A new director for the Wind Tunnels Department

Marie-José Martinez, Engineer-General Second Class, joined ONERA on May 3rd as Wind Tunnels director. She was previously director of the DGA propellant test centre. She succeeds Patrick Wagner, with whom she will be working closely until his retirement. A look back at a brilliant career with a predominant aeronautical and international focus.

Marie-José Martinez - Directrice des souffleries, ONERA

A graduate of Polytechnique, Supaéro and MIT, Marie-José Martinez chose to apply for the armaments corps at the end of her studies and joined the flight testing centre in 1997. Her career began with a pronounced aeronautical and international dimension, and this has been a common thread that would structure her entire career path. While working on electronic warfare equipment, in particular for the Rafale programme, she was tasked with taking the technical lead in NATO tests organised by the United States.

In 2004, Marie-José Martinez joined the Directorate for International Cooperation and Industrial Affairs before serving, from 2007 to 2009, as chief of staff to François Lureau, head of the DGA, and then to his successor, Laurent Collet-Billon.

In 2009, she was appointed as the A400M programme director for France, at a time when the programme was going through a major crisis. She worked on the renegotiation of the programme and prepared the first deliveries for France.

In 2013, she was appointed assistant manager of the helicopter armament operations management unit where she supervised the running of helicopter armament operations. She then headed up a study on how to improve helicopter availability, as requested by the DGA and the Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces.

In 2016, she joined the DGA Technical Directorate as deputy director of services, a position that involved setting the main guidelines for the sale of services by the Technical Directorate’s centres and dealing with high-stakes issues, particularly in the context of supporting export programmes.

In September 2018, she was appointed Director of the DGA propellant test centre in Saclay with a major mission: to lay the groundwork for the upgrading and modernisation of the site’s facilities in order to meet the needs of the FCAS programme. This has prompted an emerging logic of rapprochement between ONERA and the DGA, particularly on the subject of combustion.

The idea is to build a structured partnership to construct a common and coordinated position by creating a synergy of means and skills between the two organisations. The main objective is to adopt a common French position in terms of cooperation on the Future Combat Air System (FCAS).

On a visit to Modane, Marie-José Martinez realised that ONERA and DGA EP share very similar problems and issues concerning large installations. Her experience should prove useful in meeting the challenges awaiting her as Wind Tunnels director.

ONERA extends its warmest welcome to her and wishes her every success in her new job and her new challenges. She will be able to count on the support of a close-knit and competent team, which has significantly contributed to maintaining such high levels of performance for the wind tunnels department!


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