Jul 6, 2017


Interview: a talk with Gilles, Quality Assurance Engineer

Name: Gilles

Background: Biotechnology engineer

Experience: Quality Assurance & Regulatory

Nalys division: Life Sciences


Nalys expertise community: Quality Assurance


Hobbies: Biking, Art & learning new expertise


When did your passion for innovation start?

I’ve always been attracted by the technical field. Before choosing biology, I was especially interested in life, nature, animals and plants. Once I put a foot into the technical world, I started looking for improvement to existing things, which lead me to innovation and new technologies. Since I was a child, I have liked to think about the current technologies, what were the old technics and what will be the future trends.

What did you want do to as a child?

As a child, I wanted to be a veterinary.


Why did you finally choose a Life Sciences consulting job?

With the time passing, my wish of becoming a veterinarian faded away for something closer to biology, chemistry and mathematics. Working as a consultant in the biotechnology field allows me to keep exploring those topics. I wanted to wait a bit before choosing a single specialisation. I wanted to keep doors open to different expertise. So, the consultant job really suits me.

What is your previous engineering project?

My two last missions as a Nalys consultant was in the field of labelling, as a part of the packaging department. I had to take on an important management part regarding the quality assurance. The main purpose of the projects was to handle the information transmitted between the laboratory and the final customer. It includes the packaging, the notice and every part of the product with something that contain information.
As a part of the quality assurance team, our goal was to make sure that the good packaging was used with the good products but also adapted to the country where the products will be shipped. During the second mission, I was more specifically working on the regulatory part. Then, the goal was to make sure that we had the required information correctly written on the product’s notice.

How would you explain your job to a 6 years old kid?

(Laugh) This is a hard one. I think I would use a metaphor, for example with a schoolteacher. I would say that my job in quality assurance is to understand how people are working, help them to do it better, and write those new methods & process on paper. The goal is for them to have a better control on what they do. So, to sum-up, I would say that it is mainly a matter of pedagogy and learning.

Which technologies would you love to work on?

There is not, really, a single technology. What I like about my studies and my current job is specifically that they are not related to a single technology or sector. It gives me the ability to keep learning and improving on various domains. What I like is to constantly adapt myself to a moving environment. And as I still have a great motivation to learn, I don’t want to become an expert in a single technology field.

For you what is the future of quality assurance?

The quality assurance field is something quite new, compared to the other jobs in the healthcare industry. I think that, still today, it is not yet well implemented in many projects and companies. QA departments had been created because it is now mandatory, but it seems that a lot of people are not qualified enough. This is the reason why QA have such a bad image. For me, this is the main challenge for quality assurance and we need to start working closer with the other departments. The aim is to stop being seen as a Grinch or a troublemaker but more as a support department and a guarantee of safety.

What advice would you give to a future quality assurance engineer?

It would be to never forget that he or she is an engineer. To always come back to the understanding of the situation. It is a matter of pedagogy and it is sometimes difficult not to just tell people how they need to work. The challenge is to understand how they are currently working and help them to integrate good practices to facilitate controls.

What is the existing innovation you would have loved to create?

Capsules. The gel caps. It is convenient, colourful, you don’t have to feel the bad taste of the medicine. Maybe it comes a bit from my childhood, but it is something that always attracted me.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

I hope I will keep exploring the different Life Sciences jobs. I already did quality assurance, regulatory affairs… I would like to go deeper into the packaging & labelling field, but with a more global project manager role.

How will Nalys help you get there?

Nalys could help by putting me on projects that allow me to enlarge my knowledge and my technical skills.

Do you have hobbies?

I love biking. Enjoying the city or close countryside by bike. And also go to contemporary art or art expositions.

Do you have a secret talent?

I build papier-mâché men. (Laugh)

Share this article