Over the past 75 years, Efrei has advanced in sync with major technological developments. The school has been privileged to participate in the evolution of the world and exchanges between human beings in three main areas: technology, economy and society.
Since 1936, IT Has Been at the Core of Efrei
Our school was founded in 1936. At the time, the school was known as the Ecole Française de Radioélectricité (EFR). EFR, created by Ernest Lavigne, responded to a growing demand from society and was set to become a long-term feature of the field of information technology: through the teaching of science and of radio-electronic techniques, the school trained radio wave technicians, in particular for the merchant navy.
From Radio-Electricity to IT
At the end of the Second World War, EFR obtained state recognition and set itself the goal of training engineers. A decade later, when its degree was recognized by the “Commission des Titres d’Ingénieur” in 1957, EFR was training an engineer who was set to profoundly change the IT industry: in 1972, as part of his R2e company, André Truong (class of 1959) co-invented with François Gernelle the Micral-N, the world’s first microcomputer.
Consequently, in 1973, EFR naturally became the Ecole Française d’Electronique et d’Informatique (Efrei) and, with two areas of expertise, electronics and IT, Efrei was able to double market penetration in all strategic economic sectors. Since then, information processing (circulation, storage, regulation, etc.) has boomed, led by increasingly powerful systems and networks, to the point where it represents the main driver of world growth, both in terms of productivity and knowledge in general.
Information and Digital Technologies
The ‘80s saw a significant increase in the school’s student numbers, reaching an average of 200 graduates per year in 1990, 300 from 1996 onwards.
Efrei has risen to the challenge of technological developments to become one of the very first benchmark schools for training engineers in information and digital technologies. To date Efrei, has produced 7,300 working engineers and has seen both men and women embark on glittering careers. Examples include Gilles Granier (class of 1972), former Managing Director of Intel France and Europe, Rani Assaf (class of 1997) and Antoine Levavasseur (class of 1999) who created the Freebox (an ADSL modem offered by the French telecommunication provider Free) and are part of the technical management of the Iliad group.
Efrei draws on 80 years of experience, in which IT has been key, to orient its programs and to promote rigor, vitality and excellence in training engineers who are more and more in demand and command increasing respect both in France and internationally.