Adrien Côté, Research Scientist
Research Scientist – Materials Chemist
Xerox Research Centre of Canada
“I can’t believe I get to draw a molecule on the blackboard, go into the lab and design it on a computer, then make it and turn it into a product!”
As a researcher, Adrien works in the Xerox Research Centre of Canada (XRCC) which is the global materials research and development centre for Xerox Corporation. XRCC conducts work in digital imaging materials, organic electronics, and uses colour science, computing, electro-mechanical systems, and other disciplines connected to Xerox’s expertise in printing, document management, and work practices. With his chemistry background, Adrien plays an important role in research to develop new technologies for Xerox!
Adrien is a chemist who mashes up IT in all the work that he does. He uses tech tools to model, simulate, and predict the properties of materials. He starts with individual atoms and molecules and ends up with new ideas for materials and devices that can make images. Material Studio, a specialized software tool, lets him visualize molecules on a computer screen. The software lets him see how a new material can change colours, bend or stretch and so on. “Digital simulation lets me commercialize my ideas faster: I need to make materials that matter.”
A Day in the Life
Adrien gets into exciting projects. For example, printed organic electronics is a new ink technology for printing electronic circuitry on everything from clothes to roll-up computer displays.
Another example is Solid Ink technology. It’s a fascinating new Xerox technology for copiers and printers. A solid ink printer or multifunction printer uses solid ink sticks (or blocks) instead of toner or inkjet cartridges. Solid ink is easy to use, produces incredible color print quality, is cost-effective, and is very good for the environment. It’s like a big crayon that you place inside your printer. The machine melts the ink, which goes onto the paper and makes an image. “You can get quality images even using recycled paper.”
Why this Job Rocks
- Adrien’s job is also very social.
- He gets to collaborate (with other Xerox research centres around the world).
- Back at his home lab, he and his teammates have constant brainstorming sessions. They work closely together, sharing information and drawing up innovative ideas.
- Adrien graduated with a B.Sc. in applied chemistry from the University of Waterloo.
- He received his Ph.D. in materials chemistry from the University of Calgary.
- He completed a post doctorate at the University of Michigan.
- After his postdoc, Adrien became a senior research scientist at UCLA, California NanoSystems Institute an open-innovation research centre. His job was to create specialized materials that could be used in industry.
- He’s been at the Xerox Research Centre of Canada since 2007.
- Adrien had an interest in chemistry at an early age and pictured himself as a professor! He didn’t think he would end up at a company like Xerox.
- He has come to appreciate how an opportunity can appear and take you in a new direction.
Tips for Success
- Take risks! Try new things outside your comfort zone
- Stay connected! Those you meet along the way, and your friends, are the sources of opportunities.