[Portrait] Nolwenn Even, ergonomist on a work-study program in Lorient

Nolwen Even

13 July 2021 Human ressources Story

Nolwenn Even, 23 years old, has an extraordinary experience. On work-study program at the Ergonomics centre on the Naval Group site of Lorient, she already signed a permanent contract and will be heading for Cherbourg in September 2021! Once settled in Normandy, she will be in charge of designing optimised and secured workstations intended for submariners on the French-Australian program Australian Future Submarine (AFS). With, who knows, the possibility of moving to Adelaide.

Nolwenn Even knows the military sector well. “I spent five years as a reservist for the air force”, says the work-study student with a smile. And the Naval Group site of Lorient is not unknown to her either. “I passed by the site regularly and thought I would love to go there one day...” This is also a family history that is important to her: her paternal grandfather was a sailboat rigger on the site of Lorient, from 1971 to 1999.

In February, Nolwenn found her 6 months internship in industrial engineering. Despite the health crisis, she was able to do her internship and follow her training courses at the engineering school INSA in Blois, in Centre-Val-de-Loire region. Her work was mainly centred on the development and assessment of solution, for pipe manufacturing in workshops and onboard assembly. Naval Group then offered her a golden opportunity: a work-study program, in the Ergonomics centre. She signed her work-study contract in September 2020. Nolwenn then discovered another sector, previously unknown to her.

From ergonomic workstation studies to the exoskeleton project...

Over the last year, she has been managing several tasks on the site of Lorient: “I am working on several ergonomic studies. Team leaders or managers contact the Ergonomics centre requesting our help with a workstation as a need for improvement has been identified. We go to the area in question then analyse, observe and question the habits of the person concerned. We then write a report and draw up an action plan to carry out improvements”. She is also working on the exoskeleton project, initiated in 2017. “I monitor work and set up training courses. We then accompany the users and ask them to give us feedback on what works and what does not”. She is implicated in the financing aspects of the exoskeleton project and carries out a technology watch “and identifies which new products are created”.

This physical assistance device (DAPac) aims to prevent musculoskeletal disorders for operators. Prevention of occupational diseases, keeping employees at work, improving productivity: the issues are high for companies. At Naval Group, ergonomists, the HSE department and occupational medicine service are piloting experimental projects in the shipyards.

...To a collaboration with Australia

It was by chance that Nolwenn discovered the existence of the “Human factors and UX Design” team of ergonomists in Cherbourg: “I was looking for a job last year. I called them to find out more about their work and I liked what I heard immediately”, remembers Nolwenn Even. This was a trigger which lead her to the French-Australian AFS program for which she started working in September. The project enchants her: “I will be involved in the design of the vessel for future users. Together with the team, we are going to design the ergonomics of the workstation upstream”, she says enthusiastically. The idea of working with an English-speaking team appeals to her in particular. As for the possibility of flying to Australia, she says with a smile "we'll see what the future holds for me!”