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I like to move around, and experience new environments
At age 11, captivated by a brochure from CERN, the European Organisation for Nuclear Research, Delphine decided she wanted to “break particles”. Curious by nature, she enjoyed finding out how things worked. That early interest would never flag. After earning a degree in Engineering, she went on to earn a post-graduate degree (DEA) in Materials Sciences, followed by a thesis on uranium enrichment, funded by the CEA and Cogema, in Pierrelatte, in La Drôme.
Delphine was also eager to be in the field and wanted action and challenges in her everyday work. She knew she was interested in applied research, as opposed to theoretical. Upon earning her PhD, she headed straight to the Human Resources Department at Cogema. Officially, there were no vacant positions, but her determination made the difference: she came out of the office with two job offers.
In September 2000, the young woman started as a Laboratory Methods Engineer at the Melox plant. The site was known for its expertise in fuel assembly manufacturing, and its employees legitimately took pride in working there. The environment, conducive to discussion and sharing, buoyed up the young recruit.
Freshly hired into the company, Delphine defended her doctoral thesis in the presence of the members of her new team, who had come to encourage her. Alongside them, she would learn the trade and build lasting personal ties. One of her senior executives would even become her son's godfather a few years later. Professionally, she quickly climbed the ranks. Just two years after her arrival, she was promoted to Head of the Laboratory Methods unit.
At Melox, the right opportunity for development has always come at the right time.
Delphine wanted to regularly change work roles to give herself a broad set of skills and development. Orano gave her this opportunity. In 11 years at Melox, she covered all the production and planning activities. Successively Manager of the Quality Control Methods unit, the Assembly Operations Department, then the Operational Logistics Department, she gained a global vision of the plant's operations and, at the same time, whetted her appetite for greater operational responsibilities.
After a brief period at Orano TN, where she was in charge of waste transport worldwide, she returned to the operational world with Amalis at the Tricastin site to manage the customer facility operations support team.
Delphine looks back with particular fondness on a fuel delivery contract for a research reactor built in Jordan by a Korean company. Orano TN sent her on site to discuss the project: it would prove an original and surprising experience, much to her delight.
In Jordan, surrounded by army and secret service officials, she expertly negotiated with her Korean and Jordanian counterparts, working out technical procedures for the transport of nuclear material. A particular challenge was that Jordan has no defined regulations on the subject. It was an uncommon responsibility for a French engineer who entered the nuclear industry through "Laboratory Methods". The experience also demonstrated to her the wide range of possible career paths within the energy sector.
Challenge: negotiating a fuel delivery contract for a research reactor.
Counterparts: the French producer, the Korean manufacturer, the research reactor managers, and the Jordanian authorities.
Difficulty: no local regulations on the transport of nuclear fuel.
Delphine has headed the Tricastin site since January 2018, where she manages 240 operators, a team resulting from the merger of the PNS-STMI-Amalis-MSIS entities. It’s a human and technical adventure, just what she likes. “There is story to write, a new company to build, a team spirit to forge, and know-how to perfect”.
Appointed a manager at a young age, Delphine gained experience in each of her positions driven by her thirst for discovery and benefiting from solid internal coaching. Over the years, she has learned to give herself more time for rest and recuperation. As to Orano, she sees it as synonymous with many other opportunities to come… and she has every intention of seizing upon them to explore new horizons.