Eric Brusset, 32
Technical Service Specialist, Nova Chemicals Corp.
Since joining the plastics industry, Eric Brusset said he has been surprised by how welcoming he has felt, even on day one.
His first job in the industry was with Calgary-based Nova Chemicals Corp. in the physical testing lab.
"I applied to this role in 2009 during the height of the Great Recession, where a lot of companies were struggling. I saw Nova as a company with a positive future that I could use my skill set to further promote. I never foresaw a career path like this in my life but am glad to be a part of a great group," he said.
Brusset is a graduate of the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology with a degree in chemical engineering technology.
In December 2012, he trained in the International Society of Beverage Technologists' laboratory testing procedures. He became an applications research technologist in May 2013, earned his RJG master injection molder certificate in 2014 and became a certified engineering technologist with the Association of Science and Engineering Technology Professionals of Alberta (ASET) in 2016.
Brusset worked in technical service and application development of bags, liners and wraps from May 2017 to February 2020. In that time, he managed polyethylene product assurance tasks for quality operations and learned Python programming code. He was granted a patent in 2018 for a hot fill process with closures made from high density unimodal polyethylene, which was filed in 2015. He has been in technical service and application development of e-commerce packaging since February 2020.
"I have many colleagues with multiple decades of service with Nova Chemicals that are very willing to help me learn. External clients and customers are easy to get along with and are more than willing to share information," he said.
E-commerce has been Brusset's focus for the last two years.
"The size of the e-commerce packaging market has exploded over the last several years and only accelerated due to the pandemic," he said. "There is room to improve nearly all consumer packaging that exists today to optimize for e-commerce distribution and to reduce packaging waste."
Brusset is involved with ASET, the Society of Plastics Engineers and the International Safe Transit Association.
"I began my career at Nova Chemicals conducting laboratory testing and aspired to become a member of the Technical Service Group," he said. "I have great respect for my colleagues and value my time learning from them while I continue to learn."
Brusset was nominated by Andie Stiles, marketing communications and trade PR manager of Nova Chemicals.
Q: What is your current challenge at work?
Brusset: Properly utilizing new hardware and software options for remote assistance, data visualization, data management and automation. It can be a challenge to pick the option that will be truly valuable and ensure return on time and cost investment is achieved.
Q: What is the best advice you have ever received?
Brusset: It's more of a motto than advice, and my fellow Canadians may get a laugh at this, but "Give'r." "You just go out and you give'r. You keep working hard." It's from a movie called Fubar with these two down-and-out rockers that live by the motto. It's a good laugh, but the message in the right context is good. Through my past successes, failures and the current challenges of the pandemic, the best thing I can do to keep on track is buckle down and give'r.
Q: What steps have you taken to advance in your career?
Brusset: Working towards my current role, I placed a strong focus on injection molding and carbonated soft drink closures. There was a lot of training offered externally that I had the privilege of attending to accelerate my learning. I applied this training to my daily work tuning our injection molding profiles and utilized this knowledge to benefit ongoing projects by becoming more active as a member of project teams and thinking critically rather than conducting basic molding operations. I have also attended distance learning university courses and focused on learning tools to create workplace efficiencies such as Power BI and Python programming. I spend extra time reading publications to expand my knowledge of the industry and emerging equipment capabilities.