This article reviews history, analyses principles and presents a modern interpretation of advanced engineering education (AEE). AEE originated in France, was adapted in Germany and reached its zenith in the second half of the twentieth century as part of technological efforts induced by the space race. AEE is an enhanced form of education aimed at producing inventors, thinkers and leaders capable of bringing new technological changes and scientific revolutions. AEE introduces a challenging educational environment that is generally addressed to the most enthusiastic and capable students; it is not necessarily suitable for the mainstream education. The role of AEE is projected to increase as the world becomes a global knowledge society.