Miriam, Head of Sustainable Mobility Solutions research at CRIGEN
ENGIE has its own dedicated innovation and new business opportunities department, but also promotes responsible innovation in all its business activities, and employs 800 researchers in seven Research Centers. Miriam, who graduated as an engineer from CNAM in 2006, tells us about her work at the heart of the innovation process in the Group Research & Technologies Department.
This interview with Adeline appeared in issue 71 of Grandes Ecoles et Universités magazine
What does CRIGEN actually do?
CRIGEN is the ENGIE R&D and operational expertise center dedicated to gas, new energy sources and emerging technologies. It contributes to value creation through technological innovation, operational expertise and the design of new products and services that are validated in our laboratories and computing centers, and by encouraging the introduction of emerging technologies (digital technologies, nanotechnologies, smart technologies, etc.) in the Group’s business units. Against this background, Sustainable Mobility Solutions research has two priorities: supporting the Group in encouraging the development of eco-friendly transportation solutions, and preparing the way for new business lines. To achieve that, we monitor developments in technology, produce prototype vehicles – including those that run on biomethane, identify and propose mobility performance services, and build the case for developments based on our research work.
What do you find challenging in your job?
The main thing for me is the variety of what I do, which means that every day is completely different from the last! My priority is to promote CRIGEN sustainable mobility innovations internally to convince Group entities of the relevance and potential offered by the solutions we develop. I also promote our work externally through international working groups. Like all the other engineers who work in this area, the work I do can also involve identifying potential partnerships inside and outside the Group, developing prototypes of vehicles built jointly with manufacturing partners, and conducting surveys and expert appraisals. My job gives me a close working relationship with the business lines, and a cross-functional overview of all our business activities. I have the enviable opportunity to put forward the ideas I believe in in a number of ways: as soon as the potential of an idea is identified at CRIGEN, we contact the business units to see if they agree on its potential so that we can start to plan joint development initiatives.
What was it that attracted you to the Group in the first instance?
I was attracted primarily by the diversity of what it does. I qualified as an IT engineer, but I never wanted to be confined to just that specialty, and I saw that I could develop in new directions by joining the Group, and that impression was very quickly confirmed. Today, I still want to continue my career with ENGIE, because I know that here I can put my ideas into action, promote them and do what it takes to make them a reality. At CRIGEN, I enjoy a certain level of entrepreneurial freedom, which makes mine an extraordinary job. The entrepreneurial mindset of CRIGEN is very unusual, and it’s not something that I would want to leave behind.
Why would you encourage young graduates to join ENGIE ?
At ENGIE , you can explore an incredible number of specialist skills and interact very quickly with many other stakeholders in an atmosphere of genuine respect and informality. That in itself is highly motivating, but this is also a Group in which you can influence the course of your own career, and therefore ensure that you have an endless succession of new challenges.