Safran Scientific Council: providing expert opinion

To consolidate its approach, i.e. placing innovation at the heart of its development strategy, Safran has created a Scientific Council, presented below by Eric Bachelet, Executive Vice President, Research & Technology.

Why was the Safran Scientific Council created?
Safran recognized the importance of scientific progress for technological innovation, and wanted to bolster ties with upstream research and the scientific community. This is what prompted the creation of the Scientific Council in 2009. Its main role is to make us aware of emerging research topics which, while they may currently be at the outward reaches of our expertise, could be of relevance to our future products and activities. For example, the Council drew our attention to the possibility of designing cold-atom gyrometric systems, an area currently at the cutting-edge of solid-state physics. It also provides opportunities for critical third-party review of our organization and our R&T plan.

How is it organized?
The Safran Scientific Council is chaired by French physicist Mathias Fink, who took over after the death of Georges Charpak in 2010. It is comprised of six world-renowned scientists from various disciplines such as physics, solid mechanics, automation, materials and applied mathematics for image analysis. It receives support from Safran's R&T Department, but is fully independent as regards its agenda and work. Its members conduct regular visits to Group sites, in order to keep abreast of our activities and to interact directly with specialist staff.

How would you assess the Scientific Council's action three years in?
The Scientific Council clearly plays a key role in ensuring the excellence of Safran's scientific strategy. Many of its recommendations proved to be of value for our partnerships with laboratories and universities, our expert network and our expertise-management system. The Council has also conducted targeted assessment of specific aspects of our R&T plan, in such areas as titanium alloys, ceramic composites, image analysis and Group policy for embedded systems. On titanium alloys, for example, the Council provided valuable input on risk analysis for the introduction of new high-resistance or high-potential grades such as titanium aluminides.

Safran Scientific Council members
The Council is composed of six world-renowned scientists:

  • Mathias Fink, physicist, Chairman
  • Alain Aspect, quantum and atomic optics physicist
  • Jean-François Baumard, ceramics specialist
  • Albert Benveniste, mathematician and embedded systems specialist
  • Jean-Louis Chaboche, mechanical structure modeling specialist
  • Daniel Eylon, metallurgy specialist