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#AmazingJobsAtSafranNacelles - Gwenaël – “I chose Management”

Human resources

His interest in composite materials is what opened the doors to Safran Nacelles 20 years ago. Today, Gwenaël Semery thrives in his management role… but he hasn't set the technical aspects aside!

#AmazingJobAtSafranNacelles - Gwenaël

Originally from Fougères in Brittany, north-western France, Gwenaël worked as an intern at Safran Electronics & Defense(1) during his studies in Mechanical Engineering, not then suspecting he would one day join the Group permanently. It was further north, at the Safran Nacelles in Le Havre, that he would begin his career in 2004. “I did the final internship for my Masters in Composite Materials there before being hired.” he recalls. A choice that owes nothing to chance. “I have always been impressed by the capabilities of these materials and wanted to work on high-end applications. Aerospace was the perfect route for me...

From workshop to Centres of Excellence 

His first position as a local manager in the manufacturing workshop for composite parts introduced him to management with a team of 10 people. The experience seduced him and his journey went from strength to strength from there. “I decided to continue in this direction. Five years later, I took over the responsibility for the clean room(2) manufacturing engineering team, then over the entire team, including common resources(3), AFP (Automatic Fibre Placement) and Industrial Validation.

In 2014, Gwenaël progressed further and became head of the Composites Unit of Autonomous Production (UAP). “I wanted to develop into managing managers.” he explains. At the end of 2019, he was offered the responsibility for the Manufacturing Engineering and Industrial Processes in the Composites Centre of Excellence. This was a new challenge, as he had to support the increasing automation of manufacturing processes as well as increase the technical teams' competencies to adapt to these developments. 

Finally, since March 2024, his role has expanded to include the assembly and nozzles UAP. He now leads a team of 120 people. “We have three main missions: Production support, performance improvement and preparation for the future.” he summarises. 

Born to be a Manager 

Although the technical aspect of his position is omnipresent, Gwenaël considers that his real added value lies in his management skills: “Today, working on high-tech products and processes is no longer enough to attract new talents.” he says. “You have to stimulate a real desire into people to come and work here! Entrusting your team members with clear missions, being able to listen to them, encouraging initiative, giving them the right to make mistakes… all this contributes to creating a stimulating environment, a source of performance and motivation.

Gwenaël has changed positions several times, and he is aware of the importance of being able to project oneself. One of his greatest sources of pride is to have been able to detect talents and set them off on a career progression path. "Safran offers endless possibilities" he said. He therefore strives to offer career opportunities to his teams and sees himself evolve over time toward new challenges combining Management and Change Management. 

#AmazingJobAtSafranNacelles - Gwenaël

Sustainable processes 

Finally, Gwenaël notes the growing appetite of young people for companies committed to sustainable development. "This often comes up in recruitment interviews." he notes. “I am proud to tell them that Safran Nacelles contributes, through its products, to quieter engines and less fuel consumption. I also mention the initiatives we are taking to improve our consumption of energy and raw materials related to our processes. For example, we are currently thinking about how to reuse carbon scrap to produce parts. The results bring a benefit for the planet as well as the company.

In his spare time, Gwenaël likes to revisit his first passion: mechanics. “Management demands skills that are totally different from what is required for engineering sciences.” he smiles. “That is why I love tinkering with my motorcycle. I need logic, and it gives me the perfect balance.

(1) Sagem at the time. Today, the French Fougères site is Safran's Centre of Excellence in the manufacture of electronic components and equipment. 
(2) Room where pre-impregnated carbon layering operations take place for the production of composite nacelle parts. 
(3) Machining, autoclaves, non-destructive testing, etc.