What is GIMEOLE?


GIMEOLE is a 3-day contest which started in 2008 in Cherbourg. Each year in March, 150 students from technical universities gather from all over France to show off the urban windmills they have designed and built during the year.

What’s the difference between urban windmills and the ones we see in landscapes?

Urban windmills are quite different from the ones we are used to seeing in our fields and mountains. Urban windmills are designed to blend into the city landscape. They’re not very powerful but their small size makes it possible to fit several of them on one roof. We’re hoping that contests like this one will make it possible for this type of windmills to be installed on every roof in every city.


The different aspects of GIMEOLE

GIMEOLE is made up of 3 types of events :

  • The contest itself which is reserved to the 150 students in their second year of university
  • Events which are organized by the students and the teaching staff of the GIM department   
  • Challenges organized by the second-year students of the host school

The contest is open to the 150 students who registered at the beginning of the school year. These students, who have designed their windmills, will compete for 3 days and will have the possibility to partake in the other activities.

The challenges are designed by the second-year students of the GIM  department of the host school who did not want to take part in the contest. They oversee activities like “l’éolienne humaine” “human windmill” (several people are on a circular board to try and create a human windmill), “la piezoélectricité” (you have to tramp on a board as fast as you can for a limited amount of time to create a maximum of electricity). For more challenges view our site  “presentation des défis”. The challenges are open to the public and to the contestants.


The events are organized by the students and the staff of the GIM department. The students design different activities like the go-karting station (a go-kart powered only by electricity), the phone charger—you generate  the energy needed to charge your phone by biking—, the selfie station — a camera takes a “selfie” with the GIMEOLE logo in the background (for more demonstrations visit our page “présentation des animations”. This year there will be a dangerous driving awareness activity sponsored by massif an insurance company.


Where does the name GIMEOLE come from?

The name of this contest is made up of the name of GIM department (“Génie Industriel et Maintenance”. “Industrial engineering and maintenance”) and the contraction of  the French word for windmill “éolienne” to “éole”.

What is GIM?

The university system in France is probably different from the school system in your country. Students who have obtained their high school diploma can go to several different types of schools like our IUT which is a 2-year technical college leading to a national diploma (DUT – Technical University Diploma. The curriculum is designed by the French Ministry of Education. There are about 20 different programs from which students can choose.

Roanne IUT offers 5 different programs: a marketing program (TC), a business and accounting program (GEA), a quality control program (QLIO), a network installation and maintenance program and an industrial engineering program (GIM).

GIM trains students to become technicians, to be able to design and maintain industrial machines, create new programs for them, to check the quality of production, etc. This contest allows second year students to put into practice what they have learned over their two year program.

For more information or if you have any questions please contact us at : gimeole2019@gmail.com