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Christophe Cancel

24 August 2020

Christophe Cancel


Christophe Cancel, Draughtsman – Design Office


1/ Could you summarize your career and tell us about your current position?

Despite a two-year degree in mechanical engineering and production in 2013 in Ville d’Avray (France), I felt unconfident and not mature enough to follow this way.
I had multiple jobs and some of them have touched me. I was indeed a door-to-door salesman of ENI gas contracts. I lived so many situations, I have met so many people in so many places and all allowed me to grow, to be humble, to be determined and self-confident despite the insecurity of this job as I earned what I sold. I have then spent 6 months in Corsica working in the fields of the family farm that was run by my cousin. This experience was unforgettable: I discovered my family from a different look, my cousin leading a company in an exceptional place.

I then felt more determined and ambitious when I returned to Paris. My technical diploma (DUT) led to various job opportunities (machine operator, draughtsman, engineering school, quality technician, maintenance…). I’ve always wanted a technical job. When I was a child, I was already passionate about aeronautics. This explains a first experience for a subcontractor of THALES which specialized in the production of aeronautical components. However, that was not a job for me.

I really wanted to join a design office, so I looked up about a new AFPA training and after one year as a senior mechanical design technician, I signed a fixed term contract at ENERTIME where I carried out my end-of-year internship. This company designs and develops turbomachines and ORCs in the renewable energy sector, and I had to design various ORC projects for French waste disposal sites. This was followed by a job in nuclear research at SPG for precision engineering mechanics before joining the design office of LOUIS DREYFUS ARMATEURS as a draughtsman.
I am in charge of designing the drawings of mechanical systems.


2/ What do you particularly like about your job?

I mainly appreciate the development of unique tailor-made mechanical systems. Analysis of the needs, wishes, constraints and specifications. We must successfully “transfer” our ideas into the design software, go through the design phase and then prepare the whole system leading to the production. It’s a real pleasure to work in the maritime sector from both the technical and human points of view. And we can also decide how we work as the design office has just been created one year ago. This feeling of independence means a great responsibility in making choices: all the contact persons must be satisfied and must trust us. There are many exciting challenges for all of us!


3/ What are the 3 essential qualities in your job?

I would say curiosity, flexibility, and rigor. Curiosity makes us to question and to find the best solutions to meet the customer’s needs. Flexibility is necessary for any projects that could lead the clients to change sometimes their minds. Finally, I must be rigorous because if my plans are not accurate or are incomplete, the manufacturers will not be able to design the expected parts.


4/ Do you have any significant fact or anecdote to share about your job?

One of my first missions at LDA was to design a 3D model of the new ship ILE D’OUESSANT. I was very proud when I discovered the pictures on the website and then the 3D animation video. And my father who has been modeling ships since I was a child really liked the video!


5/ Land or sea?

Land, definitely! To be honest, even though I get my sea legs and I love water sports such as sailing and catamaran, I much prefer contacts and living new adventures from the mainland! By the way, I would go around the world… on foot!


6/ Your next trip?

My next trip would be Peru. I really like South America for its beautiful landscapes and quite spectacular regions. Life is still quite wild in some places, flora and fauna are rich and there are beautiful high-altitude landscapes. I am very attracted by these very different civilizations and cultures.


7/ Your motto?

Live in the present moment.” I do care about living in the present moment with a lack of concern. It allows me to fully appreciate the value of people and things


Thank you Christophe for this inspiring interview!