What’s your job at the Charleroi plant?
I’m in charge of the workshop that makes a type of high-voltage power supply called Traveling Wave Tube Amplifier (TWTA). They’re used on geostationary telecom satellites based on the Spacebus NEO platform, as well as on many other spacecraft, including ExoMars, MTG, Rosetta and the Sentinel family of environmental monitoring satellites for Europe’s Copernicus program. I oversee the fabrication of these TWTAs, including quality, process compliance and on-time delivery. One important aspect of my job is to strike the best balance between the allocated human resources and our team’s objectives. I try to make sure that each team member is assigned a key role, while also achieving professional fulfillment. I see myself like the conductor of an orchestra, guiding virtuosos who play outstanding instruments to give us a beautiful symphony (laughs)!
What are you proudest of in your day to day work?
Being thanked by our customers. Knowing that they are satisfied, and that we accomplished our assigned task is the best possible reward. It’s really a team success, and I’m proud to be able to share this achievement with everybody in my team.
What would you say is your career highlight so far?
One of the highlights so far was the TWTA ramp-up action plan. To meet growing demand, in 2016 we ramped-up our production rate – from 10 EPCs delivered per year, to 10 deliveries in just 30 days! Among other changes, we multiplied our workforce 4-fold, from 10 operators to about 40. This ramp-up action plan was significant at many levels. What struck me most was the team spirit and synergy among everybody involved with TWTAs: scheduling, methods, quality assurance, testing, engineering and more. Everybody was present and accounted for, and even though it was a newly formed team, they were fully committed to seeing things through all the way to the end.
In three words, what are the main qualities required by your job?
Organization, dynamism and empathy.
First artistic view: ©Thales Alenia Space/Briot
Photo: ©Thales Alenia Space
Spacebus NEO: ©Thales Alenia Space/Master Image Programmes
ExoMars TGO: © ESA/ATG medialab