Astronaut candidate's profile
What is your current job?
Airbus - I work within the safety department and am responsible for the development and implementation of new systems to help increase aviation safety at take-off and landing. I work with airline companies on how best to integrate these new systems from crew training, flight data monitoring and flight analysis. I also take part in several international standardization committees to study how to promote wider adoption of these safety technologies.
Why do you want to become an astronaut?
Growing up in the countryside without light pollution, I was always staring at the stars wondering how to get up there. I think astronauts are ambassadors for science and technology. The job is a unique mix of cutting-edge exploration and working as a scientist, performing experiments to advance our knowledge and understanding. The work astronauts perform enhances not only our knowledge of space, but also life on Earth.
What motivated you to study in your field?
After I finished my bachelor of science at the University of Alberta, I knew I wanted to specialize in aerospace. The schools in France offered a perfect opportunity to live internationally, learn the French language (eat good French food) and get my master's. ISAE offered master's programs in both generic aerospace and space systems. It was a hard decision, as space systems may have got me closer to my dream of being an astronaut, but generic aerospace would provide a wider knowledge base and thus more job opportunities. Finally I chose aerospace and found a job with my other love: airplanes.
Think back to a teacher who had a positive impact on your life. What did she/he do to influence you?
In my last year at the University of Alberta, I took an aerodynamics class with Dr. Sigurdson. Aerodynamics can be quite equation heavy and dry, but Dr. Sigurdson started almost every class with stories and props. Whether it was through videos, remote control airplanes or stories, he found a way to relate everything to what we were doing, to give the equations purpose. It not only made learning fun, but it also instantly gave us a connection between the fundamentals and their real-world application.
What do you like best about your job?
I've had a unique opportunity within Airbus to follow a system through all the steps in development. In big companies it is easy to stick to one subject; you are "the" design engineer, "the" certification specialist or "the" flight operations person. I've been lucky to have started working on the design, then the certification process and now the deployment into operations. It's been eye-opening to see that systems aren't always used in the same way we thought when we designed them, so we have to feed that back into the design process.
Which living person do you most admire? OR Who are your heroes in real life?
I admire Elon Musk, not only because of what he has been able to accomplish in such a short time, but more importantly because his technologies are aimed at transforming our world.
What is your favourite sci-fi movie?
The TV series Star Trek: The Next Generation started when I was 4 years old and ran until I was 11. It had such a major influence in getting me interested in STEM and spurring my curiosity to explore the world we live in.
What is your motto?
"I cannot believe that the purpose of life is to be happy. I think the purpose of life is to be useful, to be responsible, to be compassionate. It is, above all to matter, to count, to stand for something, to have made some difference that you lived at all."
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