Académie des technologies

Héloïse Gouton

  • R&D technician in product and process metrology
  • Saint-Gobain
  • 28 years old
  • Sponsored by Catherine Langlais in 2021

Why a career in tech?

When I was younger, I subscribed to Sciences&Vie, where I discovered that tech was present in absolutely every field: aeronautics, shipbuilding, electronics or sports. Tech offers the prospect of very varied missions or projects throughout career.

Your professional experience?

A “Diplôme Universitaire de Technologie” (DUT) in Materials Science and Engineering: the teaching of materials and their physical and chemical properties as well as their implementation. A degree in materials analysis: main techniques for structural and chemical analysis of materials as well as their damage (NDT, ultrasound, diffraction, X-rays, etc.).

Your first experience with technology?

During my bachelor’s degree, I worked in the mechanical team of the Saint-Gobain R&D center (SGR Paris), where I studied and characterized the damage of materials such as gypsum boards in order to optimize their properties.

What do you do today, and why?

I am currently part of a team that develops industrial sensors for the production lines of the Saint-Gobain group. The research themes allow me to work with a wide variety of technological equipment and to test them directly on the production lines. The very good atmosphere in this team encourages exchanges and listening.

Your strengths in this role?

Curious about everything, I enjoy discovering, experimenting and developing measurement methods. And my motivation to perform industrial trials to test our ideas in real conditions.

Past challenges, failures and disappointments?

When, following a bad fracture, I relapsed on the morning of my interview at Saint-Gobain. On the road I learn that I have a second fracture. I forget the pain, I introduce myself, I am taken. Incredulous, happy and proud ... my crutches have lifted me up!

Best moments, successes you’re proud of?

When I started, I was trained in equipment, tools, methods and quality control. I was very proud the day I was sent to a factory in Mexico to recalibrate a quality control measuring bench. Very critical task because quality control is a strategic step on a production line.

People who helped, influenced-or made your life difficult?

The first thing that comes to my mind has nothing to do with my work, but with my violin teacher at the conservatory who asked me to choose between a musical or scientific career. The choice was very difficult but today I have no regrets, I love my job and I continue to play music.

Your hopes and future challenges?

Today, we sometimes use existing protocols or measurement methods; one day I would like to develop a completely new measurement method myself from A to Z. I would also like to add a communicator’s hat to my scientist’s hat, as I am keen on explaining our results / measurement methods to the company’s non-scientist employees. And climb Mont Blanc!

What do you do when you don’t work?

Above all, I love sharing my passions. Mountaineering, the emotion of a concert or an opera, far away and adventurous journeys. More regularly I climb, play in the orchestra, play tennis and go horse riding. At the same time, I am learning to taste great wines with my mother.

Your heroes-from History to fiction?

Passionate about history, I find many lessons there. I have been marked for a long time by a moving character of the French Revolution: Charlotte Corday, a happy young woman who sacrificed her life to make her conception of fraternity come alive. I learned that in the darkness, in anguish, all it takes is a little light to dazzle and guide us.

A saying or proverb you like in particular?

They did not know it was impossible, so they did it.

A book to take with you on a desert island?

On a desert island, you might as well dream of other improbable islands, with a mythical and flamboyant text. The count of Monte Cristo. After injustice, justice. After isolation, freedom. An anti-fatalism book, the recipe in 800 pages, I will have time.

A message to young female professionals?

Live your passions, live your dreams, only those who do not try anything are never wrong.


The questionnaire answered by the Women of Tech is a variant of the Proust questionnaire, named not because Marcel Proust got lost in the Paris metro, but in memory of Emilie du Chatelet, a woman of letters, mathematician and physicist, renowned for her translation of Newton's Principia Mathematica and the dissemination of Leibniz's physics work. She was a member of the Academy of Sciences of the Bologna Institute. Emilie du Chatelet led a free and fulfilled life during the era of the Enlightenment and published a speech on happiness.

Emilie Du Chatelet

Woman of letters, mathematician and physicist

1706 - 1749