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Benjamin - Beamline technician (French)

“The ESRF has a culture of sharing know-how and in-house learning that means I’m always progressing, whether in mechanics, computing, electronics, instrumentation, machining or vacuum technology.”
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“I’m a technician. I hold a university degree in physical measurements and I joined the ESRF in 2014 to work on the medical beamline, ID17.  I maintain the instrumentation on the beamline and get it to evolve with the needs of the scientists. About 50% of my time can be scheduled but the other half is always improvised, repairing faults and handling unexpected requests. I also assist users for a variety of things, for example if they need a piece of equipment custom-made during their stay, like a specific mechanical support for samples, or a motorised device.

I like working on the medical beamline because I can really see the results of my work and how it makes a difference to the experiment. There’s a lot of satisfaction in helping a user obtain a better resolution image after some mechanical tweaking.

Before coming to the ESRF, I worked abroad and on a variety of short-term contracts, building my experience in telecommunications, nuclear energy and various instrumentation projects. I spent 3 months in a European research institute in Italy, and also 14 months at sea installing fibre optics under the Mediterranean Sea. I was attracted to the international context of the ESRF. What keeps me here is the quality of the technical missions and the high technicity of the institute. I like the variety of my tasks and that I can learn from others. Even if I miss working abroad, at the ESRF I’m surrounded by people from many different countries – it’s a bit like travelling every day!

I’m from Pertuis in the South of France but I studied in Grenoble and have adopted the town. It’s an excellent environment where I can easily combine work with the sport that I’m passionate about: hang-gliding!”