Mériam works as a Research and Development (R&D) Competence Manager, in the corporate research department of Total. She ensures that the skills and experience that our people have are in line with our strategy, R&D roadmaps and future planning. This shapes our ‘Total Skills’ internal development program.
Mériam started working with Total Refining and Chemicals; after 10 years experience in R&D automation, advanced process control and artificial intelligence, she became a specialist in real time fuel production optimization. “I was proud to join the Total scientific development program two years ago. I was able to support challenging R&D initiatives in numerical methods, modeling and optimization and this included data-centric approaches, image processing, and machine learning.”
- Name: Mériam
- Branch: Holding
- Position: R&D Competence Manager
- Field of study: Mechanical engineering, Master in Science and Automation
- Years at Total: 28
- Advice: Stay open to all opportunities that may come your way!
Discovering a New Side to R&D at Total
“Now with my new position, it is another story, and another challenge: I am so excited to learn more about soft skills and work on projects which relate to the human factor. I can keep on working on digital programs and use my scientific background, while developing in the areas of HR and R&D management and strategy.
I have two offices, one in the Solaize research center, near Lyon in France, and the other at Total HQ in Paris. I also travel between 2 and 4 days a week to meet people in research centers, universities, headquarters and partner companies and organizations all over the world.
Something I find particularly interesting is my work to establish a special bridge between R&D managers and HR - I want to develop new synergies and mobility opportunities between the different Total branches around the world and across every part of our business.
R&D is very important for Total and for the energy sector in general. It helps us to tackle the challenges of energy efficiency and climate change and to excel in the production of sustainable energy. We take our responsibility as one of the top 100 Most Innovative companies in the world very seriously!
Skills, Diversity and Networking
Mériam explains that the most important skills for her job are being able to work effectively with people from different teams; such as leading cross-functional groups and knowing how to work effectively at corporate level. Of course, it’s also important to have a wide range of scientific skills to understand future R&D needs.
“I am committed to TWICE (Total Women Initiative for Communication and Exchange) with Total, through the ‘Elles bougent’/ ‘Women on the move’ network. Through these programs, we promote science and our oil and gas engineering jobs to young women, from high schools to engineering schools.”
What kind of profiles Total will be looking for in the future? Engineers and doctors in earth sciences will always be needed, but we also have people with backgrounds in mathematics, physics, chemistry and life sciences. We look for people who are open to the world, with a command of English and an ability to adapt to diverse and multicultural environments.”