What is your name and how old are you?
My name is Patrick and I'm 51.
What is your position?
I am a development engineer in the oil & gas market and an expert in polyamide materials.
What has been your career path?
I am a doctor of chemistry. In 1991, I joined the Materials Research Laboratory as a research engineer. In 1999, I became a development engineer for the industrial market, and later
a product development engineer for polyamides. Since 2008, I have been back in oil & gas market development, having also gained the title of polyamide materials expert along the way.
What is your job about?
Developing new products or new applications for products in the oil & gas market. My role is to drive the company to maintain its technical leadership in the field of polymer solutions used in offshore flexible pipes and other umbilicals in the oil & gas industry.
What are your responsibilities, specifically?
I offer proposals for the development of new, higher-performance materials. I also provide technical assistance on existing applications. So, I attend a multitude of conferences, trade fairs, and symposiums concerning the oil & gas industry. I also have to coordinate the worldwide development of our products and be the technical point of reference for everything concerning polyamides.
What skills does your job require?
I provide the interface between the customers and our R&D department. So I have to be very familiar with the products and their applications, as well as the technical specifications of the product, the customers' technical specifications, and the standards in force. You also need a good level of English and to know how to work as part of a team.
What do you like about your job?
The subjects I deal with are both complex and fascinating. There are strategic business interests behind my assignments. Also, I work in contact with a lot of different people, whether in the R&D department, sales, or the managers of plants. And one last thing; it gives me the chance to travel regularly across three continents (Europe, North America, and Asia).
What challenges do you like to take on?
I like solving the problems run into by our customers, helping drive R&D projects forward, convincing the customers of the value and high performance of Arkema products, so that Arkema is the first place they turn to for demanding applications.
Is there a particular memory that you would like to share?
My first encounter with RILSAN B (PA11) and RILSAN A (PA12). An engineer from Cerdato came to what would later be my thesis lab to illustrate a surprising phenomenon: when you stretch coiled tubes made from PA11 or PA12 in the same manner, the tube made from PA11 returns to its initial length much more quickly than the one made of PA12. The difference between PA11 and PA12 was then and still is the abiding theme of my career in Arkema.
Something about yourself?
I play volleyball despite standing a mere five feet seven inches tall, which means I can't really get my hands over the net. That means my job is to pass the ball to the other players; I like directing the game and getting my partners into attacking positions. The game is really based on the idea of a team and the complementarity between the different players. Everyone has to play their role for the team to perform. I think that Arkema's key words also hold true for volleyball.