Naval Group is hiring over 100 engineers in the south of France. In Toulon-Ollioules, an excellence and innovation centre where more than 1,000 engineers and experts work on mission and combat naval systems, a ‘job dating’ event took place on 30 June to identify and select the most appropriate candidates. The aim of this unprecedented recruitment initiative was to give candidates the opportunity to immerse themselves in the high-tech world of the leader in naval defence, guided by Naval Group employees.
Find out more about the flagship expertise at work in Ollioules and Saint-Tropez through reality profiles of employees, their careers, the challenges they face in their work, and the achievements they are most proud of. Today, our gallery of portraits honours four employees who put their talents to work on our family of mission and combat systems.
Bruno, Head of Software Development
Bruno’s team designs, models, tests and qualifies the software components of the Combat Management Systems used in major Naval Group programmes for the French Navy and export markets: from the new-generation digital Belharra® frigate to the FREMM multimission frigate, the largest European development, with 7 ships currently in service; a figure that will soon reach 15.
As the nerve centre of any naval vessel, the Combat Management System provides real-time processing of enormous data flows giving the crew full details of the immediate operational situation, and enabling the deployment of weapon systems.
“Demanding though it may be, my daily work is enthralling and gives me a great deal of satisfaction, like when the first FREMM Aquitaine set sail back in 2012, with its 20 million lines of code”.
Bruno’s job requires a very high level of expertise in the world of software and an inquisitive, tenacious mind to respond effectively to its daily challenges: “You have to be able to get closely involved and use your initiative; you also have to listen to the customer and sometimes question yourself without compromising self-confidence”.
There are many opportunities: “Naval Group offers a richly diverse, cutting-edge ecosystem where you can expand your skills and develop at the same pace as the world of software, which is already looking to the future with hyperconnectivity, interoperability, cybersecurity and new man-machine interfaces”.
Émilie, Submarine Detection Engineer
In the silence of the deep subsea world, discretion is a weapon. Acoustic advantage – the ability to be silent and to detect before being detected – is a major and widely recognised strength of Naval Group’s vessels. As a submarine detection engineer, Émilie is proud to contribute to that reputation. Her mission covers every link in the project lifecycle chain. It begins at the system bidding phase, and continues through design to the onboard integration of submarine detection systems onboard the ships. The tasks involved vary widely, from writing pre-project specifications to onshore testing and sea trials, and from preparing supplier tender documentation to handling equipment in the shipyard.
“You have to be able to adapt to the project and all the requirements expressed by the customer. Sometimes you have to question yourself, but you always need a scientifically and technically inquisitive mindset. What is sure is that delivering a ship or winning a contract brings enormous satisfaction!”
Meticulous attention to detail, the ability to learn and a passion for all things technical are key to handling the innovation and international aspects of this job, which also requires fluent English. Engineers with a background in general engineering can develop their careers technically, like Émilie, or work towards other areas of maritime engineering, such as renewable energies and drones. But whichever discipline individuals choose, the industrial resources of Naval Group facilitate personal and professional development at every project stage.
Christophe, Information Systems Architect
From wired networks to cloud computing and hyperconnectivity, Christophe’s mission has changed radically in just a few years. Today, he is designing a high-availability, high-performance on-board IT infrastructure for the on-board platform and combat systems of new-generation submarines.
“As disruptive technologies continue to emerge in the civil world, so digital warship architecture is also changing. It now encompasses an enormous range of additional services, including computing resources, data storage bays, network hardware, security devices, virtualisation environments and application services. Our mission is to invent new modular solutions that are resilient and compatible with military requirements. In such context, technology and competitor monitoring is key, as is the ability to embrace and adopt innovation”.
Some personal qualities are particularly sought after: meticulous attention to detail, systematic thinking, interpersonal and writing skills, in addition to an educational background in telecoms network engineering and a sound understanding of industrial processes.
“The job we do requires patience and perseverance, but it’s a growth area and the rewards are tangible, because we make a direct contribution to national sovereignty and the safety of French Navy personnel, and we are very proud of that”.
Émeric, Weapons System Technical Manager
With responsibility for submarine integrated weapons storage and launching tasks, Émeric’s work is focused on the long-term future. From the pre-project design stage through to assembly architecture risk mitigation, and from system performance justification and supplier management through to onshore and sea trial test launches and – ultimately – test firings, the project lifecycle involves modelling, simulation and minute analysis of feedback. “We aim for millimetre-perfect performance from large-scale mechanical assemblies: every variance in performance – no matter how infinitesimal – must be analysed and initiates a new improvement cycle for the provisional model”.
Humility, motivation and the ability to question yourself are therefore essential in this job, which also requires good interpersonal skills for effective interfacing with equipment manufacturers and other specialists. “Weapon systems cover a wide spectrum of skills, ranging from mechanical engineering to pyrotechnics, modelling and hydrodynamics, to name just a few. Engineers with a background in general mechanical engineering begin by working on subsystems, and then have the opportunity to move on to another area of expertise or into management”, Émeric continues. “Anyone with a passion for technology will find all the support and resources they need to really enjoy their work. The pace is intense, but the challenges are motivating: a successful test firing is our best reward!”