RioExcel Programme: Promoting the Sharing of Expertise

The RioExcel programme allows professionals to achieve recognition and progress by sharing their technical expertise and knowledge with others in the company. There are 90 RioExperts, spanning 23 sites around the world. The Aluminium group alone has 16 RioExperts.

Josette Ross, Director at Arvida Research and Development Centre (ARDC),  is promoting this programme. She explained, “My view as a manager is that we have never had such a well-defined programme to support the development of careers requiring technical expertise. It guides our experts on the path they must take to progress in their careers.”

In a research centre, the need for technical expertise is a given, but as Josette Ross pointed out, there are high-level experts in many other places: “there are experts at Power Operations, Vaudreuil, Alma, to name but a few, though they aren’t necessarily the first to come to mind.” She went on to add that she sees the sharing aspect of the programme as being its great strength.

It’s easy to get in touch with experts from all over. There are no borders. Depending on the nature of our project, we can speak with someone working in France, on the Pacific Coast or at any regional site.”

One of the RioExperts, Nicolas-Alexandre Bouchard, Principal Advisor, Technical Services, exemplifies the advantages of the programme, in particular when it comes to advancing your career: “I have a very technical career profile. At Rio Tinto, the path to advancing your career in management is well known, but for technical experts, it’s less clear, as you have to work for 20 years in the same position and become a specialist through experience.”

He continued, “We’re highly valued as experts. You can see just how much scientists and technical experts contribute by counting the times their expertise is called upon and observing who is reaching out.” A sign of his recognition among his peers, Nicolas-Alexandre was recently asked to contribute to Rio Tinto projects in Serbia and Australia.

Daniel Gauthier, RioExpert, Electrical Power Systems at Alma Works, added, “the RioExpert designation gives me visibility across the organisation, not only in the Aluminium division but also in other divisions and functions. This allows me to contribute at a really meaningful level across the Rio Tinto organisation.”

RioExcel is a win-win programme not only for the company, which benefits from the sharing of knowledge, but also for the participants, who benefit in terms of salary, career advancement and even personal fulfillment.

Employees who wish to become RioExperts must meet five criteria:

  • Strong technical expertise
  • Ability to quantify how their skills contribute to the commercial and strategic success of the company
  • Active in knowledge sharing in the Rio Tinto community
  • A level of expertise that is recognised outside the organisation
  • Aligned with Rio Tinto’s behaviours, values and ways of doing business.


The RioExperts of the Aluminium group


·         Meaghan Noonan, Refractory

·         Hans Darmstadt, Carbon and Materials

·         Hervé Roustan, Process Control, R&D

·         Arnaud Bourgier, Anode Baking Project Manager, R&D

·         Denis Choquette, Casting, R&D

·         Olivier Martin, Aluminium Technology, Saint-Jean LRF

·         Sandra Besson, Anode Baking

·         Bertrand Allano, Smelting, ATS

·         Benoit Bardet, Cell Design

·         Nicolas-Alexandre Bouchard, Process Chemistry

·         Nick Parson, Scientific Research

·         Jean-François Bilodeau, Smelter Pot Design, R&D

·         Patrice Palau, Senior Consultant, Smelting

Asset Management

·         Allen Cheong, Boiler and Gas Turbine

·         Cameron Buckett, Mechanic

·         Daniel Gauthier, Refurbishment and AIP