Education: PhD in chemical and biological engineering, University of British Columbia; bachelor's and master's degrees in polymer nanotechnology and polymer engineering from Polytechnique in Tehran, Iran.
What interested you in plastics? Ever since I was a little girl, I was always interested and paying lots of attention to how different materials behave differently. Over time, plastics became my favorites because of their complex behavior. They could flow like water if you heat them up, and they could be as strong as steel if you reinforce them. After high school, I attended the nationwide university entrance exam where I ranked in the top 0.1 percent in the whole country, therefore, I could study anything, but I decided to go to plastics engineering school.
During my undergrad studies, I got interested in the field more, and after that my first job as a plastic R&D engineer showed me that this industry is where I belong.
What is your current challenge? Here at Solegear Bioplastics, the challenge is to provide our customers with high performance plastics with the highest bio-based content possible.
What emerging technology or market most interests you? Sustainable and eco-friendly plastics. The packaging market specifically attracts me, where I believe there is a huge opportunity for the bioplastic industry to help save the environment for future generations.
What about the plastics industry surprises you? Its impact on everyday life and on the environment. The rate of growth and the fact that making any product is possible and there is no limit to what plastics product can offer in terms of properties.
What is the best advice you've received? It was one that my mom gave me when I was leaving home to come to Canada, she said wherever I go and whatever career I pursue, it is always the people around me that matter. If we treat each other with respect and kindness, we'll succeed and nothing will be impossible.
It is amazing how a friendly working environment affects the productivity of the whole team.
What advice would you give to a person considering a career in plastics? First of all, I would say “good choice,” this is an industry that has a lot to offer with unlimited challenges waiting for you to solve them.
Who is your mentor? Michel Labonte is chief technology officer of Solegear, he is my boss and beyond that he is my friend. The way he leads and the level of confidence he brings to his team is outstanding and I hope I can be like him in the future.
Savvas Hatzikiriakos was a great mentor to me, he not only directed me in gaining in-depth knowledge when I was doing my PhD, but I learned a lot from him regarding management and communications.
Wadood Hamad is not only one of the most knowledgeable people in his field, he is one of kindest mentors that I ever had.
What job do you really want to have in the future? I want to be leading huge projects in a company that cares about nations and the environment. And I want to be developing outstanding smart and green materials with my team. And I want to have a significant contribution to Canada's plastics industry; as Canada was the nicest second home that I could wish for and I want to give something back.
What do you do to relax? I run, and I really enjoy it.