Julien Bahain is the Godfather of the UTC Foundation for Innovation’s first fundraising campaign. A 2011 UTC graduate, this engineer majoring in the Mechanical Systems Engineering programme is also an Olympic bronze medallist in rowing at the 2008 Beijing Olympics
Julien Bahain immediately agreed to take on the role of Chairman of the Fundraising Committee of the UTC Foundation for Innovation and sponsor of the first fundraising campaign. «For me, it’s a way of giving back a little of what I received during my time at UTC. I firmly believe that it’s by contributing a little here and there that we can make a difference together. I personally have benefited from help, financial or otherwise, throughout my career, from remedial courses and help in finding work placements. We all need a helping hand to achieve our goals and it’s my turn to give a little back. I’ve taken on students on technical placements (TN05), helping them to find placements and accommodation. I always take the time to answer students’ emails, whether it’s for advice or in a job search. I’d like to be one of the voices carrying this message to the alumni community, while also having the opportunity to reconnect with each other” says the engineer, who graduated in 2011 after joining the UTC in 2004 as part of the core curriculum, followed by the Mechanical Systems Engineering major course. He discovered the management of innovative projects (MPI), a speciality option common to all branches, which is where he wanted to go.
Why raise funds?
The aim of the fund-raising is to provide longterm support for students and projects in two clearly defined areas: international mobility and social and environmental projects. «These are two subjects that are close to my heart and with which I clearly identify, whether in my professional or personal life. If you are open to one, you can better understand the other. I believe that these are two fundamental subjects that our UTC students need to address and experience in the face of the challenges we face,» continues Julien Bahain, who took part in his first Olympic Games in Beijing in 2008. He is 22 years old.
It was the UTC that enabled him to continue rowing at a high level. «I always like to make it clear that UTC Sport Elite was a factor in my choice of university, but I’ve always put my studies first. By choosing UTC, I broke with the sporting protocol of my federation at the time. Logic would have dictated that I should be closer to a national training centre with the possibility of joining one of the INSAs. Compiegne has a rowing club with a national and international history. The club opened its doors to me without reservation and my sporting career would have been very different without the unconditional support of Sport Nautique Compiégnois. In the end, it was an à la carte career path that was the solution for me and I am grateful to all those who have accompanied and supported me during my seven years at UTC. As a rower, I can’t ignore this analogy about water, because it’s the little streams that make the big rivers. We can all play a part and contribute to our common future.
From the Beijing 2008 Olympic adventure to British Columbia, Canada
Beijing 2008 was his first Olympic Games. It was also the first time that a quadruple sculls, four rowers with two oars each, won an Olympic Bronze medal for France. For Julien Bahain, it is confirmation that it is possible to combine studies and sport, and to do so outside the traditional framework. «It’s a medal that I owe to my hard work, and I think that anyone who has crossed my path on my old bike in the streets of Compiegne or on the lecture theatres will attest to the fact that it was all down to timing and real determination on a daily basis. But once again, without the support and hard work of my classmates, my teachers, the UTC Sport Elite staff and the local rowing club, none of this would have been possible. Taking notes during an absence or a catch-up lesson offered by some people made all the difference. A performance is built every day”.
UTC gave him the opportunity to adjust his course once the first semester of the core curriculum had been completed. He was thus able to organise his semesters according to his sporting calendar. This enabled him to lighten the spring semesters so that he could compete on the international circuit. As a result, he was able to complete all his credits in seven years instead of five.
In addition to an à la carte course, the UTC also offers a structure around its athletes: UTC Sports Elite. It offers access and personalised monitoring of performance. This includes mental preparation, sports performance monitoring tools (physical and physiological tests, etc.) and the opportunity to share moments with other athletes. Julien Bahain now works Julien Bahain now works for Infrastructure BC in Canada as a project manager. He plans major provincial infrastructure projects, manages the tendering and procurement processes and their implementation (project management and construction contract management). He loved the CCs GE37, 38, 39 and 40 in project management when he was at UTC, and has now made it his profession, managing around $2 billion worth of projects, including $270 million currently under construction. Although UTC engineering degree is not directly recognised here, it was the MPI course that enabled him to enter the world of work in British Columbia