Claire Mazelet


Claire Mazelet, Director of Building and Environment at ADPI (Aéroports de Paris Ingénierie), shares her exemplary career with WomenCRE founder, Jyoti Ganesh, and gives advice to young professionals. She has an engineering degree from Ecole Nationale supérieure des Mines de Paris, France and Masters in Civil Engineering and a Masters in Architectural Studies from Massachusetts Institute of  Technology, USA. In 2011, she was conferred Chevalier (Knight) of the Legion d’ Honneur for her contribution to engineering and project management in France and internationally. 

What does ADPI do?

ADPI provides consultancy, design, and project management solutions for airports development and infrastructure projects around the world. ADPI was funded in 2000 as a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Aéroports de Paris (ADP) which develops and operates all the airports around Paris. ADPI benefits from the knowledge and skills of talented staff working on one of the largest airport platforms in the world. In 2011, ADPI was ranked second (by  Engineering News-Record) among airport design consultants by revenue ($128 million).

What do you do?

I am the Head of Building and Environment at ADPI. My team of engineers and architects is responsible for the technical design of buildings planned by ADPI- Airport Terminals, Control Towers, Hangars, Office buildings and for engineering services and utilities. In addition, we develop sustainable design strategies and environmental assessment for certification (LEED, HQE) for buildings and airport sites. We are also responsible for the governance of ADPI’s design policy globally and for monitoring the international design partners and subcontractors. My team is based in our Paris headquarter.

What were the important milestones in your career?

I started in 1989 at Rice Francis Ritchie’s Paris office, after I returned from completing M.S. (Civil Engg.) from M.I.T.  My childhood dream had been to work at the nexus of science and architecture and Peter Rice’s design approach corresponded to my aspirations. On my first project I worked on the high-speed train station (Train à Grande Vitesse). It was a great example of architecture and engineering intersecting.

After working on several international projects as Senior Structural Engineer on Paul Andreu’s team at ADP,  I moved into Project Management. Then in 2006 I had the opportunity to take an international assignment, as Deputy Project Director, to oversee the development of Muscat and Salalah International Airports in the Sultanate of Oman. The project was the biggest of my career, it included Terminal Buildings, two control towers and several buildings such as Cargo, Hangars and Catering, two new runways and taxiway systems.

Last year, I was decorated as Chevalier (Knight) of the Legion d’ Honneur in recognition for my contribution to the design and management of major projects internationally. It was a true honor.

What did you learn from your experience in Oman?

The human and cultural experience is what I cherish the most. Our team felt extremely welcomed by the Omanis. It was also very rewarding to understand the needs and aspirations of the project and what the International Airports projects represented for Oman as a nation. The international ADPI team in Oman with technical staff from 14 countries proved to be both invigorating and challenging, it broadening my perspective on work organization and management.

For my family, the experience was also very enriching allowing my daughters to experience another culture and put their Anglo-French upbringing into perspective.

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