Maxime Efoui-Hess: Putting your engineering skills to work for the climate

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A former engineering student at ISAE-SUPAERO, Maxime Efoui-Hess has made the defence of the climate his personal and professional leitmotiv. Convinced that engineers have a major role to play in protecting the environment, the young graduate has taken the sidelines by joining The Shift Projecta general interest lobby working for a carbon-free economy. For him, engineers have the necessary technical skills and a scientific vision capable of changing the political, economic and industrial model by taking into account environmental and societal issues.

From the conquest of space to the protection of the environment: the commitment of an ISAE-SUPAERO student in favour of the climate

As a young bachelor, Maxime Efoui-Hess dreamed of working in the field of space research. Amazed by the human adventure of the conquest of space, in 2013 he joins theISAE-SUPAEROa world leader in higher education for aerospace engineering. During their gap year, students begin to question how to include environmental issues in their professional life and compare the similarities between climate and space. In these two fields, which seem to be at the opposite end of the spectrum, a closed ecosystem to which no new resources can be brought is studied. Above all, we become aware of the living planet and the damage that global warming is doing to it. Indeed, who better than an astronaut to visualize the Earth as a whole and measure, from a distance, the impact of carbon constraints on its health?

In their 3rd year at ISAE-SUPAERO, students therefore choose to follow the "Energy, Transport, Environment" course proposed by the Institute. It is within the framework of this course that Maxime discovered The Shift Projecta general interest lobby that advocates a scientific vision capable of providing solutions to engineering to free it from the carbon constraint.
The Shift Project deals with concrete and physical problems, including technical skills and scientific analysis. The student is seduced and then sees a career path taking shape in line with his or her commitments.

Thus, at the end of his studies, Maxime Efoui-Hess joined this lobby to put his engineering skills at the service of the climate. For the young graduate is certain: the engineer has a role to play in every industrial project to integrate environmental concepts from the very beginning and reduce the company's ecological impact as much as possible.

The engineer must use his skills and global vision to modify the current model.

By integrating The Shift ProjectMaxime Efoui-Hess did not follow the traditional paths of a graduate from a university of applied sciences. And for good reason, he is convinced that the engineer has a role to play in the ecological transition. The engineer has learned to have an overview of the various stages of a project: from genesis to end use, from the choice of components to their recycling. His role? To make the right decision by encompassing all components, all aspects, all purposes. Thus, even if a decision has no direct relationship with the climate at a given time, it can still change everything.

By bringing his technical and intellectual skills, the engineer contributes to the change of a model. To change the model of society using the "engineer vision", the "grandes écoles" have a role to play.

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Late 2019, The Shift Project produced a report on the place of environment and climate in higher education programmes. There is a strong demand on the part of students and teacher-researchers to take environmental constraints into account when setting up research projects and training programmes. Higher education institutions, such as ISAE-SUPAERO, are developing curricula in which the environment is at the heart of the priorities. They also implement numerous actions to raise awareness and train students on their role in defending the climate.

All that remains is to add these initiatives to a systemic vision and to prove to students that their skills are useful and even essential for modifying the current model and adapting it to climate issues.

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