Chemical technician in the Catalysis and Separation Division
Vocational Degree in Analytical Techniques from IUT A Lyon 1
Based in Solaize
I found out about IFP Energies nouvelles when I was at high school because I wanted to do a BTS (vocational qualification) as part of a work-study program in chemistry. But it was only the year after, in 2006, that I was able to study for a Vocational Degree in Analytical Techniques, sharing my time between IFP Energies nouvelles and IUT Lyon-1.
In 2007, IFP Energies nouvelles offered me a fixed-term contract to work for a year in the spectrometry - potentiometry analysis laboratory and since September 1, 2008, I've been working as a chemical technician in the Catalysis and Separation Division.
My work consists in testing gases and gasolines with a view to finding suitable solutions to eliminate the impurities contained in fuels, especially sulfur compounds.
More specifically, this involves studying the capacity of adsorbents to hold impurities (breakthrough curve) and the capacity of solvents to regenerate adsorbents.
In general, we begin by assessing what's been done previously and thinking about what needs to be done next. Before tests start, we prepare the reagents and solvents and ensure that the handling chain is water-tight so that the tests are conducted in optimum conditions. We then move onto the test phase proper and produce the samples to be analyzed. Gas phase chromatography analyses generate results in the form of breakthrough curves, which can be used to develop theories.
I love experimenting and handling in the laboratory. It allows you to really see the outcome of tests. But research is what I really love. It encourages you to think about the causes of a problem and potential solutions, to formulate hypotheses, explore various testing options, etc.
In addition to these theoretical and exploratory aspects, I like working in a research body that is developing innovative techniques designed to meet the energy challenges of tomorrow and bring solutions to the environmental problems that affect us all.
I understand the exact purpose of the research work I'm carrying out.
In my job, as in other areas of research work, the most important quality is rigor.
I also think you have to be curious, not only in the field you're working in but also in other fields covered by the institute because it can generate new ideas and be a source of professional development.
You also have to be able to step back from the results you get in order to determine whether they genuinely have any practical implications or whether it may be possible to find better solutions.
Finally, you have to be open to others and enjoy interacting with them. We're often called upon to work with teams from IFP Energies nouvelles's other divisions, as well as outside companies.
I've only been with the company for a short time and I've got a lot to learn. My first priority is to develop my technical expertise and consolidate my theoretical knowledge.
Once I have sufficient experience, I'd like to play a more active role in the work we carry out jointly with partner companies.
I've already seen that there are a variety of career options at IFP Energies nouvelles. I could move into a different field or continue my studies.
Also, there are opportunities for everyone at IFP Energies nouvelles, including disabled people like me. IFP Energies nouvelles has an effective integration policy. We are given support on a daily basis, posts are adapted to our needs and re-training is offered where necessary. There is genuine recognition for the disabled. As far as I'm concerned, the support I receive is invaluable and means I'm able to consider my career options irrespective of my disability.
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