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Christopher, technical inspector

What has been your career path?

I started off in the French navy, where I spent eight years as a mechanic and welder. Then I spent seven years working as a contractor in the area of non-destructive testing and inspection. I joined Arkema in the role of technical inspector at La Chambre in 2011.

What is your job about?

We are kind of the experts when it comes to the condition of the equipment. We are responsible for preventing risks to people and property, reporting on the condition of the equipment, and ensuring its compliance with regulations, as well as internal and external standards.

What skills does your job require?

You have to know the standards, the test methods, the materials and their strength. And how to weld and do boilerwork, as well as how to use the computer tools.

What is your typical working day like?

I make regulatory inspection visits, take part in meetings about projects, and answer questions from my colleagues, because we are often the ones who remember the plant's past. I apply procedures and validate technical specifications. The fieldwork is essential, but documenting my observations in the field takes up a lot of time, which is why I spend 80% of my working day in the office.

What do you like about your job?

I like the autonomy that I have in my work and appreciate the independence that we have in decision making. Also, the wide range of disciplines at the plant means that our tasks can be varied, so we are not necessarily doing the same thing every day.

What challenges do you like to take on?

The plant-shutdown periods are the most interesting time for us. You have to commit to your work because the level of activity is always quite high, and you need to maintain a critical perspective. Writing up reports is very interesting too. You have to accurately describe a situation, convey the necessary messages, inform the reader, and so on. With each report, I bear in mind that it will be read by other workers with very different jobs (production or maintenance) or that it may be used many years later as historical evidence.

What are your career plans for afterwards?

I would like to get my professional experience validated as equivalent to a vocational degree, and then a 5-year degree in order to manage a department.


What do you like about Arkema?

In the community of Arkema inspectors, we all know each other and it is not uncommon for us to help each other out. Moreover, I feel like I have always had the support of the technical department, which is very helpful.

Is there a particular memory related to your job that you would like to share?

On my first inspection tour after being hired I reported a problem that allowed for serious damage to be avoided. Undetected, it could have cost close to a million euros!

One of your qualities and one flaw?

Commitment to my work. I sometimes lack patience.


Do you have a motto in your work or life in general?

Always see things through.

Maintenance - Engineering Design - Inspection - Project

The role of the maintenance, engineering design, and inspection professions is to optimize the performance and safety of our industrial plants.

Find out about Arkema professions