Aude Ravon, second engineer at GAZOCEAN
After coursework at the École Nationale Supérieure Maritime (ENSM), Aude became a versatile officer. She is now working aboard Gaselys, a 290 meter-long methane tanker owned by a ENGIE subsidiary. She is passionate about the technical aspect of its function and beautiful trips that it allows her to experience during the weeks.
Portrait of Aude for ENGIE
Aude is second engineer on the Gaselys, a 290 meter-long methane tanker 50%-owned by ENGIE and covering the route in the Indian Ocean going toward Malaysia. How did this young woman end up there? Upon hearing her recount her career, it was the most natural thing in the world! “Starting in 2003 and for four years, I took courses in Le Havre at the École Nationale Supérieure Maritime (ENSM), which trains merchant marine officers. The ENSM has four sites in France: Le Havre, Marseille, Nantes and Saint-Malo. I chose the one in Le Havre, which of fers training to work on the largest tonnage vessels.”
This sound training allowed her to be faced right away with the reality of the job: alternating between theoretical classes and on board internships throughout five years of education. When she completed her education, Aude was a polyvalent officer (bridge and engine room). For what was of interest to her in the merchant marine was not so much remaining on the bridge to steer ships, but rather to see to their propulsion and fix their enormous engines. And since methane tankers are among the largest ships in existence, her maritime work was all cut out for her. “I began working in liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) transport and in 2008 was hired by GAZOCEAN as an officer.”
Six years later, Aude is already second engineer. On the Gaselys, she is part of a 7-person team in collaboration with the chief engineer. When asked why she chose GAZOCEAN to pursue her career, she answers without hesitation: “GAZOCEAN is the only French company operating LNG transporting vessels or methane tankers. One of the peculiarities of this type of cargo is that a small part of the LNG evaporates during the voyage. This gas is recovered to supply the electricity generators that propel the ship and thus make it go forward.” And when it comes to performing technical tasks, this expert is on the front line. For example, today it was necessary to check the set of 12 injector s in the middle of the engines. And ship propulsion is not her only concern. Aude is also responsible for the production of fresh water, electricity and for ordering spare parts. This “hyper masculine” world is not a damper on her professional development. “A woman can do this job without any problem; it is a job with a particular schedule to be sure, but one which arouses admiration.” And although the image conveyed is in fact that of man’s work, Aude sees no obstacle that would explain why a woman cannot do it.
Somewhere between Asia and Africa
Today, Aude is out on the high seas in the Indian Ocean. The Gaselys has filled its holds with LNG in Algeria and will take about a month to reach South Korea. Among the 30 crew members, Aude may perhaps stand out: she is the only woman! But on the ship, she is not treated differently. Like all her fellow crew members, she is on night duty once every three days. And although working conditions may be rather demanding, she has made her choice outright. “I love the technical side of my job, and I have the chance to play a key role in the ship’s operation. In addition, the camaraderie that is created between crew members is great, and without match on land. And then this particular schedule, with long voyages, offers real advantages as I see it: although we remain out at sea for a long time, thanks to the work schedule, two months on board/two months land leave, there are special periods on land in between two embarkations.” The only drawback: some countries, where women’s emancipation is not yet allowed, can have a fairly cold welcome in store for women seafarers. But Aude, who is not on her first voyage around the world, knows how to manage the situation perfectly.
- A ENGIE subsidiary (Global Gas & LNG Business Line/LNG BU)
- Pioneer in the Liquefi ed Natural Gas (LNG) transportation sector
- More than 50 years of technical expertise in LNG transport
- 200 employees on land and on its vessels
- Fleet consisting of 5 methane tankers