Gilles Amar: we meet a passionate Group Expert
A graduate of the Arts & Métiers technical school with a DEA* qualification in Structural Mechanics, Gilles Amar has an enthusiastic spirit that has always been driven by a curious mind, fuelled since his teenage years by scientific reading. This enthusiasm led him to follow a professional career with SEP (Société Européenne de Propulsion), followed by Hispano-Suiza, which has since become Safran Transmission Systems. Now working as a Group Expert in mechanics, he is putting his knowledge to good use for Safran and the Group's companies.
Gilles Amar began his career in 1988 as an R&D engineer at SEP, where he was involved in sizing very hot metal components of the Vulcain engine for the future Ariane 5 rocket (gas generator and nickel-based superalloy seals). In 1994, he joined Hispano-Suiza as a design engineer and studied on the new AGB BR710 GV/GX and later BR715 programs. He fully requalified the Rafale aircraft-mounted accessory drive and its radial driveshaft to Dassault Aviation's new specifications, following a campaign of landing/catapult tests for the M01 Navy Rafale on the Foch aircraft carrier in 1993 and a flight test campaign. In 2000, as a result of these initial experiences, Gilles assumed the role of Head of Calculation Methods and Tools, and at the same time, as Technical Adviser, began to use his knowledge for the benefit of other programs already in service, including CFM56, Trent, TP400 and M88.
Expanding his horizons
In 2002, Gilles was involved in the early phases of the Knowledge Management process within the company. It was an approach that he learned and implemented with conviction as he masterminded the creation of a number of "knowledge bibles" (bearings, housings, gears and splines). Several hundred information sheets were produced, adding to the existing Design Practices, but with a more restricted scope than is the case today. "Even then, Knowledge Management meant inviting a very wide range of employees to capitalize on their technical knowledge, whether in the design office, at the production stage or in after-sales, for example," Gilles explains.
In 2014, after a detour lasting several years as a project manager and then program leader for the H175 and TP400 technical brand, Gilles seized the opportunity to introduce the eco design concept to the company. This approach consists of taking into account the environmental impacts created by our products throughout their life cycle, from the pre-project phase through to dismantling and recycling. He continued to work on this area alongside his role as Technical Advisor, opening new horizons for him in a domain with which he had little familiarity at the time, but in which Safran’s Sustainable Development Department had made strong commitments. He gradually put together an Eco Design process that set out the relevant questions Safran Transmission Systems needed to ask itself as part of its work. "Whether through Knowledge Management or Eco Design, these experiences taught me the full importance of the concept of change management. This type of approach requires constant support and a real dynamic driven by management and, in a more general sense, by all supervisory staff in order to achieve buy-in from staff and ensure the initiative is a success," Gilles explains.
Sharing his knowledge
Gilles Amar likes to learn and discover new things, but he also likes to share. Since 2004, he has been an enthusiastic contributor to engineering schools and universities as he teaches and shares his knowledge, as well as imparting wisdom to his peers via forums and conferences. He is quick to welcome and oversee trainees, particularly within the context of his eco design work. Gilles also sees the transmission of knowledge as providing an opportunity for improvement: tailoring the information he shares as he explains R&D issues, deepening his technical knowledge following a relevant question from an intern or a student, improving his learning and teaching methods, etc.
In 2015, Gilles took up the role of Technical Interface between Safran Transmission Systems and AGI (Aero Gearbox International), a newly-created joint venture between Safran Transmission Systems and Rolls-Royce. It was a role entrusted to him by Laurent Raoul, Technical Director of Safran Transmission Systems: "Gilles' role was to facilitate the pooling of technical knowledge between the two entities by means of Design Practices (Pratiques de Conception). In just a few years, Gilles has improved the level of technical maturity for our PCs in a new bilingual French-English format, in compliance with the intellectual property rules between Safran and Rolls-Royce. "
Contributing to Group excellence
Although Gilles' career path has been punctuated by diverse and enriching experiences, the common thread is clear: technical expertise.
And in 2010, he started sharing this expertise with other companies in the Group. In this capacity, he took part in audits with Snecma (now Safran Aircraft Engines) to assist with the preliminary technical specifications of an engine in the making: the future LEAP-X! At the request of Safran Electrical & Power, he is also an auditor on the KC-390 program. These have been enriching experiences for Gilles, as he has worked alongside his peers at Safran in a constructive spirit of mutual respect.
Scientific method, curiosity, expertise, learning, humility and teamwork... this portfolio of skills and qualities resulted in Gilles’ appointment to the role of Group Expert in 2019. The appointment is not only a symbol of Safran's acknowledgement of his technical expertise in power transmission systems, it also serves as a reward for his unstinting commitment within Safran Transmission Systems.
*Diplôme d'études approfondies (advanced studies diploma)