Julien Rion

Name, organization: Julien Rion, Bcomp

Current position: CTO

Areas of expertise: Composite materials and structures

Roles in FibreNet: mentor to two ESRs


Why is FibreNet an interesting project for you?  

Fibrenet allows to have close contact with academic partners very active in the same field as Bcomp, and also enlarges the view of the use of natural fiber within other fields.


Where were you born/ where have you lived as a child?

I was born in Switzerland and spent my childhood in a small village on the countryside, what built my close relationship to nature.

Hobbies: mountain biking, running, mountaineering, ski touring, climbing, remote controlled airplanes


Tell something about yourself, which other FibreNet people might not know yet:

I won some Aerobatics tournaments for Remote Controlled Airplanes (but this is quite some time ago).

How did you become a researcher/scientist?

I always wanted to understand how things work and liked to build things. So, for me it was natural to follow a scientific path, and my passion for RC airplanes brought me to the composite materials field.

What do you like most in your current work?

In one week, we can discuss with ski manufacturers, designers, car manufacturers, European Space Agency and many others to apply our materials. This diversity is a unique chance. Also, we try to develop materials better for our planet, so I am convinced that what I am doing has a sense.

What has been the biggest change in your working life, and how did you adapt to it?

In the same year, I had my first child, we founded the start-up Bcomp and we moved. This was quite tough. But the motivation to do something new and nice helped a lot to find the required energy.

What has been the hardest decision you have made during the last years?

In 2011, I had the choice between a job opportunity in California, an engineering position in a nice Swiss company in the field of composites or jumping in the Bcomp adventure. I chose the adventure, which I do not regret.

How do you organize your time at work, reveal some of your effective time management tricks.

E-mail is a nightmare. You have to close your mailbox to work effectively and have a look at it when it is the right time for you. People often think that they will get an answer within minutes, but do not forget that for urgent thing they can call you!

What are the three most important things in your current job?

Working for a good cause, working with a good team, having the impression to be able to change something on Earth.

Describe the best colleague or boss that you have worked with. What was it that especially impressed you?

Christian my colleague co-founder with his positive energy and entrepreneur mindset. He sees the opportunities and I see the problems to solve, that is why he drives the company and I drive the technical side, we are very complementary.

When was the last time you had to “sell” your idea to your team? How did you do it and what was the outcome?

Driving a team of 12 engineers, you can always use hierarchy and impose your idea, or convince people and sell the idea. This last one is much more effective. So I do it almost daily. But selling ideas to good engineers is easy, if the idea is good, they will take it, if not, they will tell you why in a constructive way to have a better idea at the end!