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Our Alumni speak: interview with Olivier Leschiera at PSA

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Every year, ISAE-SUPAERO trains many engineers who will move on to careers in a wide variety of sectors. With skills that can be adapted to all technologies, more and more Alumni go into professional careers in the energy, transport and notably automobile fields. We spoke with one of them, Olivier Leschiera, currently Head of the Powertrain Energies Storage and Supply entity at PSA.

Leschiera PSA
Olivier Leschiera, Alumni et Responsable de l’entité Powertrain Energies Storage and Supply chez PSA

What are your role and functions at PSA?

I am the Head of the Powertrain Energies Storage and Supply unit. I have the opportunity to oversee and serve a team of some 70 engineers who design and develop components for all the energy storage systems on our powertrains: thermally, fuel systems and SCR, and electrically, battery packs and charging systems.

What did your studies at ISAE-SUPAERO contribute to you in your experiences?

First of all, my specialization in fluid mechanics and our school’s reputation in the motorsports world are what got me a job with the PSA Group at Peugeot Sport, but it was really ISAE-SUPAERO’s generalist training that gave me the opportunity to take on ever greater responsibilities in different technical fields. I took a one-year internship in Italy during my gap year, which gave me a lasting taste for working and learning with teams from other countries and other cultures: that is very helpful to me at a Group like PSA, which has become international with colleagues in Germany, China, India and Morocco, etc.

What left the greatest mark on you during your studies at ISAE-SUPAERO?

I think the thing that left the biggest mark and then helped me the most at the PSA Group is the freedom and desire for entrepreneurship, but also a taste for innovation: we were lucky enough to be able to learn and experiment, to propose and develop projects, to create and to dream, notably at the aerodynamics laboratory where I spent hours with the team headed at the time by Francis Marty whose memory I would like to pay honor to. Over twenty years ago the lab already had the DNA that can now be seen in InnovSpace, which was recently inaugurated at the Institute and which symbolizes out school’s strength – I think I’d spend many more hours there if I were still a student in 2020…

Do you have any stories? An original experience you had at ISAE-SUPAERO that you would like to share with us?

If there was just one thing, I would say it was the study trip to the West Coast of the United States: Boeing, the big American universities like Berkeley and Stanford, NASA, what great memories! And I think the high point was to take off to return to France from the legendary Edwards Air Force Base: we realized that we were living a unique moment and I still remember it twenty-five years later!

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