Airbus Protect explains: risk management in the space sector
What is it like to be an Industrial Technical Expert at Airbus Protect? Guillaume Poudoulec’s explains…
What did you do before joining Airbus Protect?
Passionate about aeronautics since I was young, I always knew that I wanted a career in aviation, for me this meant pursuing a science-led education. At university, I studied mathematics and astrophysics and was fortunate enough to complete work-based learning as an Aeronautical Maintenance Engineer.
After uni, I discovered what it was like working for airline companies. At Aigle Azur, I worked on checking reliability of equipment. Later, I learned continuous improvement processes and problem-solving methods within Supplier Quality Management for Safran Aircraft Engines.
Continuing my discovery of the aeronautical world, my first permanent contract was for the Airbus A380 FAL (Final Assembly Line), as a Configuration Management Engineer. This was my first experience with an aircraft manufacturer and working across the entire production process.
How did you end up joining Airbus Protect?
Based on my various experiences, I wanted to pursue a profession that combined science and aeronautics. That is why I chose to join Airbus Protect (formerly part of Apsys) in 2017 as a Safety Engineer.
Working in the Propulsion Safety and Airworthiness Team requires understanding of the entire system and working on mathematical components, which I really love. I completed a safety analysis of in-flight incidents on the A350 reactors in order to identify potential modifications needed of the propulsion systems. I also contributed to drafting the deliverables for the A350-1000 certification and the new A350-900 nacelles. It’s an incredible feeling to see these planes fly and to know that you’ve been a part of their production journey.
Since July 2019, I’ve moved to French Guiana and my career has taken a new direction working in the space industry.
What does everyday life as an Industrial Technical Expert look like?
Life at the European Spaceport is very different from the Toulouse environment. The working methods are different, the challenges are different, and all this at the gates of the Amazon rainforest. This experience is what makes life worth living. The job is not always easy, but the reward is there when you hear the applause after a successful flight. The space centre is undergoing major changes with the arrival of the Future Operations Centre, VEGA C and Ariane 6, along with the desire to only use renewable energies.
As an Industrial Technical Expert in Operational Safety at the European Spaceport, I participate in improvement projects, such as the construction of a clean energy production plant. My team consists of a few RAMS Engineers (Reliability, Availability, Maintainability, Safety) and we carry out the analyses. For example, we make it possible to justify the proper functioning of the launch base systems so that the take-offs of the Ariane 5, Soyuz and VEGA rockets do not endanger populations.
What are the perks of working at Airbus Protect?
Airbus Protect’s teams are defining a new method of risk management and it’s great to be a part of this discovery journey. The company allows us to participate in lots of different projects, and I really enjoy participating in the European space adventure. Airbus Protect is the first company where I really feel at my ease, it’s like my second home.
What makes you happy in your work life?
Continuous learning in my professional life is very important to me. Moreover, I enjoy having the time to delve deeply into a topic and commit myself to a task to drive better results. This helps feed my curiosity and gives me immense job satisfaction. My job as a RAMS Expert at the European Spaceport means I work on many different and very interesting topics, from radars and power plants to satellites passing by meteorology. If you add the fact that it is a great working atmosphere, then you have a recipe for success. I come to work every day with a smile on my face.