[VIDEO] “Without a doubt, this will be an important milestone in my career”

Simon Wiciak, Real time Engineer (VIE)
Behind the scenes
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5 February 2018

He was planning on becoming a professional football player. But then at the age of 18, Simon Wiciak changed course. Simon, now 24 and from a small French village near Cognac, subsequently obtained his engineering degree and found his way onto the Air Liquide VIE programme.

“My VIE programme is still in full swing, but it’s already clear that it will be an important milestone in my professional career. First of all, this is because we’re treated as fully-fledged engineers here. My arguments are listened to, and the results of my analyses have a genuine impact. Because of this, I’ve already been able to learn much more by this point than I’d hoped. Not only on technical matters, but also on ways to work together efficiently in groups.”

International ambitions

“During my engineering studies at ECE (Ecole Centrale d’Electronique Paris), I studied for six months in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and then spent another full year studying and on an internship in Querétaro, Mexico. It really appeals to me to build a career abroad so I see it as an extra asset to work for an internationally oriented company like Air Liquide.”

 

 

OCC & Darwin

“I’m employed as a real-time engineer at the Operations Control Centre (OCC) of Air Liquide in Brussels, Belgium. Together we take care of the coordination and management of the so-called large industries network. This network includes no less than 2,800 kilometres of pipelines and gas storage tanks that we use to serve our largest customers.”

“We do this in the most efficient way possible, so that our customers’ costs are kept to a minimum and we can respond flexibly to fluctuations in production. Sometimes I’m not entirely convinced of certain decisions that are taken with regard to the network. In such cases I can comment freely, and this will be discussed in the group.”

“In addition, I also coordinate two smaller subtasks within the Darwin project, which concerns commercial efficiency. On the hand, we want to make better use of our capabilities, and on the other, to be able to make smarter decisions when faced with uncertain factors.”

“My job is to analyse the consumption behaviour of our customers and the reliability of our production. To this end, I’ve developed a support model that can be used to generate a wide range of scenarios.”

Why Air Liquide?

“My managers make efforts to involve me in all projects that match my skills and also offer me the opportunity to improve my skills through training courses.”

“Another important point is that, because of the rich diversity of cultures, I have learnt to manage and run projects in different ways. There is a pleasant working climate here in which you are responsible for doing a good job, but not in a stressful or negatively compelling way. In my view, it is a perfect balance.”

 

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VIE stands for “Volunteer for International Experience”. It is a programme for young graduates set up by the French Government. The aim is, on the one hand, to encourage French companies to develop their activities abroad and, on the other, to give graduates the opportunity to pursue an international career.Read more about it here

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