Once a month we feature a member of our US based alumni community. We hope this serves as a way to stay in touch and get to know one another despite the grand size of the US.

Alumni and AFAM member Nicolas Jaumard (Bo 99) is our next AFAM member profile.
Thank you Nicolas for sharing with us!

Tell us about your career path and area of expertise today. How did it come about?

At the end of my second prep school year at Déodat-de-Séverac (prepa PT*) I went to Paris for oral examinations, and after the last one I went to stay with friends of the family. During a bike ride I had a seemingly benign accident that led to back surgery 4 months later!!! Although I had chosen to become an engineer I had always been interested in pursuing a career in the medical field. Therefore, I sought and secured a spot in the Biomedical Engineering Program offered by ENSAM during my third year in Paris. This curriculum enabled me to marry my interests in both engineering and medicine. While looking for an overseas-based French company to sponsor me for an International Volunteer Program (VIE) organized by the French Foreign Office, I applied to a Biomechanics Lab at the University of Kansas. Four and half years later I had earned both a M.S. and a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering. I then joined the Departments of Neurosurgery and Bioengineering at the University of Pennsylvania as a Postdoctoral researcher in January of 2009. With expertise in biomechanics, I am now a Senior Research Coordinator in those Departments.

2.  What do you do every day at work? How does being a Gadz’Arts help you in your everyday tasks and team management?

My responsibilities include but are not limited to developing, implementing, and performing experimental studies, analyzing and publishing the results of those investigations, and mentoring and training students involved in the research activities. I employ my technical and communication skills to support and collaborate with bioengineers and clinicians on various investigations in spine biomechanics. I always have my class notes from prep school and ENSAM at hand because they help me to maintain a sharp diversified knowledge.

3.  How did you come to the US- why and when? How is your work life different than in France?

As detailed in my answer to the first question, I was pursuing an academic path that led me to the University of Kansas after earning both a B.S.-equivalent and a M.S.-equivalent degree at ENSAM. Apart from Summer jobs I never really experienced working in my native country, and therefore I cannot compare with my current professional situation in the US.

4.  What is the best advice someone ever gave you? Why?

I cannot recall any advice given to me although there were probably plenty. However, I have followed a rule that has helped me to get where I am today. Always try to do your best because even if you fail something good will come out-of-it.

5.  What is one favorite way to spend your free time (hobbies, weekend activities)?

This changes overtime especially when young kids are around…! I like to spend time with my wife and daughter (dancing, playing board games, playing the guitar, spending time outside).

Thank you again for sharing your experience and thoughts on life in the USA for Gadz'Arts! AFAM is grateful for your support.