Being an engineer in Tours: “a historic setting for large-scale projects”

Being an engineer in Tours: "a historic setting for large-scale projects"

6 April 2021
Engineer moving Nuclear
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Large-scale projects in the nuclear and defense sectors are multiplying in Tours thanks to the many partners present in the region. A perfect opportunity to discover the city known as “Little Paris”, with its unique historical and cultural panorama. Amélie Jaunin, project manager, and Loic Cotard, site manager at Assystem, tell us more about their experience in Tours, which they hope will never end.

Can you introduce yourself in a few words and detail your missions?

Amélie Jaunin: I’m 35 years old and I’ve been working as a project manager at Assystem’s Tours office since January 2020. Before moving to the region, I was a Business Manager. Today, my duties mainly involve supervising the design studies for new projects such as the EPR2 which must replace in the long run the French nuclear fleet of reactors.

Loic Cotard: I’m 34 years old and I’ve been working at Assystem since 2011. I started my career in the aeronautics sector in the Île-de-France region before migrating to the nuclear sector. I now work for the CEA (Commissariat à l’énergie atomique et aux énergies alternatives) where I manage the activities and development of the site. I am also in charge of our engineering activities for Le Ripault, the part of the CEA dedicated to military applications.

Why did you choose to work at Assystem?

AJ: I joined Assystem as soon as I completed my internship at the end of my studies. I stayed because Assystem gave me the opportunity to follow various paths, from automotive to nuclear. My missions evolve with each project: from the study to the management while passing by the business. Assystem gives us the opportunity to make the most of our professional wishes. My managers have always been able to respond to my desire to evolve. I also had the chance to work in a team, lucky enough not to be isolated, and so to be supported and to share my ideas with talented collaborators.

LC: I can relate to everything Amélie said! When I started out, I had the opportunity to manage a small team of four people as a technical pilot for the aeronautics sector. What made me stay at Assystem afterwards was the diversity of the positions I held. In 10 years, I took on many positions, for which Assystem always accompanied and trained me. In the world of engineering services, it is essential to know how to adapt and evolve because our customers and our missions are constantly changing.

What made you decide to move to Tours?

AJ: I wanted to leave Paris in order to be closer to nature. So I asked for a transfer. My boss offered me several destinations: Cherbourg, Marseille and Tours. I chose Tours because of its proximity to Paris, which allowed my husband to keep his job. Tours is a city ideally located in France, since we are about 2.5 hours away from every other region in France! I also knew the person in charge of the team there and I had no doubt about the quality of his work.

LC: For my part, I wanted to return to the countryside and I already knew the region since part of my family lives there. The Touraine region also offers a very attractive job pool, with a strong presence from EDF and centers such as the CEA or the CNEPE (National Center for Electricity Production Equipment).

What is the strength of Tours’ living environment? Is there anything you should know before moving to the area?

AJ: I took up my position in Tours in January 2020 and we were in lockdown in March, so I haven’t had the chance to fully enjoy the region yet! But I still feel less stressed than in the Paris region. We don’t have the problem of traffic jams for example, we are not constantly “in a rush” each morning! I have obviously gained in quality of life as well, since I now live in a large house with a large garden, which I could never have afforded in the Paris region. With my husband, we each have a dedicated office room where we can work in peace. In times of lockdown, this is a luxury! Thanks to our access to nature, we are more serene, which is also felt in our work.

LC: I agree with Amélie, in times of health crisis, the living environment in the countryside is vastly superior to what we would have experienced in the Île-de-France department, especially thanks to the more spacious and less expensive housing. When I arrived in October 2018, I was worried that I would run out of things to do there and get bored quickly. While Paris remains a unique city for its cultural offerings, I was pleasantly surprised when I arrived in Tours. The offer is very diversified, there’s as much for adults as there is for children. Tours is one hour from Paris. Thanks to the TGV, it takes us less time to get to the capital than some people from the Paris region! We also have an exceptional panorama of historical monuments with all the castles of the Loire. The natural landscape is hilly with many rivers, which allows exciting hikes. The vineyards are also very interesting to visit, not to mention the wine tasting!

What advice would you give to an engineer who wants to settle in Tours?

AJ: Don’t hesitate to move there! There are many opportunities at Assystem and we have many new projects to come. We are expanding our offices to accommodate our new employees. With regards to the types of projects, the job pool is very attractive for engineers whose missions will not be solely focused technical assistance, but will cover different positions with important responsibilities. Moreover, the balance between professional and personal life is very easy to find in Tours.

LC: I would like to echo what Amélie said: we must go for it and not wait. The region is attractive for all generations and the TGV makes it easier to get to the Ile-de-France and Bordeaux regions. And as far as the professional future is concerned, all sectors are looking for new profiles, in all possible types of activities! The question is rather to know if they will want to leave the Touraine region one day! In our agency, many of our colleagues moved here temporarily but they never left.

 

 

 

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