Originating from Brittany, the western tip of France, attracted by the sea, wishing an unusual lifestyle and fond of technology, it was quite natural that I chose to serve in the French Navy. It was a most exciting start to my career, spending 20 years on board submarines, having command of three (one diesel and two nuclear propulsion boats). I also had the chance to be the program officer for two major government programs, linked with submarines and aerospace. When diving submarines became no longer an option, I switched to the automotive industry, heading various research department dealing with chassis systems, then with non classic propulsion plants and driver assistance systems. Jumping on a fascinating opportunity, I joined the aerospace industry, where I was in charge of coordinating R&T efforts regarding electronics and sensors at Corporate level, for a major OEM.
Many difficulties in today's projects are coming from the fact that it is more and more difficult to keep a god's eye view on complex architectures and organizations. Engineers are more focused on subsystems and decision makers on financial returns. The "global technical picture" is becoming more and more blurred. Being a generalist, having a broad scope in terms of technologies and industries, I always try to work at system level first, to check if it is consistent. I then verify the selected technologies are appropriate for the project before potentially proposing changes at these three levels, architecture, technologies and organization.
With the broad scope of activities I've had so far in my professional life, I've met many people across many industries, companies and R&T institutions, with whom I am still able to contacts, in order to facilitate your business, in Europe as well as in the US, potentially in Singapore.
Highly motivated and driven by hands-on experience.
Research and technology coordinator (electronics and sensors)•Feb. 2007 - Jun. 2017
Belonging to the Corporate Technical Office, I had several jobs. The first one was to determine the relevant technologies which will be needed by the Group in the coming years, elaborate the R&T plan at Group level and coordinate its execution. My scope was mainly electronics, sensors, system installation and signal processing. I was also coordinating the activity of seven Research and Technology Groups, gathering the experts of the whole Group in one specific domain (electronics, lightning - hardening and electromagnetics, stealth, optics & optronics, Guidance Navigation & Control, Image Processing and data fusion, RF front ends). In addition, I was one of the transversal experts used by the Group for technical assessments, addressing the broadest scope possible, from cracks in some metal parts of an airplane wing to a full program of border surveillance. Last but not least, I was very much involved in several specific projects, like electric and hybrid flight.
A broad experience, from underwater to space, including airliners and helicopters.
Research Department Director - Product planner • Oct. 2000 - Feb. 2007
When leaving the French Navy after 25 years of service, I joined PSA Peugeot Citroën, one of the two French automobile makers. My first assignment was to head the research department in charge of chassis systems (steering, braking and suspension, including the associated electronics. Then I spent three more years heading another research department, simultaneously in charge of advanced driver assistance systems, non-conventional propulsion plants (electric, hybrids, turbine..) and related technologies (batteries, hydrogen, fuel cells...) as well as systems integration, with a focus on new electronic architectures and data networks. Last, I spent a year heading a small team of people in charge of determining which engines and which gearboxes should be produced, with which characteristics, where in the world, for the PSA Group. In was also in charge of the requirement part of the cooperation with BMW for gasoline engines and Ford Motors for the large diesel.
A large inventory of advanced technologies, in an industry where cost is everything.
Full operational and technical career • Sep. 1975 - Oct. 2000
I joined the French Navy in September 1975 with the idea of becoming a naval aviator. My eyesight having made the dream impossible, I joined the Submarine Force for a discovery and training year (1979-1980), then the Missile specialty course and the basic nuclear training course (1980-1981) before being assigned on various SSBNs for operational patrols. I then came back in the command line and had the chance to get three command tours as well as being deputy training officer for the Mediterranean Sub Squadron. I was then appointed to the US Naval Command College in Newport, RI, for one year of high level military education, before coming back to Navy Headquarters in Paris, serving as the Program Officer for the new generation fast attack submarine (Barracuda Class), for which I wrote the first military requirements document. I then decommissioned a nuclear submarine in Cherbourg, before commissioning another one, a real industrial adventure in the shipyard, from steel sections to an operational machine ! I then transferred to the Joint Chiefs of Staff office, in charge of the new generation deterrence missile for French SSBNs.
A human, operational, technical, program management and industrial adventure.
High level Military Education• Class of 93'
The Naval Command College is the international flavor of the US War College, providing training for future leaders of the US Navy. Among officers coming from thirty-six different nations, I attended three main courses, centered on History, Strategy and Force Planning. This year in Newport (RI) was also an extraordinary opportunity to gain a deep knowledge of the US and the culture of the people, through many lectures, rich encounters with high level individuals and numerous visits to institutions, industries, laboratories... The friendship bonds tied during this year are still very strong, giving me full access to high level people in many countries around the world.
Elementary and Advanced courses (Similar to Adm. Hyman G. Rickover's Naval Reactors course)• 1981 and 1990
The first course in the Military Applications of Nuclear Energy, in Cherbourg, France, taught me the necessary scientific background to deeply understand naval nuclear propulsion reactors and assume the duties of watch (head of the operational team operating the submarine at sea) and duty (head of the crew section watching over the submarine when in port or in repair) officers. The second course, specifically tailored for future commanders, insists on the technical and legal responsibilities of the Commanding Officer with respect to the nuclear reactor he is mandated to operate. Several other classified aspects are also touched during this course, mandatory to fulfill the conditions to be nominated as the commanding officer of a nuclear propulsion naval platform.
Specialty school• Sep. 1980 to Jun. 1981
After a year of discovery and initial submarine training, I chose to join the missile school because I thought that this specialty was a most interesting conjunction of very different worlds, submarines and aerospace. The French Navy had set up a very extensive course, covering rocket architecture, solid and liquid propulsion systems, Guidance, Navigation and Control as well as submarine launch infrastructures, operations and system aspects. This course was then supplemented by various events taking place over eighteen years, until I eventually took the responsibility of Program Officer (end customer representative) for the missile system currently on board French deterrence submarines
Cadet• Sep. 1975 to Jun. 1978
In addition to the operational training specific to the job of Naval Officer, the French Naval Academy is also a broad spectrum engineering school, giving its students the necessary background to understand the main technologies in use on board Navy ships. It also teaches the basics of systems architecture and trains the students to analyze quickly situations that can involve drastic decisions, to prepare them to emergencies they might have to face during their career.