Airbus Protect explains: risk management in the space sector
What is it like to be an industrial technical expert at Airbus Protect? Get your answer with Guillaume Poudoulec’s interview.
What have you done before joining Airbus Protect ?
Passionate about aeronautics since I was young, I quickly turned towards a scientific education in order to follow this path for my career. I undertook a university course in mathematics and astrophysics and then, a work-linked training as an engineer in aeronautical maintenance. I discovered the world of the airline company at Aigle Azur by working on the reliability of the equipment. After that, I learned the continuous improvement process and problem solving methods in the supplier quality department of Safran Aircraft Engines.
In order to continue my discovery of the aeronautical world, I chose to take my first permanent contract on the AIRBUS FAL (Final Assembly Line) A380, as a configuration management engineer for the entire production chain. It was my first experience with an aircraft manufacturer.
How did you end up joining Airbus Protect?
Based on these various experiences, I chose to reorient myself in a profession combining scientific and aeronautical culture, that’s why I chose to join Airbus Protect in Toulouse in 2017 in the “Propulsion Safety and Airworthiness” team. The job of a Safety Engineer requires understanding the entire system and adding a mathematical component to it. I loved this time. I wrote the safety analysis of in-flight incidents on the A350 reactors in order to identify the potential needs for modification of the propulsion systems. I also participated in drafting the deliverables for the A350-1000 certification and the new A350-900 nacelles. What a joy to see these planes fly and to know that we are part of the adventure.
Since July 2019, my job has taken a new turn as I moved to French Guiana, to work on the space base.
“The job is not always easy, but the reward is there when you hear the applause after a successful flight.”
What does your everyday life looks like as an Industrial Technical Expert?
I work at the European Space Port as an Industrial Technical Expert in Operational Safety. With a team of a few RAMS engineers (Reliability, Availability, Maintainability, Safety), we carry out the analysis which make it possible to justify the proper functioning of the launch base systems so that the takeoffs of the Ariane 5, Soyuz and VEGA rockets do not endanger populations. At the same time, we are also participating in projects improvement such as the construction of a clean energy production plant.
Life at the European Space Port is very different from the Toulouse environment. The working methods are different, the issues are different, and all this at the gates of the Amazon rainforest. This experience is worth living. The job is not always easy, but the reward is there when you hear the applause after a successful flight. The space center is undergoing major changes with the arrival of VEGA C, Ariane 6, the future operations center and the desire to use only renewable energies.
What are the perks of working at Airbus Protect?
There are still a lot of actions to be taken in terms of risk management and a lot of things to discover in this French region very far from the metropolis. Airbus Protect allows us to participate in these different projects and in the European space adventure. This company is the first where I really felt at my ease, a little at home.
What makes you happy in your worklife?
My job as RAMS expert in the European Space Port leads to work on many different activities going from radars to satellite telecommunications passing by meteorology systems and sustainable powerplants. The continuous learning is very important to me and something I look for in my professional life. Moreover, I have the time to deeply work on tasks without hovering over the work to the results so I can feed ma curiosity. You can add a great working atmosphere and you have the recipe to come at work with smile every morning.