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Meet Cécile Millet: head of the OCTG Materials Development and Application Department at VRCF

After studying to become a chemical engineer, Cécile joined the Vallourec's research center in France (VRCF) in Aulnoye in 2006.
02/12/2024
Diversity

After studying to become a chemical engineer, Cécile joined the Vallourec's research center in France (VRCF) in Aulnoye in 2006 to take part in the development of the solution, CLEANWELL®. Today, she is in charge of the OCTG Materials Development and Application Department and puts all her energy and expertise into boosting R&D within the Group while staying true to something that is close to her heart: helping her team develop. In addition, Cécile recently accepted a new mission: to manage the Capital Filles program for Vallourec. Find out more about this tireless and driven woman...

Hello Cécile, what is your role within Vallourec?

Hello, I am responsible for a team of 25 people that has a dual role: on the one hand, interaction with the Marketing & Development and Sales teams, focused on the development and qualification of materials for OCTG applications, and, on the other, a production-oriented role. Consequently, we carry out quality control tests in a H2S (hydrogen sulfide) environment for the Group’s plants, mainly in Europe and the Middle East.

What made you want to join Vallourec?

I was keen to apply for a position at Vallourec after my end-of-course internship. On the Group’s website, I had read an employee’s testimony highlighting the responsibility and autonomy given to employees, even the youngest. This was quite unusual for a group of this size.

“I was soon hooked because, as from the recruitment interview, I was told about the projects I could work on, in this case, it was the CLEANWELL® coating, a highly innovative project with an international outlook from the outset.” 

Today, even if my missions have changed, these two dimensions, autonomy and an international outlook, remain.

I am in almost daily contact with my Brazilian colleagues for material qualification projects and my team regularly works with their H2S test laboratory. We traveled to Brazil at the beginning of the year to conduct a number of audits.

Vallourec’s global R&D is now managed from Aulnoye, a recognized decision-making center, and one of our roles at VRCF is to ensure the consistency and alignment of our processes by training, advising and sharing best practices.

What skills have enabled you to succeed in your work?

 

I like new ideas, work-related as well as personal challenges, such as sports challenges. You need to persevere and not be discouraged too quickly – values that I rely on.

What advice would you give to women in your field?

First of all, I believe that diversity is a strength, a source of richness for the company, but I think above all that you have to know how to remain yourself, not to try to change. This is true for both men and women. The manager I replaced was much more charismatic than I am. But I did not try to be like him. I accepted that I was different, and it worked.

“So, my advice is: be yourself, do not try to be or appear to be different to succeed.”

You manage the Capital Filles initiative for Vallourec. Why did you want to run this program?

 

 

I have three young girls, so I feel concerned. Beyond my personal circumstances, I think that it is a real social issue. I started out as a mentor on the Capital Filles program then, when Céline Darondel, who launched the program within Vallourec, left, I agreed to take over. This initiative enables young women to build their self-confidence and to study. Even though I am running out of time, it is a breath of fresh air to get involved in a project like this, especially when you love management and helping others grow. I also wanted to show these young women, by acting as an example, that it is possible to have a professional future and children. It is a civic duty for me.