A 3Mer's "Better Half" Explains How 3M Fuels Her Passion for Innovation
Aug 6, 2019

Innovation is more than just a buzzword at 3M. It’s built into our culture and reflected in our products. 3Mers love having the freedom to explore and innovate, and those closest to them have seen firsthand how the encouragement of asking “what if” brings joy to their work (and their lives). So, we brought in one of our employee’s loved ones to get their perspective on the impact of innovation.

Meet Ahmet, husband to Semra, a research specialist at 3M’s Corporate Research Materials Laboratory who specializes in asking a lot of questions and exploring paths to many different answers.

As a research specialist, Semra spends many of her days inventing. And when Semra comes home, Ahmet is the first to celebrate her daily wins and support her through the rare difficult situations. “Ahmet is my better half. He’s so proud of my personal achievements as a 3Mer, as well as the company’s. Every day, he experiences my feelings about being a scientist,” Semra says.

Prior to her eight years as a 3Mer, Semra worked as a graduate research assistant at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, the same place where she earned her doctorate in polymer science and engineering. Her background in polymers is extremely helpful in her current work; however, innovation is arguably the most important ingredient to her success.

A perfect example of this is when she was tasked with developing a material that would stop harmful bacteria from attaching on a medical device surface and subsequently prevent life-threatening infections. “I had to create a material with components that had never been used together before,” says Semra. “I searched the existing scientific literature to identify previous approaches taken, learned what worked and what did not and then came up with my own novel concept and prototypes. Once I had that, I had to assemble a team to help me better understand how the material I created worked and identify where it could be used within 3M and what kind of new 3M products could be made using this technology.”

Ahmet says that being presented with innovative challenges like this is what fuels Semra’s passion, and she agrees: “If I don’t feel pushed, I do push myself, and 3M allows for that.”

Check out more videos like Semra and Ahmet’s at 3M.com/careers.

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