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Hervé Mathieu, spearhead of the modernisation of Inria

© Inria / Photo P. Caron

Hervé Mathieu, deputy CEO of Inria from 1996 to 2004, and Inria chief executive officer for resources and service administration from 2006 to 2012, passed away on 16 November 2017.

An engineer from the engineering school École centrale Paris, Hervé Mathieu was first of all a researcher at the French Centre for Urban Planning Research: passionate about urban development models, he published several studies from the 1970s onwards on urban planning and the introduction of technologies in towns.

Continuing with these reflections, in 1981 he joined the French Ministry of Public Works as official representative, initially within the Urban Research Mission (MRU), then in the Forecasting unit of the Urban Planning department (GAP) where he worked on the implementation of incentive research programmes on avant-garde themes, in particular the link between energy issues and urban planning, but also the spatial implications of the reduction in working time.

In 1983 he became deputy permanent secretary of the 'Plan urbain' (an inter-ministerial research programme on towns), before performing managerial functions at the French civil engineering school École nationale des ponts et chaussées.

In 1996, Hervé Mathieu joined Inria, where he occupied the position of deputy CEO until 2004. Alongside Bernard Larrouturou, and together with Gilles Kahn and Laurent Kott, he participated actively in the definition of the project that led to the growth of Inria with, in particular, the creation of the three new centres in Bordeaux, Lille and Saclay, and in the doubling of the institute's headcount in ten years.

Hervé Mathieu joined the CNRS (French National Centre for Scientific Research) at the beginning of 2005 as secretary-general and director of human resources.

He returned to Inria in November 2006 as chief executive officer for resources and service administration. He retired in 2012, the year he also received the Inria 'Grand Prix d'honneur' award.

Keywords: Hervé Mathieu CNRS Inria Awards