Dominique Néel (Regional Managing Director for France Bouygues Energies & Services)
The new "Success Story" section regularly brings you new profiles of ESIGELEC graduates with amazing careers who have never forgotten their time here as students...
ESIGELEC student Dominique Néel went past the Bouygues headquarters every day in the mid-90s whilst on a placement at GIAT (now Nexter, weapons manufacturer). He was highly motivated by the huge company's potential and resources. "I posted my CV through the letterbox. It was as simple as that," he recalls with a smile. Dominique Néel is now Regional Managing Director for France at Bouygues Energies & Services, "leader in energy, digital and industrial services", a subsidiary 100% owned by Bouygues Construction. With 5000 staff members (and 1 billion € in turnover) at his premises, Dominique Néel is involved in the company's three sectors: infrastructures and networks (street lighting, charging points, traffic signs etc.); infrastructures and internal building fixtures (electricity, air-conditioning, audiovisual etc.); multi-technical maintenance. "These are fields rooted in our foundations which we elevate with our technical expertise and follow or foresee the company's requirements. You need charging points for electric cars, tracking and traffic sign systems for public transport," says Dominique Néel.
He was whisked away on exciting industrial adventures soon after he graduated from the class of 1995 at ESIGELEC: the Stade de France's construction, the Louvre's renovation, the mobile phone boom, the rise of the first data centres etc. He needed a solid technical base to tackle these challenges. That's what ESIGELEC gave him. "The school has the ability to provide students with a wide-ranging and consistent foundation so they can grow in their careers. Yes it's involved in very cutting-edge technology expertise but it also has a very open mind when it comes to corporate issues. It knows its stuff when it comes to technique and project management."
At the time, Dominique Néel may have been one of few students from the school to join Bouygues Énergies & Services (formerly ETDE) but things have changed: "We hire a lot of people from ESIGELEC. The school has set a benchmark for us, it's one of the first we turn to and that goes for the entire group." Hiring and supporting young people is part of the company's DNA. Bouygues E&S is committed to apprenticeship courses with over 500 apprentices in their teams.
The focus on ESIGELEC is due to its ability to train engineers appropriately and its legacy for moving and evolving, as Dominique Neel mentions: "ESIGELEC is built in a highly industrial context within Rouen's economy, the Seine Valley, with key skills in robotics, industrial IT and automation. It is true to its legacy yet has made a smooth entrance into cutting-edge subjects such as artificial intelligence, embedded electronics, digital networks and has provided a new dimension with the project manager component. It doesn't live in the past, it's constantly moving and researching. ESIGELEC students stand out for their deep understanding of challenges, a grasp on what's required. And it's clear they love what they do too."
Dominique Néel has lots of happy memories from his time on the ESIGELEC campus, including "a devoted and engaging teaching staff whose passion for technology is contagious. Stand-out, open teachers brimming with knowledge and intellectual curiosity who are always in a good mood." He was also involved in the BDS (sport office) which he saw as a way "to learn things, work together, find out about other activities and broaden your student world horizon to explore civil society."
Dominique Néel may be very fond of ESIGELEC, its values and reputation but he's just as passionate about Normandy and Rouen where he was born and bred in the Sapins area. He addresses all his home city's assets, "Rouen, with its infrastructures, population, schools, location on the Axe Seine, convenience for the Île-de-France region, heritage and culture can play the field to gain acknowledgement and recognition," he believes. "Rouen was a merchant hub and is now an entrepreneurial city. It is far more exciting than it appears, not just in terms of vocational training. It's a city of history and technology, a city that has always managed to regenerate."
He sees the bond between training, business and the region as a magnet. The Rouen area has everything it needs to implement this virtuous movement.