It is definitely out of passion since high-school, that I chose to study chemistry. As a teenager, I was interested in the chemistry of stellar bodies, so I joined a science club which made me discover organic chemistry through often complicated syntheses. This naturally led to sitting the chemistry school admission tests after the preparatory classes with the firm intention of following a researcher career. *
My different internships in companies during my ENSCM education programme showed me other sides of chemistry, in particular in industry. Thus, graduating from the ENSCM, I prepared a business administration certificate Certificat d’Aptitude à l’Administration des Entreprises (Master’s degree) at IAE in Aix-en-Provence. After this curriculum, my first experience was the installation of pharmaceutical facilities (ASSYSTEM) more specifically for process qualification validation, which allowed me to understand the industry world in its production maintenance component. I needed a human dimension however, a component I looked for in a subsidiary of ARKEMA (MLPC International) in the position of product manager for CS2 chemistry, and of area manager (organisation of a network of distributors) in Western Europe, and then in Asia and in Eastern Europe. This experience was particularly rich for discovering different work cultures throughout the world.
After some time with LABO SERVICES, a subsidiary of Suez Environnement specialised in the treatment of packaged hazardous waste, I took over Maintenance Service Environnement, a company whose founder took retirement. MSE had 7 people in 2005 for 0.9 M€ turnover, and was specialised in hazardous waste collections and client on-site interventions for recurrent operations of management of hazardous waste. Today, the company has 1.5 M€ turnover with 11 people, and is specialised in:
- complex decontamination or dismantling of chemical installations, requiring process skills.
- Emergency safety operations for tanker trucks and for means of transport of hazardous materials.
- Depollution operations for industrial waste sites.
Within a TPE (very small company), the position of head of company requires versatility in almost all functions: sales, technical, people management, accounting, and strategy.
This versatility is one of the most attractive elements of the job with a freedom of action restricted only by the market. In the end, it is in this job that I have used my chemistry knowledge most in particular in terms of chemical risk and reactivity.