Job Series #19 Special Process Engineer at Mecafi
As a subcontractor for the CFM Leap engine, Mecafi is working on new machining methods. A special adventure for Maria Peloquin, with a great international background.
There are chemists in the aerospace industry. And even more and more with all the composites and special processes, that is, all the surface treatment operations that aim to give certain properties to materials.
Behind this term of special processes, one can think about heat treatment, welding, sanding, shot blasting and even painting. At Mecafi, all this comes within the competence of Maria Peloquin, 26 years old, chemist by training, and specialized in materials, and who is a special process engineer.
This article was written by the Air & Cosmos editorial staff.
Maria Peloquin is currently supervising the hollow blade bonding process and a new titanium arm welding process for Safran’s CFM Leap engine and General Electric Aviation. “It’s an electron beam weld under vacuum, which leaves no trace or rejects,” says Maria Peloquin, in perfect French, with a slight accent that is difficult to define the first time you hear it.
From Queretaro to Châtellerault.
Peloquin is a name that is quite representative of Poitou, the place where is installed this equipment manufacturer of aeronautics that is experiencing a phenomenal growth in the wake of Safran. And yet, the young woman grew up in Queretaro, which is quite like the Mexican Toulouse. Born in Montreal, she is Canadian by her father, himself a descendant of French immigrants. “We then moved to Mexico, where my mother came from,” summarizes the one whose mother is a secretary, and the father a French teacher, after being a teacher in technical high school in Quebec.
But if Maria returned to the land of her distant ancestors of the chabichou country, it is not for this typical goat cheese, nor even to honor its Poitevin roots. But rather for the beautiful eyes of Riccardo, an Italian engineer that she met at Safran in Queretaro. In spring 2015, the two lovebirds wanted to leave Mexico while pursuing the adventure of the CFM Leap engine, this new generation engine that consumes 15% less kerosene than its predecessors.
“Our time at Safran clearly helped us join Mecafi, which is a direct supplier. We know the customer’s requirements in terms of qualification and certification, “said Maria Peloquin without hesitation.
After some red tape, this South American woman leaves the fourth city of the country, joins her companion in Europe, and arrives in Châtellerault, a small town of 40,000 inhabitants. “When she came last year, my mother thought we were in the country. In fact it is a pretty and quiet little town, and quite dynamic, “defends the young engineer.
To be precise, Europe and France have been watching Maria Peloquin for a long time. “During an internship at the chemistry school of Lille in 2013, I discovered the interest of French scientists in research and innovation. In this case the 3 D simulation of parts had challenged me and I knew that I would come back. In Mexico, our studies are very technical and practical. They aim to insert young people very quickly into the world of work. In France, where curiosity is cultivated, I met teachers and students who enjoyed researching, ” she recalls.
Surrounded by young people.
Her first stay in the north of France has probably facilitated her adaptation during her return to France in the spring of 2015. “I was also lucky to be hired in a young environment, with an average age less than 30 years old, ” remarks Maria Peloquin, who is now working in Mecafi’s new factory, inaugurated at the end of last year.
“As many things are recent in this business, management is participatory. At my level, when I do not understand something, I ask questions, both towards the direction and towards the technicians. I am told that there are no barriers according to ranks and strata, “she says.
Therefore, the attachment to the company goes beyond work environment. A fellow technician runs a scuba diving club. Maria and her friend Riccardo are members. “We all go on vacation together,” she says. “It’s a good school to master your emotions, to keep your self-control, to do only the essential gestures … it allows you to adapt to others, especially when you do not have the same culture at first,” argues the young lady.
Age : 26 years old
– 2008, after obtaining her baccalaureate, she studies science and technology at the Autonomous University of Queretaro, the 4th largest city in Mexico.
– 2013 : exchange internship at the National School of Chemistry of Lille. – –
– 2014: Diploma in Materials Chemistry Engineering at Queretaro. After a final internship, integrates the new Safran plant on special processes. She meets an Italian engineer there.
– mid-2015 : They both decide to come to Europe and are recruited by Mecafi, him in industrialization, her in special processes.