Looking for a specific product?

Make a search for products & suppliers, articles & news.

Silicones and the French way of life

Moving from Norway to France without knowing any French..

In April, I moved from the small village Svelgen, to one of the largest cities in France, Lyon. This was in itself a big change, but also the production and the language was completely different.

For 6 months I worked at Elkem Silicones’ R&D process department in Saint Fons where I was working on a scale-up project for devolatilization of high viscous silicone oils. This simply means to remove volatiles from the silicone oil by reducing pressure and increasing temperature. Here, I started out doing trials in small laboratory scale and ended up doing trials in a large pilot scale. This is part of a large project to reduce certain volatiles from silicone oils more efficiently on an industrial scale. As a materials science engineer, this was a quite new field of study for me and I was able to learn a lot about process engineering. It was also great to get to know one of the most recent additions to Elkem, the Elkem Silicones division.

Moving from Norway to France without knowing any French and with a certain cultural difference is definitely interesting. The first cultural difference I met, was seen instantly when I got to work in the morning. For French people it is polite and the social norm to go around the office and greet all your colleagues with a kiss on each cheek, or “bises”, every morning. For a person that has never done this before, it feels strange and it is also difficult to know who to kiss and who to give a handshake. It took some time to get used to, but eventually I now find it a nice gesture. I think we have something to learn from it in Norway, where we usually barely say “good morning” if you pass someone in the hallway. Luckily, I had great colleagues that taught me everything I needed to not look like a fool in social settings (I hope).


Elkem AS

Left: Hotel de Ville (City hall) at the night of Fête de la musique. Right: Rue de la République, the main street of Lyon.


Lyon is not only a city of food, it’s also a city with a lot of history since the city was founded already in 43 BC. On the hill of Fourvière you can find old ruin of theatres from the Roman times and on the foot of this hill, the district Vieux Lyon (English: Old Lyon) is located. This part of the city is one of Europe’s most extensive Medieval and Renaissance neighborhoods. This makes walking around in Lyon a great and beautiful experience with so many things to see and explore. I can really say that Lyon is worth a visit!

Elkem AS

The view over the city from Croix-Rousse.


Now I am back in Norway, where I will work for the Foundry division with multivariate analysis on electrode operation. So now all that’s left to say is; thank you for having me Elkem Silicones and France! It has been an amazing experience! 
A bientôt !

Associated companies:

Related news

Latest news

Chairman Knut Ørbeck-Nilssen sets out transformation of IACS at CMA Shipping 2018

To help the maritime community ensure the cyber-resilience of their assets, 

DNV GL opens LNG test centre to enable safer and more efficient use of LNG

The ability to monitor the composition of LNG in real time 

Peter Brun appointed as DNV GL’s new global offshore wind segment leader

Brun brings more than 26 years of experience 

Getting a solid overview of silicon production at Elkem Thamshavn

Major investment by Bremnes Seashore

The contract comprises two Polarcirkel 1050 Cabin, 

Are you in full control of your equipment?

Poorly maintained nets may harm the fish.

Windcat Workboats builds their 19th and 20th vessel with Servogear CPP

The delivery of the Servogear Ecoflow Propulsor to Windcat 43 and Windcat 44 will take place in Q2 and Q4 2018.   

Steinsvik named “Company of the Year 2017”

Development takes time, and this company is a good example of that.

DNV GL primary project partner in Northern Gas Networks led Hydrogen Network Innovation ProjectNv

The project is split into two phases.