[Background, blue with white line followed by 2 circles appearing, one red on left, one white on the right]
[Animated text appears in first red circle, "Turning challenges", then in the second white circle, each letters fading in to say "into opportunities…" while background is pulsating blue. Fade out.]
[Karen Stoeffler sits in front of a white background, speaking to the camera.]
Karen Stoeffler: The work involved challenging Canadian SMEs to develop a filtering material that would meet the filtration efficiency
[Text on screen: Karen Stoeffler, Senior Research Officer, Polymers and Bioproducts]
Karen Stoeffler: and breathability requirements for manufacturing masks.
From the hundreds of proposals we received, we selected 2 companies that developed a process to produce the equivalent of 50 million masks per month.
We looked at ways to reduce the environmental footprint of these masks and worked with Environment Canada, Health Canada and Natural Resources Canada to issue 2 new challenges to the industry.
The first was to come up with technologies for recycling these medical masks. The second was to develop equivalent, but compostable products.
So, part of my work has actually been to find balance in my own life, to continue balancing sports, leisure activities and socializing as much as I could so as to manage my attitude and myself, and support my team.
As for my personal life, my partner and I have known each other for 5 years, and we planned to get married in April 2020. And then, in March 2020, borders everywhere were closed, so the wedding was cancelled and postponed to a later date. But we're resilient and we know it's going to happen; we're working hard for it.
[National Research Council of Canada]