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Drivers of Innovation: Organization and Prioritization Key to Overcoming Barriers

Finding new solutions to solve stakeholder challenges motivates UL’s Pierre-Marie Doitrand, a senior project engineer for UL’s Wire and Cable business unit in Europe

Headshot of Pierre-Marie Doitrand, standing at an angle and wearinga light blue button down shirt

March 1, 2021

According to Pierre-Marie Doitrand, a senior project engineer, there’s no such thing as a “typical day” in his work with UL’s Wire and Cable business unit in Europe. He has spent the last 10 years of his career as an industry expert evaluating industrial wires and cables.

Doitrand’s work at UL offers both challenges and opportunities, as is normal in any vocation, the difference being that he’s surrounded by colleagues who relish overcoming barriers.

“The high level of technical expertise among the international Wire and Cable division is what initially interested me most about UL when I started here two and a half years ago,” he said. “The professionalism and great support from the laboratory teams with their multiple testing capabilities, including flame, mechanical, electrical, environmental, and others, combined with the fascination everyone here has about science, data and finding new solutions, is what motivates me every day.”

He suggests that organization and prioritization are key to managing work when you are on the cutting edge of innovation.

“Using a scientific approach that incorporates cable engineering expertise and standards proficiency is the preferred way to propose appropriate solutions to the challenges that our customers and their stakeholders face in a world with rapidly changing regulations and consumer demands. Developing an overall and long-term vision of the working topics in cross-region and divisional projects is helpful to have a better understanding and control of the scope of my projects.”

Challenges captivate; balance keeps him going

After earning a master’s degree in materials science and engineering at the Institut National des Sciences Appliquées (INSA) de Lyon and another in innovative materials at the Université Claude Bernard Lyon, Doitrand started working for major cable manufacturers in a research and development capacity.

“The main factors that influenced my career choices are people, hard work, family and chance,” he said. “Meeting great people, such as my manager, David Cavassa, business development manager for UL’s Wire and Cable division in Europe and working with the wonderfully experienced global teams in different regions has been inspirational to me and provided opportunities I couldn’t get anywhere else. I’ve had a strong interest in the world of industrial wires and cables since university. The technical and innovative challenges keep me captivated at work, and the balance between work and family life UL provides is incredible.”

Doitrand first became interested in UL after learning about the UL Standards his employers needed to meet to confirm compliance with the various regulations that wire and cable manufacturers encounter on the road to market acceptance worldwide.

“At first, I was learning about UL Standards, and then I would have a face-to-face meeting with UL representatives at trade shows and get caught up in interesting conversations about cable flame tests. Now I work at UL, and every week is unique,” he added. “A typical day might combine a mix of meetings, ongoing and new projects, business trips, training, auditing, technical studies, sales support and always some last-minute surprises that keep work exciting.”

The future of wire and cable

According to Doitrand, UL’s mindset is based on strong customer-centricity.

“Our goal is to create great customer experiences, both initially and long term. We aim to understand our customers’ feedback and proactively identify improvement opportunities,” he said. “In addition to our core safety certification business, which is so central to our mission, we are developing new services to diversify our portfolio and provide both global and local support for our customers. People can look forward to the continuation of the digital transformation of the industry as we develop new and innovative tools to serve them better.”

He added, “One of my first missions at UL was to work on gap analysis studies, with the centralization of the data and identification of synergies combining the forces from UL laboratories around the world to provide global safety solutions for testing and certification of cables products in new areas. I have also helped develop new services locally in Europe and other regions. One of my roles is to help deliver training to our colleagues during their onboarding period as we develop new engineering and sales teams in Europe.” 

Doitrand is proud of his work to provide testing and certification services to both UL and other standards, such as European Norms/International Electrotechnical Commission (EN/IEC), the development of training sessions for customers and providing witness testing, UL Marketing Claim Verification, flame chamber assessments and many other services that help our customers differentiate themselves in a crowded marketplace.

“Helping to confirm compliance and raise safety standards around the world is a source of great pride for me,” he said. “UL is the perfect place for an engineer who wants to do good work that actually helps people.”