Chloé : ingénieure projet en câbles sous-marins

Chloé: subsea cables project engineer

08 December 2022
Chloé enrolled in ENSTA Bretagne’s co-operative mechanical engineering course after a university technology degree (DUT) in Materials Science & Engineering. During the course, she led a range of duties in her host company, Orange Marine. Today, she works there as a project engineer specializing in the installation, maintenance and storage of subsea cables.
Diplômée en 2022
Subsea cables project engineer

Where did you do your apprenticeship?

I did my apprenticeship at Orange Marine in Brest. The company belongs to the Orange group and specializes in the installation and maintenance of subsea cables. I joined the Marine Renewable Energy (MRE) diversification department and was mainly tasked with responding to calls for tender and managing projects (procedure, technical proposal, links with suppliers, etc.). My department particularly deals with the installation, maintenance and storage of hybrid subsea cables (fiber optics and energy), or energy cables like inter-network subsea cables connected to offshore wind farms.

Tell us about the subject and key issues of your end-of-study internship?

In connection with my final year major “Engineering and business science”, for my end-of-study project I focused on “Project risk management in Small- and Medium-sized Enterprises”. I looked more closely at Orange Marine’s risks in terms of energy cable storage for Mediterranean offshore wind farms. 
In practice, I organized the project documentation to comply with customer requirements and thus ensure detailed project monitoring. This included producing operating manuals, QHSE (Quality, Health, Safety & Environment) plans or project risk analysis to guarantee safety, health and the environment (“zero-accident” project), and I also implemented prevention means for minimizing these risks.

What is your job at Orange Marine?

I have just signed an 18-month fixed-term contract at Orange Marine, still in Brest, in the project team.
My role at Orange Marine also gives me the opportunity to spend several days out in the field, such as on the islands of Groix (installing the left-hand cable in the photo) and Aix (right-hand cable), or in the Caribbean, which was the first time I’d made such a trip! On the ground, I work on the earthing part which involves connecting the cable to the shore. During the project between Fouras and the island of Aix, I was particularly in charge of operational communications (writing daily reports).

What were the highlights of your course?

My course was technically instructive and very comprehensive. Not only has it provided me with a solid technical grounding, but it has also enabled me to branch out into a specialism more aligned with my career plans. I have a particularly positive memory of the project management modules, thanks to which I am now proficient in the tools we use in the workplace, like PMBOK (Project Management Body of Knowledge). I am also happy to have personally benefited from the school’s extensive network during my recruitment: my mentor is an ENSTA Bretagne graduate, and that played out in my favor.

Which project did you most enjoy working on during your studies?

I really enjoyed Project 6.1, a team-based project which lasted six months, before the end-of-study project. My project partner and I worked on the paracanoe project for which we managed the business plan and design/manufacture of the prototype. I played an active part in this project because disability sport is a cause that really matters to me. Some of my family also practice competitive kayaking, so it’s a sport I’m quite familiar with and close to my heart. 

Any advice for future students?

Make the most of your time as a student, get involved in clubs and societies, and work as a team. Believe in your goals and never lose sight of them. What’s more, I encourage all young women feeling inspired to enroll in an engineering school to go for it – diversity is so important.