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Francis Bernard


ESI Group


Mr Bernard is an Executive Advisor and a Member of the Board of ESI Group, a world leading software editor for the numerical simulation of prototype and manufacturing process engineering in applied mechanics. He is an Executive Advisor of ParallelGraphics, an IT company specialized in the development of a new generation of 3D Web centric solutions for product Maintenance support. And he is the PLM Senior Consultant of AVIC (Aviation Industry of China),the Commercial and Military Aircraft Company in China.

After graduating from the Ecole Nationale Supérieure de l’Aéronautique et de l’Espace in 1965, Mr. Bernard joined Dassault Aviation in 1967 as a theoretical aerodynamics engineer. There, he specialized in the theoretical definition of aircraft and established a Computer Aided Design/Computer Aided Manufacturing (CAD/CAM) department where he launched CATIA in 1977, the first 3-D designing system of its kind. In 1981, Mr. Bernard set up Dassault Systemes, a subsidiary created by Dassault Aviation to further develop CATIA, and was appointed President. Under his direction, Dassault Systemes established a partnership with IBM to market CATIA worldwide and extended considerably the functionalities of CATIA, which evolved from its first version, dedicated to a limited set of 3-D applications for aircraft design, into a modular and open architecture capable of integrating a large number of leading-edge applications. Dassault Systemes became in the early 90s, a worldwide leader with prestigious references in the aerospace as well as the automotive industries, in Americas, Europe and Asia. The company grew from its original 20 employees to more than 1,000 employees in 1995 and 5,000 employees in 2005.

Mr. Bernard has leaded numbers of executive marketing and business missions in order to expand Dassault Systemes’ success in emerging markets (such as Eastern Europe, Russia and China), and in new industry segments (such as plant design and shipbuilding). He is also addressed the academic institutions, all over the world, to promote the Dassault Systemes’ solution and build joint research collaboration.

Mr Bernard retired from Dassault Systemes at the end of 2006.

Mr. Bernard was honored with the 1997 Award from the French «Académie Nationale de l’Air et de l’Espace», as well as by the Aviation Week & Space Technology magazine and the National Air & Space Museum of the USA as being the «inventor of CATIA». In his free time, Mr. Bernard also participates in numerous conferences relating to mechanical CAD/CAM technology. Born in Hanoi, Vietnam, Mr. Bernard currently resides in Paris with his wife, Solange.

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