Borates are exceptional. Unlike most other minerals and materials, borates’ versatile properties make them suitable for numerous applications—including new and emerging technologies.
Such versatility is exciting yet demanding. Working with borates requires skilled, intelligent professionals who are eager to keep learning new subjects and aren’t afraid of diving headfirst into complex technical problems.
That’s what makes Maryam Moravej the right person to lead our technical support team as our new technical marketing manager.
One thing that’s always been true about Maryam is her passion for learning. She holds a PhD in materials science and has more than two decades experience across research and development, technical, commercial, and sustainability disciplines.
Maryam was born in Iran, has lived in three countries, and is fluent in three languages: English, French, and Persian. She earned three degrees, including a doctorate in materials and metallurgical engineering with a specialty in biomaterials from Laval University in Quebec, Canada.
In pursuing these interests, she’s proven her prowess for adapting to different cultures and ability to quickly learn new subjects in detail.
Maryam’s first exposure to materials came as a student at the Iran University of Science and Technology in Tehran, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in ceramics materials engineering. There, she discovered the remarkable role minerals and elements have in manufactured products.
“When you learn about all these things elements can do, and where they can go, it’s fascinating,” says Maryam, who specialized in ceramics engineering for most of her university studies. “They’re essential, the backbone of everything in our everyday life.”
In 2011, Maryam joined Rio Tinto’s Iron and Titanium division as a metallic powders research and development engineer. The position expanded her materials knowledge as she worked with metal powders that primarily served the automotive industry. However, Maryam wanted to find a way to apply her ceramics expertise.
In 2018, that opportunity presented itself. Maryam accepted a role as a technical marketing specialist at U.S. Borax, eager to bring her experience to one of borates’ top application areas: Ceramics.
The transition meant working with refined borates products that span multiple applications and industries.
How, then, does Maryam tackle such an expansive topic? First, she draws from her rich materials science background, which includes a deep understanding of borates and their properties. Then, she employs her proven research skills to meet any unique process challenges that a customer may face.
“My experience with different types of materials and industries has helped me to be agile,” Maryam says. “I’m eager to learn new things and put my knowledge into practice. Being in this business is a continuous learning process.”
Of course, there are several disciplines where Maryam is already an expert, including:
- Providing technical support to customers
- Collaborating with technicians on product development
- Researching complicated process challenges
- The intricacies of product stewardship
As technical marketing manager, she leads an experienced team of boron experts while looking for additional cross-commodity market opportunities.
Keeping a strong Innovation Pipeline—U.S. Borax’s proprietary process to develop new products—is also a top priority for Maryam and the technical team.
The next great challenge: Sustainability
Customers across every industry are turning their focus to ESG and sustainability. For Maryam, sustainability is not merely a business interest.
She holds a certificate of Circular Economy and Sustainability Strategies from Cambridge University and is personally motivated to improve the circularity of our operations and products, reduce waste, and lower carbon emissions. That mindset is in tune with our organization’s efforts to find better ways of providing essential materials the world needs.
“For me, it is essential to understand what we can do as a business then connect that with our Boron site’s decarbonization roadmap, which is aligned with Rio Tinto’s pathway to sustainable operations” Maryam says.
Maryam is leading a company-wide initiative to produce detailed life cycle assessments for all U.S. Borax refined borate products with the help of a certified ESG consulting partner. Obtaining this data isn’t easy; it will require unprecedented collaboration with operators to determine the right process for collection and dissemination.
It may just be the perfect project for someone like Maryam who embraces new, complex challenges.
Maryam and her family