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 from the Submarine Weapons Business Unit in Saint-Tropez, where our torpedo expertise is concentrated.
Arnaud, MU90 Torpedo Whole Warship Architect
Now Whole Warship Architect for the MU90 lightweight torpedo, Arnaud is a mechanical design engineer with a 10-year experience at Naval Group, including 5 years as a design manager. His mission includes work package management (the cost-leadtime-quality management of a work package) for all engineering aspects of the MU90. In addition to budgeting and planning, Arnaud is also responsible for product definition and technical events management.
Since he took up his new responsibilities in January 2017, Arnaud has already supervised a successful MU90 exercise firing with the French Navy in the Atlantic: a first for Naval Group. “We shipped all the tools and equipment required to recover and dismantle the torpedo to Brest, where the French ships are based”. After the firing, the torpedo was recovered and made safe onboard the recovery vessel before being brought ashore without incident. “Together with the local workshop managers, we focused especially on safety, because a torpedo firing poses serious risks in terms of device handling and dismantling”.
Interpersonal, listening and learning skills were essential factors for success in this form of collaborative working. In a broader perspective, Arnaud’s job requires multiple expertise and a high level of awareness in terms of technical analysis and risk prevention. And then there’s the ability to delegate and inspire all stakeholders – from designers to programme teams, production workshops, the production scheduling office and so on – around MU90 programme activities.
Audrey, Qualification Manager
An engineer by training, Audrey is head of qualification for the Artémis programme. She is currently a contributor to the qualification process for the new F21 heavyweight torpedo, and works on a daily basis with work package experts and managers on the compilation and acceptance of the qualification document package.
“Quality is the key that will enable these torpedoes to equip French submarines”, Audrey explains. In delivering her mission, she works closely with the French Procurement Agency (DGA) : “All the preliminary work that goes into preparing the qualification document package makes it possible to avoid a colossal workload later on”, she explains.
Audrey believes that success is a matter of teamwork, with each person making their own personal contribution within a collaborative environment. “We work in a complex environment, and we must progress together”. A liking for teamwork, good interpersonal skills, the ability to work in autonomy, meticulous attention to detail and systematic thinking: Audrey sees all of these as necessary to succeed in her mission.
Following a successful test firing on 13 June this year, the F21 is on target to obtain its qualification in mid-2018. “We are lucky enough to have the opportunity to develop as members of an innovative group that offers many opportunities in terms of programmes and locations. It’s a great place to learn about the world of industry and its constraints, especially in an environment where our partners are government departments, and where meticulous attention to detail comes as standard”, Audrey concludes.
Mohamed, Digital Simulation and Selfguidance Engineer
“My mission is to contribute to the delivery of a software package that allows the torpedo to be deployed safely and to ensure that it guides itself successfully to its target”, Mohamed, an École Centrale graduate and digital simulation and selfguidance engineer now working on the Artémis programme in Saint-Tropez, explains.
Mohamed joined Naval Group right after graduating as an engineer from the École Centrale in Marseille 5 years ago. Today, he is part of the team developing and validating the selfguidance algorithms that provide the F21 heavyweight torpedo with its artificial intelligence. To achieve that, he uses a digital simulator capable of simulating thousands of firings. “It’s all about comparing our algorithms with the digital simulation: the simulator shows us how the torpedo behaves, and provides us with the data we need to assess its performance levels in operational scenarios. The trends we observe during the simulation exercises are used to improve the software to the point where we achieve the performance levels specified by the customer. A real-life firing at sea is then carried out to confirm the simulation observations, but where this is not the case, the data is used to recalibrate our models.”
Another aspect of Mohamed’s mission is to scrutinise test result data as the basis for controlling risks in the critical environment in which torpedoes operate. “It’s particularly rewarding to see a successful test firing at sea”, Mohamed, who is currently working on the data generated by the F21 test firing on 13 June, continues. This successful outcome announces the upcoming qualification of the new-generation Naval Group heavyweight torpedo.
Yoann, Onboard Real-time Software Manager
His 8 years of experience qualify him today to work on developing a number of software solutions for the Artémis (F21 heavyweight torpedo) programme, ranging from one package that will ensure the safety of the F21 to another that will enable the weapon to leave the submarine.
Yoann, who leads a team of 10, ranging from highly experienced individuals to the most junior, explains: “I cover every stage of the process through to validation, so that means specification, design, development, qualification and – finally – software validation”.
“The code we develop is critical, and that places an enormous responsibility on us. At the same time, the opportunity to see the end purpose of the software we develop by attending qualification trials, for example, is particularly rewarding”, the engineer adds.
It’s a mission that also demands great adaptability, because many corrections and improvements will be made to the basic specification defined by the project leader with the customer. Even after the torpedoes are delivered to the Navy, Yoann’s team remains responsible for providing any software updates requested by the customer. “In a leading company like Naval Group, there are plenty of varied and motivating projects”, Yoann concludes.