École nationale supérieure de l'aéronautique et de l'espace ® ("SUPAERO", translated as "National Higher School of Aeronautics and Space"), founded in 1909, is one of the most prestigious and selective grandes écoles in France. It was the world's first dedicated aerospace engineering school and is considered to be one of the best in Europe in that field. SUPAERO's mascot is the little owl (Athene noctua), a symbol of wisdom sacred to the goddess Athena.
In 2007, SUPAERO was grouped together with ENSICA to form a new aeronautical school: Institut supérieur de l'aéronautique et de l'espace (ISAE). The aim of this move was to increase the international visibility of SUPAERO and ENSICA (which both depend from the French Ministry of Defense), by sharing their faculty and experimental means. The enrolment process for students, the courses, and the final diploma retain a distinction between ENSICA and SUPAERO. The present article focuses on SUPAERO only.
SUPAERO offers a three-year curriculum and a master's program. Since its founding in 1909 SUPAERO has produced more than 11,000 graduates; some of them have achieved fame in their field, including: Henri Coandă, the discoverer of the Coanda effect; Henri Ziegler, father of the Airbus program; Frédéric d'Allest, first chairman of Arianespace; and Jean-François Clervoy (class of 1983), astronaut.