Stéphane Berthet works within the Urban Rail Business Unit, supervising complex projects in railway signalling and overhead contact line sectors.
What did you study and where did you work before joining Mobility?
I graduated from Supélec, a leading French engineering school, in 2004. I was employed for three years at PSA, working on the integration of electronic equipment in the automotive manufacturing process.
In 2007, I joined Alstom Transport, where I worked on the deployment of automatic metro control systems. I was involved exclusively on export projects for locations such as Lausanne, Singapore, Istanbul and Toronto.
In 2011, I took a year's sabbatical leave in Haiti with my girlfriend. We worked for a charity in a small village in the heart of the country. After the earthquake, a lot of people from the cities took refuge in the countryside. As a result, we were involved in coordinating development projects to improve their living conditions, including building schools, improving agricultural techniques, and establishing cooperatives between producers.
When I returned to Alstom, I was put in charge of the R&D program to develop the new automatic metro control system that is currently being deployed in Lille.
You have been with Mobility since September 2014. What does your job entail?
As a project leader within the Urban Rail Business Unit, I am currently heading up the project to renovate the overhead contact line for the C3 trolleybus in Lyon. It is a complex project, technically speaking, and a major challenge for the city of Lyon. We are collaborating with Swiss trolleybus specialists for the design phase. The work itself has to be done in very specific phases. We are currently dismantling the old overhead contact line and can only do so when the line is not running, i.e. at night, between 1.50 am and 3.40 am!
From November 2017, we will have a year's work ahead of us, to install anchor points (of which there are 700) on building façades and hang the new overhead contact line.
Previously, I worked on the redevelopment of the T3 tram line to serve Lyon's new stadium. We improved the safety and performance of the line, while ensuring that the Stade des Lumières would be appropriately served on match nights.
Furthermore, we developed the new-generation, safety computer-based Railway Safety Signalling system. This system is more compact and safer than the conventional system (using NS1 relays). It is also more cost-effective and easy to deploy. I also coordinated the call for tenders, and then the project, for the Luxembourg tramway, and, since then, we have won the contract for the Nice tramway using the same solution, which opens up attractive opportunities for the future.
You worked on overseas projects in the past. Did you have the opportunity to travel during these assignments?
In 2016, I led an assignment to provide support to project leaders at our Czech subsidiary, Cegelec Prague. As part of this, I monitored the Tallinn tramway renovation project in Estonia. I also provided support to our Czech counterparts in project management methodology. This sharing of experience helped to strengthen links between the teams and enabled us to better understand our respective ways of working. This is one way in which we can improve future collaboration on projects, particularly in relation to electric buses, which will require the combined expertise of both entities.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
I particularly enjoy the complexity of our projects, as they require a structured systems engineering approach, starting with an operator's requirements and ultimately creating an effective design.
Thanks to the varied nature of my assignments, I am always learning, which is very rewarding.
In addition, I am currently supervising an apprentice. Passing on knowledge is an excellent way of asking oneself questions, facing up to new ideas, and making preparations for the future of the company.