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Aurélie Girou Aurélie Girou

Aurélie Girou, CEO of Safran Reosc, a dynamic career serving the aerospace industry, a multi-skilled career made in Safran.

Corporate
Engineer in materials and nanotechnologies, Aurélie Girou has built up a remarkable career since her early days as an industrial buyer at Safran Landing Systems. She has held a number of key positions, including Program Director and Wheel and Brake Purchasing Director at Safran Landing Systems. In July 2021, she became Group Director of Open Innovation at Safran Corporate Ventures, paving the way for her future appointment as CEO of Safran Reosc. A world leader in the development of opto-mechanical systems, Safran Reosc designs innovative instruments for astronomy, space, lasers or industry. Its optical components and sub-assemblies (lenses, free-form mirrors, etc.) meet the most demanding specifications of international research organizations and scientific programs. Aurélie Girou talks to us about her vision for Safran Reosc and the challenges that await her in this new role.

Tell us about your appointment as CEO of Safran Reosc. What is your vision of the company's future? How do you intend to position and develop Reosc in this constantly changing market?

Safran Reosc is a company made up of passionate professionals who excel in their field. We work on exciting projects such as high-resolution Earth observation, climate monitoring and universe exploration, supported by nanometrically precise manufacturing technologies. In a world where the technological challenges linked to climate protection, sovereignty and access to space are taking on a new dimension, the main challenge is to position Reosc and make it win in this new world, both by capitalizing on the company's history and the passion of the men and women of Safran Reosc, and by continuing to innovate thanks to their incomparable know-how. My goal is to continue to develop Reosc for new customers and markets, a challenge already successfully met throughout the company's history, and I have no doubt about our collective ability to succeed again.

Can you tell us more about Safran Reosc, its history and its importance within the Group?

Safran Reosc was founded in 1937 by a group of scientists from the Institut d'Optique de Paris, including Henri Chrétien and Charles Fabry, both of whom left their names to landmark optical instruments. The company, a Sagem subsidiary since 1999, joined the Group when it was founded in 2005. For the Group, it represents a symbol of technological excellence through its participation in prestigious scientific programs:

  • Astronomy, with major references:
    • the Very Large Telescope, for which it polished the 4 monolithic mirrors measuring 8m in diameter
    • the Gran Telescopio Canarias, which uses a 10m-diameter segmented primary mirror, the largest currently in service, and whose segments were supplied by Safran Reosc
    • and finally, the Extremely Large Telescope, today's emblematic astronomy program: Safran Reosc is in charge of the 5 mirrors that will make up this giant telescope, which will be installed in Chile and is scheduled to "first light" in 2027. In particular, with the Group's support, Safran Reosc was able to build a 4.0 plant in Poitiers to polish and integrate the 931 segments required for the 39m-diameter primary mirror.
  • Space, with the supply of optics for major scientific programs (ISO, Hipparcos, Corot, Solar B, Gaia, James Webb Space Telescope, Euclid, etc.) and Earth observation programs: the 3 generations of Meteosat, Spot, Helios, CSO, Pleiades Neo.

Safran Reosc also makes an essential contribution to the implementation of one of the Group's strong commitments, which is to be a key player in sovereignty: it supplies optics for instruments or systems enabling France and Europe to maintain their technological mastery, and in particular in space and defense.

How do you see Safran Reosc's role in innovation within Safran and in industry in general?

Technological innovation has always been an essential part of Safran Reosc's DNA. Within the Group, other entities frequently call on our expertise to analyze technical problems or develop new technological processes, thanks to our expertise in optical manufacturing, processing and metrology technologies.

More generally in the industry, Safran Reosc is recognized worldwide as the leading company for the development and production of high-performance optics. The papers and presentations given by the company's experts at various conferences and trade shows are always well attended by the scientific community and other industrialists in general.

"Technological innovation has always been an essential part of Safran Reosc's DNA."

What advice would you give to young professionals aspiring to a successful career in the aerospace and defense sector?

Live out your passions and ambitions, and seize every opportunity offered by our sector and its challenges. Aim for excellence!

A new “Factory 4.0” to make primary mirror segments for the Extremely Large Telescope
A new “Factory 4.0” to make primary mirror segments for the Extremely Large Telescope
A new “Factory 4.0” to make primary mirror segments for the Extremely Large Telescope
© Cyril Abad / CAPA Pictures / Safran The new 5,000 square meter (54,000 square foot)…
Metrology
Metrology
Metrology
© Christel Sasso / CAPA Pictures / Safran Adjustment of the alignment of a part on an…
Spectrophotometric measurements
Spectrophotometric measurements
Spectrophotometric measurements
© Christel Sasso / CAPA Pictures / Safran The Safran Reosc teams use spectrophotometry to…
Inspection of the 4 meter secondary mirror of the ELT (M2) with polishing machine
Inspection of the 4 meter secondary mirror of the ELT (M2) with polishing machine
Inspection of the 4 meter secondary mirror of the ELT (M2) with polishing machine
© Adrien Daste / Safran
Control of a reference mirror for an optical test bench
Control of a reference mirror for an optical test bench
Control of a reference mirror for an optical test bench
© Adrien Daste / Safran
Close-up of the miror
Close-up of the miror
Close-up of the miror
© Adrien Daste / Safran
  • © Free-Lance's / Safran
  • © Safran
  • © Adrien Daste / Safran
  • © Christel Sasso / CAPA Pictures / Safran
  • © Cyril Abad / CAPA Pictures / Safran