| Born 1948 in Paris, Yannick d’Escatha graduated from the Ecole Polytechnique engineering school at the age of 20, where he finished second in his year. He then chose to pursue his studies at the Ecole des Mines, where he qualified as a chief mining and geology engineer before taking up a career in teaching and research.
At the age of 24, he was appointed as a senior lecturer at the Ecole Polytechnique, the Ecole des Mines de Paris and the ENSTA advanced technologies engineering school.
His research work at the mechanics laboratory of the Ecole Polytechnique on soil mechanics and structural mechanics earned him a reputation as an expert in rupture mechanics.
This work and his many publications, including a co-written book, won him an award from the French Science Academy in 1982.
In 1973, he helped to draft French regulations governing nuclear-fired water boilers, and then worked as an expert engineering consultant with the Ministry of Industry to enforce them.
In 1978, he was appointed to head the nuclear installations safety inspectorate at the Ministry of Industry, where he oversaw application of these regulations for France’s nuclear electricity generation programme.
In 1982, he was seconded to Technicatome, a subsidiary of the French atomic energy agency CEA, whose main mission was to act as lead industrial contractor on the development of nuclear propulsion for French Navy vessels. He then occupied the post of Director at Technicatome’s facilities in Cadarache and Aix en Provence before being appointed Deputy Managing Director January 1, 1987.
March 1, 1990, he was appointed by the CEA Administrator to head its newly formed Advanced Technologies Directorate, and became Deputy Administrator September 14, 1992.
He was appointed CEA Administrator July 1, 1995 and then President of CEA-Industrie June 28, 1999.
January 2000, he was appointed to head the Industry division of French electric utility EDF, where he was in charge of industrial strategy. He became Co-Chief Executive Officer of EDF in January 2002.
He was elected to the Applications Council of the French Science Academy 11 March 1997. He has been a Member of the French Technology Academy since December 12, 2000.
He was appointed Chairman of the Board of the Ecole Polytechnique May 2, 2001.
Yannick d'Éscatha is an Officier de l'Ordre National du Mérite and Chevalier de la Légion d'Honneur.