Risk management in space sector

Risk management in space sector

Passionate about aeronautics since I was young, I quickly turned towards a scientific path in order to follow this path for my studies. I undertook a university course in mathematics and astrophysics and then, a work-linked training as an engineer in aeronautical maintenance. I discovered the world of the airline company at Aigle Azur by working on the reliability of the equipment. Then I learned the continuous improvement process and problem solving methods in the supplier quality department of Safran Aircraft Engines.

In order to continue my discovery of the aeronautical world, I chose to take my first permanent contract on the AIRBUS FAL (Final Assembly Line) A380, as a configuration management engineer for the entire production chain. It was my first experience with an aircraft manufacturer.

Based on these various experiences, I chose to reorient myself in a profession combining scientific and aeronautical culture, that’s why I chose to join APSYS in Toulouse in 2017 in the “Propulsion Safety and Airworthiness” team. The job of a Safety Engineer requires understanding the entire system and adding a mathematical component to it. I loved this time. I wrote the safety analyzes of in-flight incidents on the A350 reactors in order to identify the potential needs for modification of the propulsion systems. I also participated in drafting the deliverables for the A350-1000 certification and the new A350-900 nacelles. What a joy to see these planes fly and to know that we were part of the adventure.

Since July 2019, my mission has taken a new turn as I moved to French Guiana, to work on the space base.

“The job is not always easy, but the reward is there when you hear the applause after a successful flight.”

I work at the GSC (Guyanese Space Center) as an Industrial Technical Expert in Operational Safety. With a team of a few RAMS engineers (Reliability, Availibility, Maintenability, Security), we carry out the analyzes which make it possible to justify the proper functioning of the launch base systems so that the takeoffs of the Ariane 5, Soyuz and VEGA rockets do not endanger populations. At the same time, we are also participating in projects improvement such as the construction of a clean energy production plant.

Life at the GSC is very different from the Toulouse environment. The working methods are different, the issues are different, and all this at the gates of the Amazon rainforest. This experience is worth living. The job is not always easy, but the reward is there when you hear the applause after a successful flight. The space center is undergoing major changes with the arrival of VEGA C, Ariane 6, the future operations center and the desire to use only renewable energies.

There are still a lot of actions to be taken in terms of risk management and a lot of things to discover in this French region very far from the metropolis. APSYS allows us to participate in these different projects and in the European space adventure. This company is the first where I really felt at my ease, a little at home.

3 values: Friendliness and proximity to other employees – Support from those around you when needed – Goals to keep in mind.

Guillaume PoudoulecIndustrial technical expert