UTC students with Tenneco & Co working for the Planet’s future

Ten­neco is an Amer­i­can auto­mo­tive equip­ment sup­pli­er based in Crépy-en-Val­ois since 1933. For sev­er­al months, the com­pa­ny host­ed a group of stu­dents from the UTC who were able to reflect on con­crete actions to improve indus­tri­al per­for­mance, tak­ing into account the envi­ron­men­tal chal­lenges of the Picardy-based company. 

Nine­teen UTC stu­dents worked for six months between the school and the Ten­neco site in Crépy-en-Val­ois. Objec­tive: to reduce com­mon indus­tri­al waste and the com­pa­ny’s ener­gy con­sump­tion. With real eco­nom­ic and envi­ron­men­tal stakes for a life­size aware­ness. Ten­neco man­u­fac­tures pro­tec­tion sys­tems for com­po­nents such as cables and hoses. In addi­tion to the auto­mo­tive indus­try, and var­i­ous pro­tec­tion sys­tems, Ten­neco are also employed in pow­er gen­er­a­tion, the aero­nau­tics and aero­space sec­tors, also marine, rail and oth­er indus­tri­al sec­tors. “Our group was mobilised to find effec­tive solu­tions to reduce ener­gy con­sump­tion by 5% per year by 2024 and to reduce OIW, com­mon indus­tri­al waste, by 20%. How can waste be recov­ered? We were all in auton­o­my with a teacher to super­vise us. We draft­ed three reports dur­ing the semes­ter. To achieve this, we set up three teams: ener­gy, waste and glob­al vision. We were very well received by the com­pa­ny, which was par­tic­u­lar­ly involved in our project,” says Julie Tardy, 22, in her 5th year of mechan­i­cal engi­neer­ing. The young Lyon­naise is tar­get­ing the sup­ply chain and envi­ron­men­tal lean man­age­ment pro­fes­sions. The third team’s mis­sion was to look for labels and accom­pa­ny change with­in the com­pa­ny, for exam­ple in terms of train­ing on how to sort waste better. 

A new mindset

The oper­a­tion, which began in Sep­tem­ber 2019 and was com­plet­ed in Jan­u­ary 2020, has thus borne fruit. Use­ful both for the com­pa­ny and for the stu­dents. “The gains were numer­ous for all of us. To begin with, it was very instruc­tive to car­ry out a group project in almost total auton­o­my. It was a great way to devel­op the skills and qual­i­ties of each of us. We very quick­ly had to set up a very spe­cif­ic organ­i­sa­tion to cre­ate a link between us and com­mu­ni­cate well. So much for the human aspects,” con­tin­ues Julie Tardy. Tech­ni­cal­ly, we learned a lot, for exam­ple about the state of research in these fields, but also how to obtain quo­ta­tions, con­tact com­pa­nies and man­age a project from A to Z. “So many stu­dents who were already aware of envi­ron­men­tal issues long before, but who now, at the heart of a tar­get­ed com­pa­ny, were able to be bet­ter informed and bring about a real change in thinking”. 

A career launch-pad

“Pro­ject­ing one­self into a pro­fes­sion­al real­i­ty was most rel­e­vant for the school and for these stu­dents. The com­pa­ny also asked some of them to do a bit of fore­sight on the evo­lu­tion of the Plan­et and the chal­lenges that Ten­neco could encounter by 2050 and the oper­a­tional tools for its sub­jects,” empha­sis­es Valérie More­au, pro­fes­sor-researcher in the Mechan­i­cal Engi­neer­ing depart­ment at UTC, sat­is­fied with the rela­tions estab­lished with Ten­neco well upstream, notably through the UTC trainees already wel­comed before this Eco-Group. “The trans­for­ma­tion of our West­ern pro­duc­tion and con­sump­tion meth­ods will undoubt­ed­ly accel­er­ate in the years to come so that human activ­i­ty remains, or rather becomes, sus­tain­able in the long term,” she adds. Not all our stu­dents are yet ful­ly aware of this, and a minor­i­ty of com­pa­nies are just begin­ning to make the tran­si­tion. The UTC, as a uni­ver­si­ty and engi­neer­ing school, has an essen­tial role to play in draw­ing links between inter­na­tion­al sci­en­tif­ic knowl­edge and the local imple­men­ta­tion of tech­niques and meth­ods that will make it pos­si­ble to address the chal­lenges of our cen­tu­ry. This project is one such link. It does not solve every­thing, but it allows us col­lec­tive­ly and indi­vid­u­al­ly to start pro­ject­ing our­selves towards a new reality. » 

Le magazine

Avril 2024 - N°62

Faire face aux enjeux environnementaux

linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram