Corps of Bridges, Waters and Forests

The Corps des ponts, des eaux et des forêts (in English "Corps of Bridges, Waters and Forests") is a technical Grand Corps of the French State (grand corps de l'Etat). Its members are senior officials, mainly employed by the French Ministry of Environment and Energy and by the Ministry of Agriculture. Most of them are from École polytechnique, where they are selected based on their ranking, and from AgroParisTech where they are selected based on an entrance exam, others are from École normale supérieure (Ulm) or the regular curriculum of the École des ponts ParisTech.

People entering the Corps (around 60 each year) are trained either at AgroParisTech, École des ponts ParisTech or abroad in specific fields, in particular when they are willing to pursue a PhD.

In 2002, the Corps des ponts et chaussées, and the different corps formed by the civil aviation engineers, the geography engineers and the meteorological engineers merged.

In 2009, the Corps des ponts et chaussées (in English "Corps of Bridges and Roads") and the Corps du génie rural, des eaux et des forêts (in English "Corps of Rural Engineering, Waters and Forests") merged into the current Corps des ponts, des eaux et des forêts.

Many executive positions in France's industries and administration are held by Corps des Ponts engineers. Being admitted to the Corps des Ponts program is still considered a significant fast-track for executive careers.

Important former or current members


  1. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2015-09-19. Retrieved 2014-10-18.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)

Further reading

  • Barrie M. Ratcliffe, "Bureaucracy and Early French Railroads: the Myth and the Reality." Journal of European Economic History 18#2 (1989): 331+.
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