Interview with Ricky Whelchel, R&D Engineer at C-TEC | Constellium
Taking advantage of our world-class facilities and renowned technical capabilities, our researchers and technicians innovate on a daily basis to create more fuel-efficient vehicles, lighter aircraft, safer packaging solutions, and other high-tech aluminium applications for tomorrow. As a member of Constellium’s R&D team, your mission will be to research, develop, and create products and processes that meet our clients’ demanding specifications in our different industries.
You can work at our technology center in Voreppe, France, the largest research center devoted to aluminium in Western Europe, equipped with the latest scientific hardware, prototyping equipment, and modelling technology. Or you can work in our technology center in Plymouth, Michigan. Either way, you will gain cross-sector skills from working on product and process development in all our businesses.
What do you like most about working for Constellium?
I was looking for a company where I could see my innovations make their way into products that we use in our everyday lives. I joined Constellium in 2014 as a research and development engineer. Contacts from university and the aluminium industry recommended Constellium, based on the company’s excellent reputation for innovation and world-renowned research facilities.
What inspires you about working in R&D?
As an engineer at C-TEC, I have an impact on our future products and those of our customers. Upon my arrival in France, I was immediately given several important projects involving development of new aluminium alloys for the aerospace market. I find this work greatly fulfilling, as each time I take a commercial flight, I know that some of Constellium’s products are likely onboard the aircraft.
What skills or past experiences do you think helped you become who you are at Constellium?
I never recognized my cultural tendencies and “American” working style until I came to a place with such a rich variety of cultures to learn from. There are over 20 different nationalities represented on site. By working together at C-TEC, we learn from our various cultural approaches to problems, which allows us to grow individually and as a team.