Mme Adeline Riou joined the PM industry in 1996, and subsequently fell in love with the technology and has became a self-proclaimed (metal) powder “addict”. She worked as marketing manager with Erasteel in the Eramet group in France and subsequently global sales manager for powders at the sister company Aubert & Duval.

Her interest in additive manufacturing and 3D printing has led her to be very active in the EPMA and she has authored introductory guides to HIP and AM technology. She will be a co-chair at the 2022 PM World Congress. MPR Consulting Editor Joseph Capus spoke to her recently by phone.

MPR: Tell us first about your background and education.

I was born in France, but spent my childhood in Africa due to my parents work. I traveled to different countries for 15 years before returning to France, including living 5 years in a small oasis in the Sahara Desert and 4 years in the Ivory Coast – an unusual childhood! Then I came back to France and completed my education in business school, followed by a year in Ecole Centrale Paris (ECP), where I did a master’s degree in technology and management, and where I discovered material science, and metallurgy, which I enjoyed. So when I had the opportunity to work in the field of metallurgy, I took that job although I didn’t have the usual background in metallurgy. 

MPR: How did you get involved in the metal powder industry?

It was five years after ending my studies when I had a job opportunity at Erasteel, a company of the Eramet Group that was a World-leading producer of High Speed Steels, and in particular, PM tool steels. And that’s where I entered the world of PM, with a specific focus on gas atomization, and Hot Isostatic Pressing (HIPing) technology for various tooling applications for automotive etc. I was a marketing manager there for fifteen years.

MPR: How has your career developed from there?

Then in 2011 I moved to a position more dedicated to the development of the PM business, in particular in the field of Additive Manufacturing (AM). I have been active in the field of AM for the past ten years as global sales manager for metal powders for AM and some other PM technologies<. I switched to the sister company Aubert & Duval in 2018, but it’s still the same group, the same job. So I entered the field of 3-D printing just at the time when it started to grow, at the very beginning, and I have enjoyed very much seeing all the developments, world-wide, the technology and the different industry applications. It has been a very interesting experience to develop our AM powder business from scratch over the last 10 years.

MPR: That must have been a very interesting part of your career.

Yes, I would say probably the most interesting because of the 3-D printing technology, which offers so many new fields of application possibilities with design freedom, compared with some other PM technologies. It’s still a “niche” technology compared with other PM markets, but it has enjoyed very fast growth and also it is a technology of interest in many different industries, like aerospace, energy, motor sports, tooling, etc, so it’s been a very interesting journey.

MPR: And it’s been a very exciting period in the growth of AM, which leads us to the next question: How do you see the industry developing in the future?

I think the additive manufacturing industry will continue to grow at a high rate because we are still in the growth phase of the technology and there are sectors such as energy and aerospace where the process is being adopted for series production. The main reason for this, I think, is that thanks to AM, you can produce net-shape metallic parts that are better from a materials consumption viewpoint. Besides you can go with complex designs that are impossible with conventional processes, such as lattice structures, or complex internal channels, or pre-assembled parts, and you can also use innovative materials for instance to be used at high temperatures, which is a key challenge to increase to performance of the new generations of aircraft and rocket engines as well as of land turbines. This is a combination of all those benefits that AM brings, which is a key factor in the growth of this technology versus other conventional metallurgy methods.

MPR: Tell us about your involvement with professional societies and associations.

I have been active for many years in professional societies. I feel it is very important to support the growth and awareness of these technologies that are often new and complex and need to be explained to a wider audience. So collaborative work is helpful in order for the new technologies to grow faster, I think. In the field of PM I am a member of EPMA; I was formerly secretary for Europe of IHC (International HIP Committee), and for ten years until 2011 I was General Secretary of HSS Forum (High Speed Steels, in particular PM HSS and applications). I have been active in EPMA since 2009 when I initiated and was co-chair of the EuroHIP Group, and then from 2013, when I also initiated within EPMA the EuroAM Group, rather early in the AM era, of which I am also the co-chair. I am also author of the famous EPMA guide to AM, entitled “Introduction to AM Technology”. I was also previously the co-author of “An Introduction to HIP Technology” and this has been an efficient way, I believe, to promote these PM technologies. The Introduction to AM guide is now in its third edition, and we are planning for the fourth edition to be published in 2022 for the PM World Congress. I am very proud of this booklet that has become quite well known in the industry now. It happens very often when I travel to visit customers around the world (America, Asia, and Europe) that they know the document , which you can download from website, They make a lot of positive comments about how useful they have found it, to understand the complexity of metal 3-D printing technology.

MPR: And now you are going to be a VIP as co-chair of the 2022 PM World Congress?

Yes, it was a great honor for me to be proposed as co-chair of the PM World Congress which will take place in Lyon in France. I shall be very happy to welcome the delegates from around the world. I hope we can all travel to the World PM event. We haven’t mentioned the pandemic, but it has been a very big problem in organizing conferences and exhibitions. So I hope it can give a re-start next year because, to discuss with partners and customers and researchers, it’s always better to be on-site rather than in virtual events – for the progress of PM technology.

MPR: You are obviously a very busy person. Can you tell us about your interests outside of work?

Of course. So first, I have a nice family with three teenagers, and feel I have been successful in combining professional life with family life, and I have lots of hobbies and interests. I am unusual in Paris in having cycled to work every day for thirty years, totalling now over 40,000 km. A good idea for health as well as for the planet. Now I dream of having a 3-D printed bike!
In hobbies, I enjoy hiking, sketching and cooking, and when I retire I hope to be able to do some sculptures with 3-D printing technology.

MPR: That’s wonderful, Adeline! Many thanks for your thoughts.