Gérard Pignault became the Vice-Chancellor (President) of CPE Lyon (Lyon School of Chemistry, Physics and Electronics) in September 2004.
After graduating from l’Ecole Polytechnique in 1981, Gérard obtained a Doctorate in Engineering in Theoretical physics specializing in experimental nuclear physics at the University of Paris 11, Orsay in 1985. He then did his post doctorate degree in nuclear physics at the University of South Carolina in Columbia, USA from 1985-86.
From 1986 to 2004, he worked for the Pechiney group where he was a research engineer, then Head of the R&D team in the Voreppe Research Centre (Isère, France). Following this, he was in charge of the foundry at the Rhénalu d’Issoire factory in the Puy de Dôme, which specialized in producing aluminium sheets used in the aeronautical industry. From 2000 to 2004, he was a corporate strategy analyst at the Pechiney Head Office in Paris.
Gérard Pignault has chaired the Lyon-St Etienne Créalys think-tank since 2005.
He has been decorated as a Chevalier (Knight) in the French National Order of the Legion of Honour.