“I will remember INRS as an institution whose primary mission is research, both pure and applied. For me, it was a stimulating environment where people from different backgrounds and disciplines came together. I’m very pleased to receive this award, as it recognizes the contribution of public service work to innovation and its application in society.”
Mr Marco Blouin (MSc in Energy Sciences, 1995, and PhD in Energy and Materials Sciences, 1998)
Executive Director, Science et Partenariats Ministère de l’Économie et de l’Innovation of Quebec
What brought you to INRS for your studies?
I had the opportunity to do an internship in the last year of my bachelor’s degree, where I learnt about the importance of diverse, multidisciplinary teams. It’s an environment that is conducive to research as it is entirely at the graduate level. The teachers are therefore much more available than at a more conventional university.
What was your experience like at INRS when you studied here?
I also had the chance to work closely with Hydro-Québec, so I had access to world-class equipment.
Do you have a favourite memory of your campus?
The confidence that my thesis supervisor, Daniel Guay, has shown in me. The sense of camaraderie among my fellow students.
What is an important lesson you learned during your time at INRS?
The importance of collaboration. I had the chance to work with colleagues from different fields and industries.
Can you tell us about your career path from graduation to present?
I have had a multifaceted career: I began in applied academic research at Université Laval in partnership with Hydro-Québec, and then had a year-long research stint at NRC. I spent four years at a start-up and then three years as a research consultant. I finally ended up at Ministère de l’Économie et de l’Innovation (MEI) , where I have held a number of professional and executive positions. I’m currently the executive director of Science et Partnenariats at MEI.
How did your time at INRS prepare you for your career?
I was in contact with industry partners early in my career, which gave me a good understanding of the issues it faces. My knowledge of academic language allows me to bridge these two worlds.
What advice would you like to give to current students?
It’s possible to have an interesting career beyond the academic setting. Try different things and do internships in different fields.
What are you hoping for in the future?
I would like INRS to be better known in Quebec. It is a well-kept secret that deserves to be shared. My wish for graduates is that they build a rewarding career by seizing opportunities as they come along. in order to