Eugène Freyssinet (1879 – 1962) was a French structural and civil engineer whose capacity for creation, invention and research and his non-conformity with existing ideas and doctrines made him one of the most notable engineers in the history of engineering.
The first time he conceived the idea of prestressing was in 1903. The term "prestressing" appeared in 1932 and two years later Freyssinet made a spectacular demonstration of the advantages of prestressing with Le Havre shipping terminal in France.
In 1943, Edme Campenon created the STUP (Engineering Company for the use of Prestressing). The objective was to apply Eugène Freyssinet patents, to disseminate prestressing techniques and its applications, to manufacture prestressing equipment and materials and to provide technical assistance on site.
First, the emphasis was on design in order to contact potential customers. The company started to develop internationally. Some of its most significant projects are bridges over the Marne, Caracas viaducts in Venezuela, the Lake Pontchartrain bridge in the USA, Europe No. 1's radio transmitter in Felsberg in Germany, etc.
Later on, STUP was working on more ambitious projects, requiring greater technical knowledge and human resources. The major construction projects during this period included displacement of the Abu Simbel temple in Egypt, construction of the Gladesville bridge in Australia, Oléron bridge in France, and the Wylfa and Oldburry nuclear power plants in the UK.
Over the next 20 years, the STUP started diversifying its activity, particularly in repairs. That is well known by large and prestigious sites such as the Ekofisk oil platform in the North Sea, the Brotonne cable stayed bridge in France, the beginning of the French nuclear power program, and the Montreal Olympic stadium in Canada.
In 1976, STUP became Freyssinet International (STUP), marking its international vocation and offering homage to the man whose work it was continuing.
Since that period, the emphasis is on technical development and innovation.
Over the years, Freyssinet has become an essential player in many civil engineering fields with high technological content (stay cables, prestressing, heavy lifting, etc.) and is involved in projects well known throughout the world such as the Normandy bridge in France, the Vasco de Gama bridge in Portugal, Cardiff stadium in the United Kingdom, the Hibernia oil platform offshore from Newfoundland, Ting Kau bridge in Hong Kong, etc.
At the end of the 90’s, Freyssinet strengthened its activities through the purchases of specialized companies: Reinforced Earth International - the world leader in mechanically stabilized earth structures in 1998, and Menard - specialized in soil improvement in 1999.
Our global expertise is implemented by locally-based teams and that brought a number of major projects to a successful conclusion.
In 2009, Soletanche Bachy merged with Freyssinet Group to create Soletanche Freyssinet to represent an array of brands and technologies that are unrivalled in the world of specialized civil engineering.
Freyssinet, a subsidiary of VINCI Construction, the major player worldwide in construction and civil engineering, employs more than 5,000 people, have 6,000 projects a year in more than 100 countries and have 75 subsidiaries in 60 countries.