New challenges make every day exciting for Aquatic and Crop Resource Development Research Centre researcher

- Ottawa, Ontario

Marie-Josée Lorrain

Marie-Josée draws a sample from reactors in a fermentation experiment.

Marie-Josée Lorrain has had a lot of interesting research cross her path over her 26 years at the NRC. It's that variety that makes her enjoy coming to work every day.

"There are always new projects and opportunities to learn new skills," she says. "I've been involved in a range of projects from working with companies and other research centres, to budgeting and office planning. There's always something fresh."

As a Technical Officer for the Aquatic and Crop Resource Development Research Centre, Marie-Josée's research work involves analysis of fibres and characteristics, fermentation work for projects with Canadian businesses and NRC research centres, biodegradation in compostable environment, and purification and synthesis to name a few. She's also the Facility Resource Coordinator for the Research Centre in Royalmount, in Montréal, budgeting and planning for office space and lab equipment.

She takes pride in ensuring that her team has the space and equipment they need to carry out the critical research that clients depend on. As a researcher, she believes you have to strive for focus, and a high quality of work, to be your best.

Marie-Josée has a degree in chemistry from Université du Québec à Montréal, and is involved in NRC campaigns for the United Way. An avid cyclist and theatre fan, her favourite activity is spending time with her family. She is happy to have been witness to the growth in the number of women working at the NRC.

"It's been nice to see more women working in the NRC overall, but also in higher positions throughout," she explains. "As a mother of 2 daughters, I've wanted to show them that women are crucial in all sectors, and certainly in research. I hope they've seen my growth and enjoyment at work as empowering for them."

One of her daughters is studying chemical engineering and Marie-Josée says she's making a name for herself. Her other daughter is a hockey player, and hoping to grow the game for women.

While explaining there is still much work to be done in ensuring women have equal opportunities in research, she's happy to see the advances around her and to be part of the change.