3 questions, 1 expert: Nicolas Blanquet, integrated modular avionics engineer
Want to learn more about day-to-day work of an avionics engineer? Meet Nicolas, a module integration architect at Airbus Protect’s Toulouse site.
Tell us about your role.
I’m a module integration architect specialising in integrated modular avionics (IMA) systems. What is an IMA system, I hear you ask?
In a nutshell, an IMA module is an advanced avionics system used in the aeronautics industry. It is a modular electronic system that combines multiple data processing, communication and control functions. IMA modules are typically based on centralised processing computers and can support multiple control functions such as navigation, communication, systems monitoring, flight data management and predictive maintenance.
The IMA concept was developed to enable aircraft manufacturers to design more efficient and cost-effective avionics systems by reusing standardised modules across different aircraft platforms. IMA modules can be configured to the specific requirements of each aircraft, allowing greater flexibility in avionics design.
Integrated modular avionics offers aircraft manufacturers and operators many benefits, including reduced development costs and times, greater reliability and easier maintenance. In addition, IMA modules make it easier and faster to upgrade avionics systems to meet the ever-changing needs of the aviation industry. For that reason, it’s a great area to work in.
What skills do you use day-to-day?
My role focuses on configuring IMA modules to meet the specific needs of each programme. Thanks to a configurable layer, we can customise the use of each module. To do this, we work closely with the users and systems hosted on the platform to understand their needs and distribute resources in the best way possible, while anticipating future developments.
In addition to technical skills around hardware, software, methods and procedures, our work also requires great communication skills to collaborate effectively with users and guarantee optimum performance for all the systems hosted. Part of my job also involves managing people, a team of 15, to be precise! Clear communication and goal setting are also crucial here.
What other qualities are required to be a great manager at Airbus Protect?
There are too many to list them all! But there are a few that I think are non-negotiable. Aside from communication, which I’ve already mentioned, a good manager must be capable of inspiring and motivating employees to achieve common goals. Empathy is also important in understanding employees’ needs and concerns and helping them reach their full potential.
Next is problem-solving. A brilliant manager needs to be able to resolve any issues that arise by identifying the root causes of problems, setting priorities and finding creative and innovative solutions. Often, this requires a degree of flexibility. Linked to this, having the ability and confidence to make quick and informed decisions is crucial.
Organisational skills and good time management are also essential, as a great manager must be able to plan and organise tasks and projects effectively.
Finally – and perhaps most importantly – any manager must be highly technically competent in their field, so they can effectively supervise and evaluate their team’s work.
Interested in a safety and security role in integrated modular avionics – or any other aerospace discipline? Check out our job openings here.