Ecole des Mines de Saint-Étienne is one of the French graduate engineering schools training engineers and carrying out industry-oriented research. Its function is to support the development of its students and of companies through a range of courses and fields of research, from the initial training of generalist engineers ingénieurs civils des mines, to PhD teaching; from material sciences to micro-electronics via process engineering, mechanics, the environment, civil engineering, finance, computer science and health engineering.HistoryThe school was founded in 1816 by a decision of Louis XVIII (2 August 1816).Admission for French studentsFor French nationals, admission to Civil Engineer of Mines is decided after competitive examination at the end of preparatory classes, a highly selective system.Notable alumni Benoît Fourneyron designed the first practical water turbine in 1827. Jean Baptiste Dieudonné Boussingault Christian Brodhag Henri Fayol, a French management theorist. Jules Garnier Mahamadou Issoufou, elected Niger President on March 2011.The puRkwa PrizeThe puRkwa Prize is an "international prize for the scientific literacy of the children of the planet" awarded annually by the école nationale supérieure des mines of Saint Etienne and the French Academy of Sciences. The prize is awarded to pioneers in the innovation of general science education in school curricula for children less than 16 years of age. It was launched in 2004 at the initiative of Robert Germinet, the director of the école nationale supérieure des mines of Saint Etienne, and comes with an €80,000 monetary award.