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  • Creating distinctive products that make an impact

Reason for joining ZEON and the early years

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I chose Zeon because I wanted to create a product that the world has never seen before.

I majored in applied chemistry at graduate school where I studied the mechanism of catalysis. I wanted to continue doing basic research after joining a company and also to create a product that did not yet exist. So I looked into many manufacturers of chemicals and materials, and Zeon caught my eye. It has strived to develop numerous new technologies and has made products that are groundbreaking. During a Zeon recruitment presentation, I had a good feeling about the company, believing I would be able to demonstrate my abilities there.
In my first year, I was assigned to the New Materials Development Laboratory and given the task of researching an innovative polymerization method that would lead to the development of new rubbers and films.
With an absolute lack of knowledge and experience, I received a month of one-on-one guidance from a senior researcher, who taught me the basics. I studied hard by myself, too. I read research papers and university textbooks to refresh my knowledge on polymerization before conducting experiments in the laboratory.
I’m now reaching a point where my efforts can bear fruit. These days I’m full of a sense of anticipation and fulfillment.

Current work

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I was sent to a university laboratory for half a year, where I gained ideas for developing new materials.

I was given an opportunity to work at a university laboratory for half a year with the task of developing a new material. This was a stimulating period of daily discussions and experimentation under a professor who was researching a new polymerization technology, and I’m incredibly grateful for the experience.
I think the differences between a student and other adult members of society lie in the sense of purpose and time. I had of course been aware of goals to be achieved within a given timeframe in graduate school, but in a corporate setting the deadlines are much clearer.
As I struggled to find at least a hint for the new technology during the period, I stumbled upon a possibility. Encouraged by signs that something might actually work, I’m currently working day and night to verify the idea.
Another difference between being a student and working at a company is that as a worker there’s absolutely no way you can accomplish a project on your own. That is, many people will offer to help. Even now, I go around seeking opinions from experts on synthetic rubber and film at other research organizations and the Kawasaki Plant in order to complete my research. When I explain about the new material I want to develop, everyone is willing to lend a hand. This makes the work so much easier and, step by step, I’m advancing toward a goal I could never achieve on my own.
While many challenges remain, cost is the greatest obstacle.
There are often ideas that never see the light of day because they just aren’t worth the cost. You must either create the technology for manufacturing excellent products at low cost or create products with such superior performance that cost no longer matters. In any case, commercializing an idea requires some level of impact.
I expect my days of trial and error will continue for a while longer toward reaching a stage that’s recognized as a breakthrough.

Dreams of the future, life outside my job, and a message

I hope that one day I’ll pursue my original research theme at Zeon, a company that fosters a spirit of challenge.

My primary goal is to establish this new polymerization technology and turn it into products. While this is already a major undertaking, once it’s accomplished, I hope to work on a research theme of my own choosing. Every researcher dreams of giving shape to their own ideas.
The laboratory where I work is known for taking on new challenges, and many new employees want to join us every year. While I was fortunate to have been assigned here, most of my colleagues who joined the company in the same year work in other departments. I’m not sure how long I’ll be allowed to stay here. There are things in life that go your way and others that don’t. This is true when choosing a company and accepting your first posting or subsequent transfers. Either way, whatever you experience will surely benefit your personal development. If you do happen to work for Zeon, I encourage you to be open-minded so that you enjoy the broad range of experience it can offer you.
Skiing is a hobby I enjoy with my wife every two weeks in the winter. I’d like to add that since Zeon provides a generous benefits package for married employees, many of my colleagues have married in their twenties. I think this is a company where you can settle down for a long career.

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