On May 18th, Gadz'arts based in SF and the bay area gathered in Cal Sailing Club to enjoy the weather, sea, the sun, and each other's company. Our three Gadz-skippers were able to take other Gadz'arts on board for a short boat trip.

Besides, BBQ was also a part of the program.

We hope to see all of you again in September at our Gadz'Meet 2024 event.

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This is a new format: our US-based alumni meeting A&M PGE students online during English classes. Several classes with our alumni' participation happened in April and May 2024.

Several years ago we explored this format with Lille campus and this year decided to do it with Aix-en-Provence center.


AFAM would like to thank Christine White and Edna O'Dea, English language teachers on Aix-en-Provence campus, for giving this opportunity. Big thanks also go to our alumni:
Nicolas Horde (Ai 214), SF, CA
Xavier Ovize (Cl 189), Madison Heights, MI
Robert Stelly (Ch 97), Houston, TX
Laurene Rokvam (Bo 210), Chicago, IL
Adrien Monvoisin (Cl 204), Boston, MA
Moussa Nasroune (Ch218), New York, NY

who gave their time and participated in those Q/A English sessions.

Here is what one of our alumni, our Shasta mentor,  Robert Stelly (Ch 97), wrote about his participation:


On May 22, I participated in a Q&A session with 20ish students of the A&M center of Aix-en-Provence  This session was done in English and arranged by their English teacher. One hour session to answer various questions such as "What advice would you give for a good CV from the point of view of an American employer?", "What should we highlight on our CV?", "What advice would you give to Arts et Métiers students who are considering participating in a study exchange (internship /job) in the United States?", "What are the biggest differences between attitudes to work in France and in the US?",  "What opportunity prompted your move to the United States?", "Does the American way of life suit you well?", etc., etc. Answers were provided in English. I really appreciated this exchange and I believe the students also enjoyed talking to me. Several sessions with other alumni were also scheduled for other groups of students.

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On the picture: students during the class with Adrien Monvoisin (Cl 204)

AFAM: Hello Lucile and thank you for the time that you took to answer our questions. You pursued your 18 months VIE in the United States in 2022-2024. The company you worked for was ReValorem (http://www.revalorem.fr). Could you please tell us more about this company and its mission?

Lucile: ReValorem is a French company that creates Recycled Raw Materials from unsold luxury goods. Its mission is to provide reuse, recovery or recycling solutions for Luxury Goods Industry. Saving the luxury goods final life-cycle step from landfills.

AFAM: As far as I understand you supervised a ReValorem site in the United States. Quite a challenging mission for a young engineer. Please let us know more about your job and every day tasks that you accomplished at the company.

Lucile: Indeed I did. This job has made me grow professionally but also personally. I was in charge of : - Creating and making sure the Recycling Orders were done in time according to our customers needs

- Organising the on-site deliveries and security

- Coordinating with our French team (customer, software, recycling solutions)

- Learning and teaching the sorting of different materials

- Using continuous improvement methods to update our site to its best

- Adapting our French standards & processes to the American local team

- Training my VIE successor



AFAM: was working for a recycling company more of a coincidence or your deliberate choice? How come you are interested in recycling, green technologies? Any companies in this sector (French or American) you are closely following and admiring?

Lucile: It was a dream job for me that I did not think existed before I found it. My values are eco-friendly - I like eating vegetarian as often as possible, I recycle/reuse/donate all my items from my kitchen to my room. I try to reduce as much as I can my environmental impact. As an industrial engineer, I know many industries have an important impact on the environment. It is important for me to be able to align my work with my values - it gives more sense to work harder and find solutions. There are many recycling companies growing in our world, here are 2 examples :

- «  Pratt Industries » in the US recycles cardboard and recreates new pizza boxes for Mellow Mushroom (pizza restaurant)

- «  Le Pavé » is a French startup that uses our everyday plastic waste to transform it into new compacted tiles to make furniture (tables, chairs) or floors and ceilings. Magic don’t you think?



AFAM: as an Arts et Metiers engineer, how well were you prepared for your American mission? Any green initiatives/projects you’d like to mention which were part of your school life?

Lucile: The theory of my production engineering studies gave me a solid basis. Overall, the most useful was 5 years of apprenticeship in 2 different companies. My 3 last years of apprenticeship in a small French company definitely made the difference because I already had all the knowledge and practice on how a small company works and what does it need to survive. It helped me understand how to manage my priorities.

In one of our school subjects we had to create a company. With my team we decided to create a company that creates a material from recycled fish skin tanned with essences from local trees. The local logistics would have been operated with bikes to deliver our customers.



AFAM: working in the  United States, in Savannah, what did you enjoy after work, during your weekends?

Lucile: I discovered a new American sport : Pickle-ball! It’s like a small tennis with a paddle bigger than a ping-pong one. Good fun and great communities in Georgia. I met my best-friends on the courts. I also loved traveling around the US either for a pickle-ball tournament or to hike in the nature. Puttshack is a great experience to mix some mini-golf, fun and technology!



AFAM: Any future plans that you’d like to share with us?

Lucile: I am currently back to France seeking for a new Production Manager opportunity in Chalon-sur-Saône with a small company that has a green impact. Crossed fingers I’ll find my next dream job! :)

AFAM: thank you, Lucile, and good luck with your future endeavors!

