R&D

Inside Views

Laurent Projects Manager
  Listen to the interview in French only (mp3  

​My work mainly involves managing steelmaking-related R&D projects and research studies, with the aim of optimizing the quality of products manufactured in continuous‑casting processes and ensuring that Vallourec steel products are free from inclusions.

To this end, I coordinate the efforts of a research team made up of three engineers and two technicians. I also take part in cross-disciplinary projects that aim to develop new grades of steel. The customers for our studies are the various Vallourec Group plants. We carry out our research as part of the "steelmaking process community", which provides considerable scope for international knowledge-sharing.

My everyday activities include microscope observation, calculations and analyzing the results of industrial tests. Team management and project management are also important aspects of my work.

The variety of R&D topics tackled by my team means that I learn something new every day, which is a major source of personal satisfaction.

After graduating from the Mines engineering school in Nancy and obtaining a doctorate in metallurgy, I initially joined the R&D department at a German metalworking group. In 2005, I moved to Vallourec's research centre, where I was to work in particular on steel cleanliness and the quality of products manufactured by continuous casters.

Approximately one year later, I was promoted to team manager for the "steelmaking" theme. The team that I lead has an international flavour, with engineers from Brazil and the United States.

I intend to continue developing my metallurgical expertise within the Vallourec Group, in either R&D or Quality.

R&D Profession

Mission:

  
Develop new products and processes, or improve existing products, based on specifications produced for a contract or customer.

The Group's Research and Development teams apply their technical expertise at the Vallourec Research Centre and in the Group's various plants, constantly enhancing process efficiency and product quality. They are a key source of technical information for customers and suppliers. Vallourec's R&D personnel are also involved in the design of new products, taking part at all stages from prototyping to industrial mass production. Their role includes setting up and running projects, and coordinating the feasibility assessment stages with help from the Group's plants and external partners.