What issues are currently important to your clients?
Our clients, in different parts of the world, have different needs and focus. Overall, I would say that functionality, quality, value for money are key elements. Keeping control of project costs and time schedules are equally important.
Clients also want architecture that is modern but respectful of local context and history. Our clients rely on our strong expertise in Airport design and operations to bring it all together for them…they know they have a partner who brings global expertise and experience in meeting their specific needs.
Stick to your convictions. When decisions and situations are tricky, go back to the fundamentals and do what you feel is right..
What advice would you give prospective clients who wish to use your services?
The most important thing for the client is to define the design brief for the project upfront very clearly preferably in partnership with us. It is also important for clients to understand the implication of changes during design and construction stages and monitor costs efficiently.
What are your current challenges?
Our first challenge is to reinforce the innovation qualities of my design and engineering team. Improving the communication and connection of Paris headquarters with our six international branches and partners so we can uphold excellence in our services is important. Another challenge I have set for our team is to design buildings keeping their overall life and use into perspective, given that our parent company, ADP is, is not only is the owner but operator as well.
Lastly, as an international design consultant, one of our duties is to promote sustainable design in all our projects, following the green design revolution that has already happened in Europe.
What is next on the horizon for you?
We are planning to set up Community of Practice groups in the different disciplines to reinforce team spirit between ADPI experts and international branches. We are also working to perfect our sustainable design methodology for airfields. Other areas of development are building information modeling and developing optimization software to respond to the various architectural design challenges.
What advice would you give young professionals, especially women, who are starting a career in Engineering or Project Management?
My first advice would be to choose the field for the right reasons, to be truly motivated and passionate about the subject. In the end if you really believe in what you are doing you will overcome challenges, while still enjoying your job.
My second advice would be to get a strong foundation in a technical fields, like engineering, for at least 5 years before entering Project Management. Technical experience will help credibility as a future manager.
My last advice would be to stick to your convictions. When decisions and situations are tricky, go back to the fundamentals and do what you feel is right.
How have you balanced an active career with your family life?
Luckily, I never had to choose between my profession and my family, thanks to the family policies and benefits in France, which include reasonable maternity leave, day care, and partial financial support for young parents. Our company also organizes high quality day care and summer camps for children, which is a big asset for working parents.
I have also benefited from supportive parents and invaluable backing from my husband who shares the responsibility of raising children and understands me professionally since he is in the same field.
Finally I would say that it is important to trust your kids, encourage them to be independant and appreciate all the people who are willing to help you.
Thanks You, Claire for a very interesting conversation. We wish you the best and look forward to talking to you again.
Photo Credits: Philippe Cibille, Paul Maurer, Didier Boy de la Tour, Zhou Li Point Studio
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