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Picture: courtesy of Lucile

Please read other interviews in "Green and Clean" series:

Interview with Julien Artur de la Villarmois (Cl 218)

Interview with Guénaël Prince (Cl 201)

Interview with Raphaël Zaccardi (Cl 182)

Spring Gadz gathering became a tradition for the West Coast gadz'arts group. On Saturday, April 27th SF bay-area based alumni and students gathered to share food, conversation and laughter. A&M students studying at UC Berkeley and alumni with and without families came to see each other. Thank you, Yarith Phay, for organizing this delightful event. Looking forward to many more!

Next gatherings:

18 May - Gadz Voile, Berkeley (please contact Nicolas Horde for more information)

7-8 September - SF Bay area (TBC)

Stay tuned and subscribe to our community newsletter for news and further updates:

Subscribe to AFAM Newsletter

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To watch our YouTube short featuring some pictures from the event:

YOUTUBE

AFAM: Hello Charles and thank you for agreeing to be our interviewee.

Charles: Hello Albina. It is a pleasure to answer your questions today.



AFAM: you are an Aerospace Engineer (PhD) with professional experience in computational fluid dynamics, flow control, and advanced data analysis. You are also an Assistant Professor (research) at the University of Cincinnati. Please tell us a few words about this role.

Charles: My PhD research was focused on CFD applied to a breadth of industrial flow challenges, during which I worked with different research groups, including the laryngeal biomechanics lab at UC. I joined this lab for my postdoctoral appointment, and after a few years, I obtained my own grant funded by the NIH (National Institutes of Health). This is a research track which means that my funding comes from my grants and the Otolaryngology department, and I can focus 100% on my research (no teaching required). I can still be a thesis advisor for master's PhD students, which are always involved in our grants.

AFAM: How come you decided to work in research?

Charles: While finishing my master’s degree at Arts & Métiers in 2010, I did a 6-month internship in the Gas Dynamics and Propulsion Lab at UC, where I discovered what scientific research was. It was quite different from anything I imagined before, given the lack of exposure I had during my previous studies. I appreciated the interaction between academia and industry, where my lab mates and I developed innovative technologies using advanced measurement techniques. It made me realize that academic research in the US was funded completely differently than in Europe, which allowed for more interesting projects in university labs.
This is partly why I decided to go for a PhD, and later continue to work in a research lab with which I collaborated while doing my doctoral research.



AFAM: your latest research project is about providing insights into the optimal technique for treating unilateral vocal fold paralysis. Please tell us more about this project and why it is important?

Charles: Patients with unilateral vocal fold paralysis complain of a soft, breathy voice that is difficult to understand in noisy environments. From a physical standpoint, a breathy voice (imagine a whisper) means that the energy conversion of the lung air pressure to acoustics is inefficient. We collaborate with surgeons who perform the different variants of the thyroplasty type 1 on excised larynges and measure the efficiency pre- and post-surgery. While the outcome of these surgeries varies for each patient and success depends on multiple factors, by analyzing a sufficiently large sample, we can provide physicians with general guidelines to achieve favorable outcomes.




AFAM: you have been living in the US since 2010. How do you like the United States? How was your professional experience in the US so far? How is it different from other countries where you were living and working (France and Switzerland)?

Charles: I love living in the US! This country is very spacious, and it feels like it (unless you live in Manhattan maybe). Whether it is to find a place to live, to work, to discover, etc… Professionally, I feel like I have a lot of opportunities to grow here and create my own path in my field of research.

Nevertheless, in 2010, as an intern, I didn’t think I would stay for more than 6 months. Then I became a (paid) doctoral student, before finally getting a “real” fulltime job, in which I evolved until now. So, I can say I experienced a lot of different facets of what it means to work in the US. I was never a full time employee in France (mostly worked summer jobs in construction companies), and I only worked for 3-months in Switzerland (internship), so I can’t really speak from experience when it comes to comparing the experiences.




AFAM: How has being a Gadz'Arts graduate helped you in your career?

Charles: What helped me the most was the community that I found thanks to the school alumni network. I found this internship in 2010 via Dr. Drouin, who was my fluid mechanics professor in Paris. Then when I landed in the US, I didn’t know anybody, and a former A&M student helped me get settled and meet locals. I did my best to return the favor and do the same for the interns who joined the lab from A&M year after year following me. As a faculty I was found by a Gadz’Arette last year and she joined my lab for 9 months, doing an amazing job for my grant. I attribute these interactions, encounters, and experiences to my Gadz'Arts background.


AFAM: We know a lot about your professional experience, could you please tell us a few words about your hobbies or what you like to do in your free time?

Charles: I came to the US in 2010 as it represented for me the mecca of skateboarding, then discovered wakeboarding and later golfing, now running, and more. I love traveling with my wife, and also hosting family at home when they dare to cross the ocean.



AFAM: today AFAM offers a Sequoia program to students and alumni willing to study in the US. Any pieces of advice you want to give to those who would like to study in the United States?

Charles: Do it! I know the admission and immigration processes are tedious, but it is 100% worth it. Studying abroad, meeting diverse cultures through the tons of international students, speaking languages, traveling, etc… are so important to one’s development.



AFAM: thank you very much, Charles.

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Photos courtesy of Charles

About Charles’ latest project:

https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00405-024-08519-x

Please join our Sequoia program if you want to study in the United States