Marie-Cécile Péra

1968

Teacher and researcher at the University of Franche-Comté (UFC), Bourgogne-Franche-Comté

"I'm proud that I’m working on the energy transition, helping to create a world that we hope will be more simple and respectful of natural resources."

My career path

I’m a teacher and researcher in electrical engineering at the University of Franche-Comté. My work consists of three tasks : teaching students at the master’s and PhD levels, conducting research into electrical energy, hydrogen power and energy efficiency, and being deputy head of a large engineering and computer science lab in which 800 people work.

My passion. I love my job. Doing research means I get to learn every day, be creative and discover unexpected links between the various bits of knowledge I have acquired over the years. And I have a network that spans every country in the world. Teaching allows me to stay in touch with younger generations, their aspirations and their way of learning about and approaching the world. What I think motivates me the most is working for a public institution.

My career path. Two colleagues helped me to assert myself. They believed in me more than I believed in myself. They encouraged me to take on tasks that I didn’t think I was capable of doing. When I became deputy head of the lab, I realized that I had a certain charisma that made leadership come naturally. I have had a lot of support from the lab manager who believed in me and brought me into his team. I also get support from my husband on a daily basis, while my father was more of a driving force.

A downside or obstacle ? My work requires creativity, but the administrative environment can be very constrained, very regulated and very controlled. You have to know how to deal with those rules. But the first obstacle was my mother who told me I should choose a job that was “compatible with family life”, which was very narrow-minded. And two people tried to keep me in junior positions, one was a colleague and the other my superior, but luckily this was in two successive jobs and not at the same time ! And there aren’t many women in my field.

I’m proud that I’m working on the energy transition, helping to create a world that we hope will be more simple and respectful of natural resources. My strength lies in my ability to create links with other fields, to reason by analogy and to sum up different sides of a problem. I’m also very curious and enthusiastic, and I’m often commissioned as an expert.

The Proust Questionnaire

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Au-delà de votre profession

Mon métier, mes enfants, la littérature.

Des personnes qui vous inspirent

Simone Veil et Nelson Mandela.

Un livre & un film

Au nom de tous les miens (Martin Gray) et Forrest Gump (Robert Zemeckis).

Un modèle

J’ai trois modèles féminins qui m’inspirent, même s’ils ne sont pas originaux. Deux sont des figures que j’ai découvertes à l’adolescence : Simone Veil et Marie Curie. La troisième est venue plus tard : Claudie Haigneré.

Un objet

Un ordinateur

Une couleur

Le noir

Un rêve

Un progrès technologique qui se mettrait au service de la dignité humaine.