Change the world with unique materials technologies
Meet Marco, a researcher in architectural glass and processes at AGC’s Technovation Centre
Why did you first decide to join AGC?
Before AGC, I studied building engineering, and I did a PHD in a research group on glass and facades in the UK. When I was looking for a place to work, AGC, which had an R&D department, was clearly at the top of my shortlist. I also had interviews with other glass makers, but they were doing production without really doing R&D. Ultimately, AGC was really the right choice for me.
What does your current role consist in ?
My work varies quite a bit! I plan the evolvement of given projects. I have other office tasks such as engineering, calculations, analysis, prediction,... But I also do a lot of creative things in the lab: I take glass samples and create things, make new prototypes, generate hands-on ideas. I go to the factory, either to plan next steps before industrialization, or to study whether some product can be industrialized and to make tests on industrial equipment.
I am also working on ongoing challenges such as remanucycling, which is remanufacturing using post-consumer glass and recycling the resulting byproduct.
And what do you enjoy most in your current role?
Overall, the management part is probably the most interesting. I like to plan a project and then verify that everything went well and according to plan. I find some satisfaction in matching the prediction with what really happens. It’s a bit like playing chess, it’s a self-confidence loop.
What has been your most memorable moment at AGC so far?
Developing a machine for testing thin glass was a big achievement for me. As of now, we can test thin glass in our labs and to my understanding there are only two other laboratories in the world who have this kind of machine. I really believe we are doing top-notch work here!
If you think of the AGC values, which one would you pick and why?
I like the motto “Never take the easy way out but face the difficulties”. Sturdiness is probably the trait that fits me the most. Innovation is key for me! There are a lot of research projects going on at AGC. Even if not all of these projects will go to market or will be finalized, I love the freedom I get at AGC to play around and explore. I think in R&D it’s important to do things that look crazy today but might be our daily bread tomorrow.
What are you most looking forward to in the future at AGC?
In my experience from the PhD, you are not a doctor until you finish. It is not over until the project is. That’s why I would like to manage an R&D project from the beginning, upon commercialization. It would give me the highest level of learning possible at R&D. Overall I like technical work in the factories so maybe those are paths I might choose.
What would you say to someone thinking of joining AGC?
Join us! You may be a glass expert and if so, this is really the ocean for you. You will be able to swim in all directions. If you do a thesis on glass or are passionate about it, you’re already off to a good start in the company: you’re recognized, you’re really appreciated, you’re integrated, and you start working. If you don’t specialize in glass - which is totally normal because this material is not much studied in universities - then you will find other colleagues who are starting to work with glass from zero, and you will use your transferable skills and apply them to the world of glass. This can bring a new spirit, new thinking, and general goodness.
I find some satisfaction in matching the planning or the prediction with what really happens. It’s a bit like playing chess, it’s a self-confidence loop.