IRT Saint Exupéry pursues a series of portraits devoted to the men and women who best represent the institute: its researchers. Their high-level skills and wealth of experience contribute hugely to IRT Saint Exupéry’s performance and unique position, which is so crucial for its members and partners.
Can you tell us about your career?
What does a systems engineer do?
All these processes of digital transformation that are part of Industry 4.0 are supported by change management for the sake of better appropriation by industry players. On the in-house project BabyMod, in fact, Nicolas Hili is studying new approaches to collaboration by integrating the contribution of new technology such as touch-screen interfaces or artificial intelligence into the human-machine relationship. Group psychology and cognitive sciences will be taken in account to a greater extent in the future.
Many of our activities are related to the DDMS program launched by Airbus in February 2019, which aims to design, produce and offer digital services in all its divisions and product ranges. This major focus on collaboration in complex aeronautics and space systems at IRT Saint Exupéry is applicable to the automotive and medical fields as well. On large projects that involve complex systems and require sub-contracting, the challenge is to have an overall view and to share information with everyone in order to make the best decisions.
In which projects do you have the role of coordinator of methodology?
I am also involved on a 50% basis with the D2C project, which aims to define future methods of collaboration on systems design in the extended enterprise. The key to success lies in the interoperability of the different initiatives of digital transformation now under way amongst the industrial members.
What results have been obtained?
I participated in the development of a methodology that built up a unified view of the product architecture that will be used and enriched in the D2C project. To validate this approach, we have developed AIDA, a four-propellers drone for pre-flight inspection of airliner structure—a case study representative of the industry. The models of systems engineering, safety analysis and performance of flight control laws developed in AIDA are accessible under open-source license.
I also contributed to TeePee, the proof of concept of an exchange platform that aggregates distributed and heterogeneous systems engineering data.
These results were presented at several conferences.
Provision of service should get under way soon.
We also offer our members an ontology, that is, a glossary containing over 300 conceptual terms and relating the terms to each other, to facilitate comprehension of this rapidly expanding field of research. This ontology of data is like a grammar book of MBSE in the extended enterprise. A database containing 230 methods, software tools and languages, the support of the state of the art in our field, is accessible via a web site.
What do you like at IRT Saint Exupéry?
At IRT Saint Exupéry we are in touch with the whole ecosystem: industrialists who express their needs; academics, who put forward theoretical solutions; and software editors, who incubate our results at IRT Saint Exupéry and then sell them to industrialists. I love having the complete view and doing this work of synthesis, which consists in finding the best compromise between the needs of all those involved. I really enjoy it!
 Aeronautical Technical Center of the Technical Directorate of the General Directorate of Armament of the French Ministry of Armed Forces
 Mechanical engineering school
 Toulouse Institute of Computer Science Research (CNRS/UT3 Paul Sabatier/INP Toulouse/UT1 Capitole/UT2 Jean Jaurès)
 Higher Education Institute of Aeronautics and Space
 Laboratory for Analysis and Architecture of Systems
 Higher Institute of Electronics and Digital Technology
 medical technology
 Digital Design, Manufacturing and Services
 French Systems Engineering Association