Marc-Antoine, you have been working in nuclear energy for all your professional life, first as permanent staff and then as a contractor. We want to know everything about your trajectory and your professional choices but first let’s go back to basics:
How did you get interested in the nuclear energy field in the first place?
I happened to go to a Science Exhibition when I was ten years old and visited the Canadian Atomic Energy booth. From then on, I can say I never deviated. I studied physics and engineering, thought about a PhD in Physics but finally decided nuclear engineering was my calling.
What did you do for the first part of your career?
I worked for almost 20 years at Hydro Quebec, I was first hired to work on the commissioning of Nuclear Power Plant Gentilly 2 and ended up leading the Safety and Reliability Department. I was 45 at the time, it was the year 2000 and I wanted to do something different so I decided to go freelance.
Did you have doubts about going freelance?
Not really, I had checked beforehand about potential contracts and everything worked out fine. My main motivation was to not end up jaded and bored with my job. I guess in the end, the challenge was less scary than boredom.
How was it being freelance in Canada?
It went very well, I started off as a 1 person company and I ended up with more than 30 employees. I then sold my company and came back to work in a big engineering firm for two years but the Nuclear Power Plant closed following a political decision. I ended up two years before official retirement age wondering what to do next.
So what did you do?
I thought Middle East offered fresh challenges so when Thomas Thor contacted me for a position in Barakah project, I accepted and moved there. I spent the next two years and a half living and working in a very exciting and international context. I loved the work I achieved there, especially being up to the big challenge of integrating into such a culturally diverse organization.
What do you do now?
I was very proud to be asked to come back as a consultant, so I am heading there next week actually. I will be happy to enjoy again the immense energy of the site and the contrast provided by the clear views across the desert.
Thank you for sharing your experience with us.
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