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Fracture Mechanics

E. Jardin & C. Schoch

Christophe Husson never saw himself as a PhD or as a business manager when he started his university career, and yet....

After doing a CIFRE thesis in conjunction with the Framatone Connectors International (FCI) "Corporate Research Center" and the Institute for Fluid and Solid Mechanics at the University of Strasbourg," Christophe Husson joined the team at the Ecole des Mines engineering school in Nancy as graduate teaching fellow.  For two years he taught digital modeling for material sciences and engineering and continued to publish articles.

Meanwhile, Christophe was qualified by section 60 of the French National University Council (CNU) (mechanics, mechanical engineering and civil engineering). Did a university lecturer position await him at the end of this process? Christophe perhaps hoped so, even if he didn't want " teaching duties to monopolize all his time." Finally, he turned toward the business world.

After answering a job offer published by a recruitment counseling office (B. Sigrist Conseil in Mulhouse), he joined Techlam's "Studies and Industrialization" (part of the Hutchinson group, Total's chemistry subsidiary). Christophe found himself in an environment where there were very few PhDs (only three in the entire company) where the activity was much closer to the "D." of R&D. In this environment, the assets and drawbacks of training for research appeared clearly to him. Certainly, Christophe noticed that he was better able to look at things objectively and overcome difficulties, cope with failure and offer innovative services to clients, but he felt less well equipped to manage very applied science projects, particularly as regards sticking to schedule and, especially, during administrative negotiations of contracts with clients. Despite these difficulties, Christophe drew heavily on his scientific expertise because his activity was directly connected to his thesis topic.

Expertise and versatility
At Techlam, Christophe was in charge of digital computation applied to the chemical properties of metals (plasticity, damage and fracture mechanics). He organized the subcontracting of computation activities, supervised technological monitoring and oversaw study engineers. On a daily basis, he used his scientific knowledge of metallic materials while proving himself valuable in elastomeric systems (rubber/metal laminates) for clients in the defense, aerospace, offshore and rail transport sectors.

In short, he was able to adapt to a wide variety of objects and very different corporate cultures. Mental versatility and geographic mobility were necessary to carry out client assignments, making numerous contacts which were to lead to a new job.

Since July 2008, Christophe has been working with the Safran group to create Teuchos' Eastern regional agency, specialized in engineering services in the sector of aeronautic, space, automobile and defense transport. He has built it all up from A to Z: from finding premises to recruitment of his new coworkers and including canvassing for business and public relations with local actors for instance.

15 years after starting his university education and four years after defending his thesis, Christophe has become a manager and recruits PhDs.

2008: Agency head, Teuchos (Safran group)
2006: Head of digital computation, Techlam (Hutchinson group)
2004: Graduate teaching fellow, Ecole des Mines in Nancy and the INP in Lorraine
2004: PhD in engineering sciences on a Cifre contract with Framatome and the University of Strasbourg