#LoveMySafranJob "It's a privilege to be able to contribute to an industry that fascinates me"
A US citizen of Cameroonian origin, Doline Peterson joined the Group in 2015, attracted by its reputation, opportunities and inclusive culture. The 40-year-old is passionate about the aerospace sector, and has thrived in her role as the Falcon 6X APU Program Manager at Safran Power Units.
What does your current role involve, and what has your career path been?
I'm in charge of development, certification and production for the auxiliary power unit (APU) for the Falcon 6X – one of the two business jets that Safran Power Units is working on. I coordinate a program team covering a range of domains such as engineering, quality, contracts and sales, finance, commercialization and customer support; our goals are customer satisfaction and program profitability. When I joined the Group six years ago (it will have been seven years in January), I was following a technical expert assessment path for the certification of embedded software with the FAA***. But my work carrying out certification projects had also provided me with solid technical leadership experience, backed up by a professional certification in project management, and I wanted to gain a better understanding of business processes to give me a greater ability to handle the interdisciplinary aspects that are very often necessary in technical leadership. That's why I enrolled on an MBA course when I took up my current position. After three years, I'd like to be able to keep developing and growing in this way.
What do you like most about your job, and what has been the proudest moment in your professional life?
My favorite part of my work is its multidisciplinary nature: I get the chance to learn plenty about developing manufacturing processes, establishing a supply chain and implementing replacement strategies. It gives me a better understanding of the life cycle of our product, which I find fascinating.
As for my proudest moments, I'd have to say the final stages of certification of systems for regional airliners, including Rockwell Collins, Pratt & Whitney Aeropower and Safran Power Units (for the Bombardier Global 7500). I also had the privilege of contributing to an SAE International* publication released in March 2021, entitled "Flight Paths to Success", presenting the career paths of 33 women who have succeeded in aviation, space and academia. The AgCam project was also one of the most memorable moments, with all the prestige associated with a space shuttle launch.
You're a diehard space fan. Where did that come from?
It all started during my university studies in the United States. Back then, I was a research assistant on the AgCam program, financed by NASA, whose aim was to send two cameras to the International Space Station aboard the space shuttle Endeavor to help farmers in the Midwest region. I was fortunate enough to be able to visit the shuttle on its launch pad, and I was invited to watch its launch from the press site at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. My family and I take every possible opportunity to stay connected with the space industry. We went to see the Perseverance Rover robot at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory just before its launch to Mars, the first launch from Vandenberg Air Force Base to include a first-stage return and landing in California, the James Webb Space Telescope… and several visits to the Endeavor space shuttle at the California Science Center in Los Angeles! I consider it a privilege to contribute to this industry and to work in a field that I love.
What do you think about the place of women in aeronautics, and at Safran in particular?
I believe my career path at Safran illustrates the Group's culture of inclusion and shows that positions of responsibility are open to all women. My advice to women who'd like to work in this sector is never to be afraid to get started, because the experience will be a rewarding one.
Is there a female personality that inspires you, inside or outside the Group?
I had the opportunity to experience a very rewarding mentoring relationship with Rhonda Walthall** when I was working at Pratt & Whitney. I'd like to thank her for openly and frankly sharing her experience. At Safran, two women occupy key roles in my management network structure: The President of Safran Power Units, Ghislaine Doukhan, and the Group Programmes Director, Sandrine Holler. Their profiles and career paths inspire me and are something that can encourage other women to join the Group.
* SAE is a worldwide standards association that works to further mobility knowledge and solutions. It combines more than 200,000 engineers and technical experts working in areas such as the aeronautics and automotive industries.
** Rhonda Walthall is a technical expert at Collins Aerospace, a former Chair of SAE's Board of Directors, and a technical expert for the PHM (Aircraft Prognostics and Health Management Society) organization.
*** FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) – US aviation regulatory agency
2021: MBA specializing in Entrepreneurship, San Diego State University, California
2018: Falcon 6X Business Jet SPU150 APU Program Manager, Safran Power Units
2015: Embedded software and airworthiness engineer, Safran Power Units
2012: Embedded software engineer, Pratt & Whitney Aeropower
2008: Systems engineer, Rockwell Collins Inc., Iowa
2008: Master of Science in Information Technology, University of North Dakota
2006: Software and Database Developer, Center for the People and the Environment, University of North Dakota (United States)
2002: Network engineer, Douala1.com (Cameroon)
2002: BSc in Physics, computer science option, University of Buea (Cameroon)
1998: Baccalaureate series C, Collège Chevreul (Cameroon)