Interview with Matheus, winner of the Titane 2023 thesis prize
Where does your passion for aeronautics come from?
My father traveled a lot in his job, and when I'd pick him up at the airport, I'd watch the planes take off and land. I was also able to accompany him on his travels, which gave me a taste for travel, a desire to be elsewhere and a connection with aeronautics.
Is there one plane you love more than the others?
The 14-bis! It was Alberto Santos-Dumont's biplane that made one of the world's first autonomous flights. It took place in 1906 near the Parc de Bagatelle in Paris, at a time when most aircraft, like the Wright Brothers', took off using a catapult. In Brazil, there's a saying that with a catapult, you can even make a stone fly! Powering an airplane is not the same thing... For me, this aircraft is truly historic and symbolic, as Santos-Dumont was a Brazilian with a passion for aeronautics in Paris, which echoes my own story...
So doing a thesis applied to aeronautics was an obvious choice for you?
Absolutely! Following my double engineering degree at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro in metallurgical engineering and at SIGMA Clermont in the mechanical engineering department, specializing in materials, I wanted to do a doctoral thesis on titanium applied to aeronautics.
Starting in 2019 at the Center for Materials Forming (CEMEF) at the Ecole des Mines de Paris, my thesis on “the multi-scale study of microstructural changes in hot-deformed two-phase titanium alloys” was part of the Continuum project, which brings together a consortium of industrialists including Safran, Airbus, Timet and Aubert & Duval. The aim was to provide precise information on titanium deformation and its correlation with microstructure.
What does this have to do with our sector?
To fly airplanes, we need very light, very strong materials like titanium. However, it's a difficult material to work with and obtain the right properties. We need to transform it by adding heat and deformation. The aim of my thesis was to find the optimum way of adapting a raw material to a material that matches the desired mechanical properties.
This research work was awarded the 2023 thesis prize by the French Titanium Association... No small matter!
It was very satisfying to receive this distinction, as it's a widely recognized award in the titanium field. It's also recognition of my research work and that of the aerospace industry.
Did your thesis lead you to work for Safran?
During my PhD, I worked with Safran Tech, which enabled me to join Safran Aircraft Engines in January 2023.
My experience with titanium is being used to optimize the current LEAP-1B leading edge range for the Boeing 737 MAX, as well as to develop the leading edges of the Open Fan for the future CFM RISE program. Our in-depth research into part dimensions and parameters in a hot forming process opens up promising prospects for the future.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
Combining theoretical research in the field of mechanical metallurgy with practical work in the field to find concrete solutions for the engines of the future. At Safran Aircraft Engines, I've also found my place as an ambassador for materials research in the aeronautical field, which makes me very proud.
The Titane 2023 thesis prize - Matheus Brozovic Gariglio
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