#LoveMySafranJob - "I am proud of the products we make!"
When you have spent time in the Pyrenees from a young age, when you are passionate about aerospace and skilled in the field, it makes sense to work at the Safran Helicopter Engines plant in Bordes! And that is exactly what methods engineer Thibault Monge-Cadet does! Helicopter engine parts still hold him in thrall!
Chair an association that is building a microlight? Take up an internship in England at the age of 19? Do up a house? Not a problem for Thibault Monge-Cadet, who describes his career path openly and easily. And yet it has not been without its challenges, starting with the manufacture of the LEAP1 engine's leading edge in 2017. In his first job as a methods engineer, Thibault faced a double-edged challenge at Safran Aircraft Engines: launching production of a major technological breakthrough during a sharp rise in output. "Previously, the blades had been made from titanium. With LEAP and its new composite blades, we needed leading edges to protect the front of the blade. We were looking at parts that we had never made before. With regards to production, it was complicated but we had a motivated team and it was really interesting," he says.
To surmount this intense kickoff to his career, Thibault was able to draw on his engineering degree and a number of professional experiences at Safran. A three-month internship at Safran Helicopter Engines in Fareham, UK during his technology degree was the ideal opportunity to learn about engine parts repair.
"It was fascinating to see all the parts and to understand how they had worn both mechanically and thermally, where the wear and tear was, and how to repair them. That was when I realized how complex this fabulous machinery is," says Thibault.
Strongly influenced by this experience, Thibault contacted his internship supervisor during his engineering course and managed to secure another placement, this time in quality, at the same plant. "It wasn't compulsory but I just wanted to get the most experience I could and it was the opportunity to learn about auditing and many other areas. It was a very valuable experience," he adds. After a final six-month internship at Safran Aircraft Engines, Thibault joined the Group at the end of 2017.
Aerospace in his bones
His passion for aircraft began a long time ago… Thibault, who comes from Pau in southwest France, feels as though he has always lived and breathed aeronautics.
"I've been interested in aeronautics since I was very small. I am a real fan and I've always wanted to work in the sector," he says.
With a strong desire to work in the field and see machines operating on the factory floor, Thibault decided to do a degree in mechanical and production engineering2 with a specialization in aeronautics.
He later attended the Ecole Nationale Supérieure d’Arts et Métiers in Angers, where he took a specialty in industrial engineering to gain a better understanding of how a workshop operates. During his course there, Thibault joined the school's Ic'Arts Aviation association, which was working on the design of a two-seater airplane. This is a long-term project involving many students, year after year. "I helped to build the wooden frame, mount the canvas, and paint the airplane, as well as to assemble the engine and all the fuel systems", recalls Thibault. All in his own time, with a 20-minute car journey to get there and, it goes without saying, as the association chair. Well if that's not a case of deep-rooted passion...
A taste for hard work and concrete results
Today, he's no longer working on a microlight but instead focuses on helicopter engine plans provided by the Bordes design office. His department is responsible for preparing suitable manufacturing sequences and supporting the production teams in the event of a problem. "Our offices are right next to the workshop so we interact constantly and continue to learn every day," he says. Thibault never gets fed up of his work with engines, whether he's working on a new development or improving an existing part. "I love the parts we work on and I am proud of the products we make," he says.
This eagerness helps Thibault imagine his future at Safran, particularly at a time when the Group is working harder than ever to decarbonize aviation, a topic he is particularly passionate about.
"I am delighted to have been able to come back to my beloved Pyrenees and, at the same time, enjoy professional fulfilment. When I see the scope of possibility here, I realize that I still have a lot to explore," Thibault says.
In the near future, he's thinking of management for which he got a feel during his time as chair of the Ic'Arts Aviation association: "it was my job to bring everyone together around a common goal, to get the best out of each person, and to help solve problems."
Thibault has made the most of being back in his beloved mountains to return to the sports he loves: cycling up mountain passes and skiing. Providing a welcome breath of fresh air between DIY sessions on the new house he's renovating with his partner. "Like with everything, you have to get stuck in!" he says with humility.
And also have talent and an appetite for hard work...
1 Engine designed, developed and manufactured by CFM International, a 50-50 joint venture between Safran Aircraft Engines and GE.
2 Diplôme Universitaire Technologique
Education and experience:
- 2012 – 2014: Mechanical and production engineering degree2, with a specialization in aeronautics, in Toulouse (3-month internship in production at Safran Helicopter Engines UK)
- 2014 – 2017: Ecole Nationale Supérieure d’Arts et Métiers in Angers (3-month internship in continuous improvement at Safran Helicopter Engines UK)
- February – August 2017: 6-month final year internship at Safran Aircraft Engines in Gennevilliers, as a methods engineer in the lost wax casting process
- December 2017: First position as methods engineer on the leading edge for the LEAP1 engine at Safran Aircraft Engines in Gennevilliers
- December 2021: Transfer to Safran Helicopter Engines in Bordes as methods engineer in the sprocket workshop at the "Combustion, transmission and casing" center for industrial expertise