Cascades is nearly 11,000 men and women working in more than 90 operating units in North America and Europe. Among all these Cascaders are people with very different personalities and profiles: mothers, young professionals, athletes… This month, our team chose to put the spotlight on Stéphane Morasse, Materials Specialist at the Cascades Research and Development Centre.
What is your training?
Some will think I don’t understand things quickly, given all my years in university, but the real reason is that I really like to learn and understand how things work. So, in order, I have a Bachelor’s degree in Physics, a Master’s in Physics, a Bachelor’s degree in Chemistry and, finally, a Ph.D. in Chemistry, all from the Université de Sherbrooke.
What is your current job title at Cascades?
I’m a Materials Specialist at the Research and Development Centre. This means I have a “hands on” relationship with all the products Cascades makes, whether to explain why our materials (fibre, pulp, paper, plastic, laminated, extruded, coated…) behave in a specific way, or for development of new products.
What has your career path been with Cascades?
I started on January 3, 2000 at the Research and Development Centre (RDC) as a chemist. Then I was Director of the Norampac Technical Development Centre in Mississauga from 2003 to 2007. I then returned to Kingsey Falls as Supervisor of the Products Group at the RDC until 2013, and since that time, I have been a Materials Specialist, still based at the RDC.
You have travelled because of your work. How was this experience?
We spent four-and-a-half years in Mississauga, Ontario, and I consider this was the greatest experience I have ever been offered, both at work and personally (after my honeymoon trip, of course). A rewarding experience, on several levels, if only for the children, who are now perfectly bilingual, or for discovering and adapting to other cultures… we broadened our horizons! Obviously there was a lot of teamwork in this adventure and I’m lucky to have a tremendous wife, Sophie, without whom all this would not have been possible (J).
What is your proudest achievement?
Hmm, I’m really proud of my children. Two of our three children will be in university this fall (Yay! They’ve left home… oops). Well, that’s a little joke. Seriously, there are some projects I’m very proud of, but I believe that the most important thing is that, after more than 15 years as a Cascader, I can still find renewal in my work and continue to help Cascades do different things.
Tell us a little about your passions.
Biking is really a moment of relaxation for me, even when I’m climbing an endless hill, it’s always a renewed pleasure. I’d really like to tour some European countries by bike, or the Southern United States, but this is still in the planning stage. I also like jogging, trekking, Alpine skiing, or kayaking on a beautiful lake.
We hear you’re interested in astronomy. Can you tell us a little more?
My favour bedside reading is a book on astrophysics. It’s reflexive – on any starry night, or early in the morning, I raise my head, I look at the stars of my favourite constellations, depending on the season, and then I go back inside. From May to October, I like to point my little telescope (Maksutov, 127 mm) at a beautiful starry sky, look at Saturn’s rings, the red spot on Jupiter, a mass of stars in Hercules…first to have the satisfaction of finding the celestial object in question, without GPS, of course! Admiring the sight and hearing the children exclaim: Oh wow, that’s really sick… that kind of thing.
If you had to describe Cascades in 3 words, what would they be?
Human, opportunity and respect. In order or at random.
Since most of our Cascaders are ecologically-minded, but nobody is perfect… What is your environmental confession? We’re just chatting.
I confess that even though I live in Kingsey Falls, a few minutes’ walk from the office, I sometimes take my car to work, and I like it.