Home> Careers> Zeon employees and their work> There are no failures in research, and I believe everyone engaged in technology stands on equal ground.
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  • There are no failures in research, and I believe everyone engaged in technology stands on equal ground.

Reason for joining ZEON and the early years

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Zeon provided me with the opportunity I wanted: taking on new challenges instead of merely becoming a cog in the wheel.

For someone like me, with absolutely no interest in being just another cog in the wheel at a large company, Zeon is the right size – not too big, not too small. Zeon places a strong emphasis on R&D, and after discovering that, I felt I’d be able to do something new, so I decided to join the company.
I was assigned to the Electronic Materials Laboratory, where I spent about ten years researching the synthesis of polyimide resin used in printed circuit boards.
After that, my research shifted to low-molecular compounds used as raw material for synthetic aromatic chemicals. This involved chemicals created using Zeon’s proprietary extraction technology as raw materials, but somehow it wasn’t interesting for me (laughs). When you’re limited to using Zeon’s existing raw materials, it’s harder to get innovative results. I was soon given the opportunity to take part in an in-house project centered on functional compounds represented by liquid crystals. Fortunately, I was successful in developing functional compounds that subsequently attracted the attention of the industry, and my research in this area continues.

Current work

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I’m still pursuing new materials and passing on expertise to younger researchers.
A persistent challenge is the ideal for researchers.

Since being appointed director of the New Materials Development Laboratory in 2013, I have continued working on my own research into the synthesis of functional compounds. Experience plays a crucial role in chemical research, and one of my key objectives is to pass on the knowledge and know-how I’ve gained to younger researchers. Such expertise, however, is only meaningful when taught at the moment a chemical reaction occurs, and that’s why I keep a hand in lab experimentation.
I have reached a critical point in my research. Using the new compound will facilitate the creation of displays with unprecedented flexibility. I’ve just cleared one of several hurdles toward commercialization – a very satisfying milestone for me as a researcher.
The mission of this laboratory is to plant the seeds for the next business. As director, I’m expected to develop and give shape to remarkable technologies in addition to fulfilling management responsibilities. My style of management is to personally take on challenges as an example for younger researchers, so that they go after their own research ideas and challenges.
The atmosphere here is quite open and honest. So much so that sometimes, with a laugh, I plead: “Hey, how about a little respect for the director for a change?!” But it’s really not a problem for me, because everyone engaged in technology stands on equal ground. On the other hand, I won’t tolerate sloppy research when it’s clear that a researcher has stopped thinking somewhere along the line. In such a case, I’d come down hard on the person. There are no mistakes in research. If something doesn’t work, you move on and build on that result. I’m often called the eternal optimist. But I believe that a persistent challenge is the ideal for researchers.

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

On my days off, I shut work out of my mind and train for marathons.
I welcome people who are passionate and self-assured.

I welcome new subordinates who are self-assured and clear on what they want to accomplish. It’s okay to be a bit green. But you need to have a goal at any given point and surmount every challenge to accomplish it. As long as you keep a strong will to succeed, you ultimately will.
On my days off, I completely shut work out of my mind. I don’t even check my e-mail.
I belong to the Zeon Iron Man Club, an enthusiastic group of athletes who participate in ultramarathons, and I’m currently training for a race. In the past year, I’ve participated in three ultramarathons and three full marathons. The fact that our club has a dozen or so members says something about the uniqueness of Zeon employees. I’m eagerly looking forward to welcoming new personalities to our team.

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