, Dassault Aviation
The development of (critical) embedded systems cannot be reduced to a question of mastering a computer language. It is actually a question of understanding the very fundamental questions of time and its interpretation in computing systems, the interactions between continuous and discrete systems, and the embodiment of this knowledge in applicable techniques and tools. Beyond, to address the ever increasing ubiquity, complexity, integration, interactivity of hardware and software systems, we require engineers mastering all aspects of the development of such systems, from their specification to their verification and validation.
Towards, this goal, and under the direction of world-class researchers in this area, HECS offers a well-balanced combination of theory, state-of-the-art techniques, and tools, with a constant concern about practical industrial applications. As one of the world’s largest supplier of avionic suites, components, and onboard instruments for all major global air-framers, Thales Avionics needs and has ever increasing needs for such skills. I consider that HECS offer a unique opportunity to gain the deep and wide skills required in today’s aeronautical, spatial, and automotive industries.
AbsInt has been providing static-analysis tools and services for verification of safety-critical embedded software for almost two decades. We are regularly on the lookout for program analysis and program verification specialists. We fully encourage students to take up the HECS masters program.
Christian Ferdinand – CEO, AbsInt
Until recently, critical software systems were limited to a few industrial areas such as aerospace and transportation with longer development cycles, typically using a V-cycle development method with manual coding and testing as the main technique for verification and validation. This situation has changed a lot in recent years: new domains are increasingly relying on software for life-critical or mission-critical operations (think medical and automotive), time-to-market and cost considerations are forcing aerospace and transportation industries to reconsider their development and verification methods, interconnection of systems through Internet creates new security threats which are not addressed by the traditional methods.
The current industrial landscape for critical software systems requires the use of new methods like code generation from models and formal verification of software artifacts, which give better guarantees of preservation of integrity from system-level descriptions down to the final executables. Software engineers fluent in these new methods are needed both to contribute the required industrial tools and to apply them in industrial processes. The HECS curriculum aims at providing students with the necessary background for making appropriate choices between many concurrent approaches (modelling and programming languages, tools, methodologies) in a rapidly changing industrial context (competition, new uses and threats, certification).
I fully support the goals of the HECS Master program, led by internationally renowned researchers with extensive knowledge of industrial practice and challenges, and I hope to count some of its students as future collaborators or customers.
Yannick Moy – SPARK product manager, R&D lead, AdaCore
The development of embedded systems, from their design to their verification, has become increasingly complex. In the industries where MathWorks tools are used and especially in the most high-critical ones (automotive, aerospace and defense, medical systems…), embedded and cyber-physical systems must be developed with reliable methods that ensure we can have a high confidence in these systems. This raises new challenges, especially in safety and security-critical contexts.
MathWorks provides tools for engineers to develop better and safer embedded systems. MATLAB and Simulink are used to design and simulate the systems through models, and generate code automatically from the model. Polyspace products are used to verify the code. Our products use advanced technologies such as abstract interpretation and model checking.
The HECS Master will teach students the right skills either to develop these tools, or to make the best use of them. The renowned researchers in charge of the HECS curriculum will provide students with the right theoretical background, and the engineering practices useful to adapt themselves in a fast moving, challenging and exciting working environment.
Patrick Munier – Head of French Software Development Team, MathWorks
Embedded and Cyber-Physical Systems (CPS) have become key enablers of innovation with the potential to improve our quality of life and reduce our impact on the environment. However, due to their complexity and sometimes their scale, they raise many challenges especially in terms of safety and security. At RTaW, we address these challenges and are helping OEMs design cars, planes, helicopters, satellites, and industrial systems by providing R&D services and design software in the field of timing analysis and system engineering.
In my view the HECS Master program fills an education need very well in today’s technological landscape. HECS offers a sound curriculum that will provide the students with the body of knowledge needed to enable them contribute to the development of safe and secure technologically-augmented worlds. Importantly, the set of courses taught in HECS really seems to me to be at the scientific state-of-the-art and thus will certainly give the students an edge in their early professional life.
Nicolas Navet – Founder, Real Time-at-Work
TrustInSoft is a Parisian start-up that applies formal methods, in particular abstract interpretation and deductive verification using Hoare logic and SMT provers, to eliminate safety and security risks caused by software bugs. TrustInSoft’s customers occupy the railway, space, aeronautics, nuclear energy and information security industries. As software finds its way into more and more safety-critical roles in embedded systems, and information security concerns grow, I have no doubt the HECS curriculum will provide students with much-needed expertise for the short and the long term.
Pascal Cuoq – Founder and Chief Scientist, TrustInSoft
Recent technological developments have led to design systems offering greater functionality and dealing with much larger volumes of data, implying heterogeneous devices. As this demand is increasing, the need for robust and secure solutions becomes a critical challenge for many companies. In the near future, we can expect that a significantly growing number of enterprises will invest in solutions that bring them the best level of confidence in their products.
To come to such a level of quality, engineers will have to consider all the aspects of a product life-cycle: from the conception of reliable architectures to the continuous verification and shipping of deliveries. We believe that this new curriculum will help creating valuable engineers, able to introduce concepts that are not necessarily widely understood today into the design flows of tomorrow.
David Furodet – Lead Software Architect, uPmem
Minalogic welcomes the initiative to launch within MOSIG a new master program dedicated to embedded and cyber-physical systems. The study of fundamental issues in the design of such systems is indeed a challenging domain.
The HECS master program fits well with the ambitions of Minalogic, the second largest French competitivity cluster, specialist of Digital Technologies This new Major builds on the strengths of Grenoble ecosystem, laboratories as well as companies, very strong both in hardware and software and thus very active on embedded and cyber-physical systems technologies. This will definitively open plenty of opportunities for the HECS students, both in research and industry. I wish full success to all the students choosing this new Major.
Isabelle Guillaume – CEO Minalogic