When he’s not cooking up Valencian delicacies in the kitchen, August’s SuperSealer is putting his chemistry knowhow to good use for his Pipe Seals colleagues. He explains how he enjoys the day-to-day challenge of working with so many different people, and how he sees Trelleborg’s role in the CIPP industry developing in the years ahead.
Who are you?
My name is Juan Domínguez and I work as a polymer chemist in the R&D department at Trelleborg Pipe Seals.
When did you start this position and what are your key duties?
I joined Trelleborg in March 2018 with a core mandate to update the technical and safety documentation of all of our existing chemicals. Later, we set ourselves a new priority, which was to develop a photocurable resin that meets or exceeds the mechanical properties of the steam- or-ambient curing resins currently available on the market. The development process is still ongoing; however, preliminary tests are extremely promising, and we hope to release a revolutionary new resin product in the short term.
What do you like best about working here?
What I enjoy most each day is being able to spend time with all of my different colleagues and being able to support them across different projects. I especially like being able to draw on my knowledge and expertise to help people when a chemist’s perspective is required.
What are the key challenges you face in your job?
While I love the human interaction aspect of my work, dealing with people from so many different parts of the business and with so many diverse priorities can be challenging. It’s important that I empathize with my colleagues’ needs while also keeping in mind the company’s interests. I also find speaking German quite challenging… but I’m working on it.
How do you think the business in your area is going to evolve in the future? How are you preparing for this?
Worldwide, the cured-in-place pipe (CIPP) industry is evolving steadily toward the use of UV/UV-LED technology. The transition from steam-cure to light-cure systems is taking place quite slowly but, to be honest, the light-based system is yet not fully optimized. This is where Trelleborg can play a key role, by introducing a novel resin that offers exceptional mechanical performance.
What do you do in your free time?
I really enjoy cooking and, as a good Valencian, most of my time in the kitchen is spent making traditional Valencian paella. Back in Spain, we make a major social event out of eating; there’s nothing better than sitting down to talk and laugh with friends in front of a meal you’ve spent hours lovingly preparing.
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