Oct 29, 2021


Justin Darnet, started with Poclain as a design engineering intern and is now pursuing a doctoral thesis under the tutelage of Eric Bideaux at INSA Lyon at Ampere Lab. He shares his perspective and experience as a Poclain intern in this interview. 

What is your current mission?

My role is to work on differentiating motors–specifically on supporting the motor product future roadmap. I’m working on developing solutions to improve user experience.

You are starting a doctoral thesis this year, correct? Are you working on applied research or basic research?

Yes I am! Before coming to Poclain, I thought that a thesis absolutely meant basic research, and it wasn’t in my plans. I’m more interested in concrete applied solutions. Doing a thesis on applied research, and working on an impactful subject at the university and Poclain convinced me. Basic research would not be concrete enough for me. An applied research thesis with an academic partner in an industrial setting allows me to stay within the R&D domain that I love.

What subject are you addressing with your thesis?

I plan to address future machines’ efficiency. Each element that makes up the transmission from the ICE engine, the hydraulic motor, to the pump consumes energy, and each element has an operating point where it will consume the least possible energy and deliver the highest efficiencies. We need to work on this.

What new technology or methods are you working on?

I’m working to improve motor performance. We are working on many new solutions, more or less complex, to get to our targets and being able to deliver right-sized systems. One subject I am exploring is operating point optimization, potentially permitting energy recovery in the next future vehicle systems.

At my level, I’m working on minimizing consumption and improving efficiency of the hydrostatic components, keeping in mind the ecological stakes, which are concerning all together.



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Who will you be working with for your thesis, and what will your work look like?

It is a partnership with Ampere Lab and Poclain. I will be working with Professor Eric Bideaux from INSA de Lyon and on the Poclain side, Yohann Brunel and Matthieu Dudragne. The idea is to spend about 50% of my time at university or in the lab and 50% of my time at Poclain. I will be working at Laboratoire Ampere, in a department focused on electronics and automation. This thesis will take three years, starting research this year alongside a hundred course hours. I’m excited to get to work on it!

Was Poclain your first internship?

This is my second. My first was in a design office sizing a transmission and working on sealing for vineyard sprayers.

Later on, I found Poclain and sent in a spontaneous candidature, and I received a call back and I said yes. The innovative working style plays to my strengths.

Is this working style something you learned during your studies?

In school, we have guided projects to work on. I had one project during my studies with some freedom. We had a design brief to respect, but we were free to develop a solution as long as it achieved the required specs. This is what I have been able to experience during my internship. I do not have the same constraints imposed on me as we do at school. I get to focus more on creativity and solution development.

Were you always interested in hydraulics?

I had a professor that covered hydraulics. It interested me, but I wasn’t sure if I was going to go into it. It was still something that interested me. That’s why I wanted to do an internship in hydraulics, to test and see whether it was for me… It’s totally the case.

What are your pass times or hobbies outside of work?

I like to build things. Lately with studies and work, I haven’t had time. I’m more interested in nature – nature/animal observation as well as nature and animal photography. I use a trail camera to see the forest and animals at night. The idea is to see how they live. I was able to get a great video of a raccoon for example. My teammates are interested now too. We have a great opportunity to see how animals live in the forest, since we are so close to it in Verberie. I like to spend time in nature – trading a hammock and a night in the forest instead of a comfortable bed is a good experience. It has a very relaxing quality to it.



 Justin Darnet Nature Photography: