We’re excited to welcome Trevor Nicholas to the Induron team as a Senior Chemist! Trevor has extensive experience in the coatings industry and is excited to dive into product optimizations and development. He is not only passionate about trying new things, but also making paint better, safer, stronger, longer-lasting, and most importantly, less expensive.
To learn more about Trevor, check out this Q&A:
Q: Tell us about your background, experience in the paint/coatings industry and how you came to work for Induron.
A: I earned a degree in Chemical Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, NY. I come from very humble beginnings, and my education was made possible by several scholarships that gave me an inside track to summer internships at General Electric Corporate Research Center in Schenectady, NY and N.A.S.A. Lewis Research Center in Cleveland, OH.
My first job in the coatings industry was as a Chemist at the PPG Automotive Coatings Technical Center in Cleveland. While working for PPG, I spent several months training at the Corporate R&D Center in Allison Park, PA. I worked 6 and a half years in Cleveland on the PPG Automotive Parts and Accessories, Ecoat, and Topcoat Teams developing adhesion promoters for bumpers, and electrodeposited coatings and high-performance clearcoats for the vehicle body.
After PPG, my path took me to Lacks Enterprises in Grand Rapids, MI and U.S. Paint in St. Louis where I continued to broaden my expertise with automotive coatings. I returned to PPG in 2013 for my second stint as a Development Chemist but this time in the Protective and Marine Coatings Lab in East Point, GA. My responsibilities there included support for manufacturing and the development of coatings for various marine, architectural, railcar, chemical tank liners, and light-duty industrial applications.
Q: Are you seeing any new trends in the coatings industry?
A: There are many trends in the coatings industry – not all of which are positive. The most obvious is the wholesale consolidation of paint manufacturers and raw material suppliers mostly through acquisitions. Innovation has given way to buying the competition. Pure research and development is now almost an afterthought. Nonetheless, among the remaining players, there is still a drive to make paint better, safer, stronger, longer-lasting, and most importantly, less expensive.
Q: What are your responsibilities in your new role?
A: As an experienced formulation Chemist, I am responsible for supporting Induron’s current portfolio of paint products in the lab, the plant, and the field. I have spent a few months familiarizing myself with Induron’s wide range of coatings, and I hope to lend my expertise to product optimizations and new product development. Some of the industries we service are new to me, but I enjoy learning about how these products are used.
Q: Why Induron? What’s your favorite thing about working for Induron so far?
A: My biggest draw to Induron was the people. Many have worked for the company for a long time, and in this day and age, I found that to be incredibly remarkable. It says a lot about the company and the people running the company. I’ve worked at many companies small and large, so I can easily tell the difference. I’m a fan!
Q: What’s the most challenging part of your job?
A: The most challenging part of my job is when I let obstacles become roadblocks. Oftentimes, there is an alternate route, solution, or method to move forward.
Q: Tell us about a project you’ve worked on that you’re especially proud of.
A: I’ve achieved a lot in my lifetime; however, while I was at Lacks Enterprises, I was part of a team that developed a process to adhere paint to chrome. The process was patented, and the patent was granted. I am proud to say that I have at least one patent with my name on it.
Q: What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
A: I don’t know where I saw it or heard it first, but I’ve always tried to live my life to the fullest. I am constantly trying to learn something new or experience new things. I like to try different cuisines, explore other cultures and languages, listen to different styles of music, and visit different places.
I’m an advocate for living and thinking outside the box, embracing change, being involved and active, and exploring the amazing world we live in. Having done this, I think it makes me a more well-rounded individual and gives me a unique perspective on life since I’ve been to many places and have experienced many things. Consequently, I can hold a conversation on just about any topic with anyone.
Q: If you could have dinner with any person living or dead, who would it be and why?
A: I don’t mean to be evasive; however, I’d probably be more interested in what’s for dinner as opposed to who is coming. LOL. All jokes aside, I would probably be most interested in talking to Nostradamus. Giving the year we have had, I’m sure he’d have some great incites on how we will get over the pandemic or eventually be doomed.
Q: What person has had the biggest influence on your life and why?
A: I would have to say that my grandmother, Elaine, has been my biggest inspiration. She was the epitome of “selflessness.” She would give her last penny to help anyone and made many sacrifices for me and my family. Today, we live in a world that is increasingly becoming void of compassion, care, and empathy. In its place, that void is being filled with selfishness, overindulgence, and apathy. She would be very disappointed to see how things have changed in this regard.
Q: Tell us a little about your family, pets and/or hobbies.
A: I’m a loner here in Birmingham, but in actuality, I have family and friends all over the world. My family is originally from the Caribbean, and I grew up on St. Kitts and St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands.
I don’t have any pets, but I do have many hobbies. The most outlandish of which is singing karaoke. I’ve been doing it for about 5 years. I started off doing the more private Korean and Japanese style karaoke, and then I moved up the ranks to more public bars and venues. Believe it or not, I once sang at an Irish Pub with over 800 patrons. Karaoke to me is fun and very exhilarating once you get over your fears and nervousness. However, I’ll admit that it is very addictive. I have improved my singing skills over time and have added to the catalog of songs that I can sing. I guess practice makes perfect. I like to think that I am an international karaoke superstar when I’m out with friends. I can’t wait for things to get back to normal, so I can invite everyone out to a fun night of karaoke!