I was born in the South West of France and grew up in a small village up until I turned 10, then moved to a bigger city. I was an introverted kid (and still am to some extent to this day), and played way too many video games. I started getting out of my shell in high school, and even more through university. One day I watched the movie “Into the Wild” and that’s what made me want to travel and explore the world (though without dying), and probably one of the reasons I’m in Aotearoa here today answering those questions.
I was originally studying computer science at university, but I dropped out after a year and decided to study health, safety, and environment instead as I had decided I wanted to become a firefighter. I discovered thermodynamics and fire dynamics then, and developed a real appetite for the science around fires.
During my degree, I had the opportunity to do an internship in a fire station in Halifax, Canada, and that’s how I learnt English (and that’s where that younger picture of myself was taken). After that I had another opportunity to complete a Master of Science in Belfast in Fire Safety Engineering, which aligned with both my desire to travel and study fire engineering, so I went for it.
I don’t think I necessarily have a favourite project. I thrive most working on buildings that do not have straightforward solutions and require engineered solutions, as it is where I feel I can use my skills to make a difference (particularly for existing buildings with pre-existing defects). I am definitely a problem solver and enjoy working with other consultants from various disciplines to try and find the most cost-effective solutions.
I am very pedantic, and I believe it is very important for the work I do. Minor details can have a huge importance sometimes. I go to the gym almost every day and one of the key principles for muscle growth is to apply progressive overload, meaning to try and always do better from one session to the next. I try and apply that same principle with my work by constantly trying to improve the way I do things or asking myself what I could be doing better.
I hope to become the best fire engineer in the world! 😊