Poupak Dadvar’s roots are in Iran. She was born in Teheran, the country’s capital. She plays the piano in her spare time, and she also likes to paint or go for a run. It soon became clear that Poupak is an academic star. She obtained a bachelor’s degree in chemistry in Iran and followed it up with a master in organic chemistry. Poupak wanted to get the most out of herself and started looking for a country where she could do her PhD. That is how she eventually ended up in the Netherlands in 2001. Poupak was glad she could go to the Netherlands because an uncle of hers already lived here too.
Before she could start working in the Netherlands, Poupak first learnt the Dutch language. After about six months, she obtained her NT2 diploma, the diploma for Dutch as a second language. She also completed the master’s degree in Biomolecular Sciences at Utrecht University before starting on her PhD. And so the time had finally come to start on her PhD, after working towards it for so long. Fortunately, she soon managed to secure a position at the University of Utrecht. She spent four years there, researching the interaction of proteins with a medicine using the mass spectrometric method. She was also allowed to write several scientific articles to her name in that period.
“The toxic chemicals in traditional cleaning products do more harm than good. These kinds of toxic chemicals harm people, and also have devastating consequences for the environment.”
Having obtained her PhD, Poupak thought about her next step. She had gotten married in the Netherlands in the meantime, so she started looking for work here. At the time, her husband was still studying Medicine at the University of Amsterdam, after which he obtained his doctorate from the same university. Poupak was working at a pharmaceutical company in the Randstad during this time. After her husband finished his studies, he found a job in Twente at the ZGT. And thus, Poupak and her husband moved to the east.
Unfortunately, despite her great qualities, knowledge and impressive diplomas, Poupak was unable to find a job in Twente at first. After applying to jobs for 1.5 years, Twente company HYGENIQ saw her qualities, and she was able to get to work there. Poupak is still working at HYGENIQ after about 6.5 years and is not planning to leave any time soon. She is very satisfied with her position and is fully committed to the company mainly because of HYGENIQ’s sustainable objectives. “Marcel in het Veld, the director of HYGENIQ, always has innovative ideas and wants to be green and sustainable. That appeals to me, and it has led to long-term cooperation. We will continue developing products together, as green and sustainable as possible”, says Poupak.
“Like HYGENIQ, many companies in Twente are working on sustainability; that is something I love about this region.”
HYGENIQ was founded in 2008. The company aims to provide a sustainable and green alternative to traditional cleaning products that contain many toxic chemicals. “The toxic chemicals in the traditional cleaning products that cleaning staff use do more harm than good. These kinds of toxic chemicals harm people, and also have devastating consequences for the environment”, says Poupak. Worldwide, an estimated 25 million kilos of toxic and poorly degradable cleaning products are used in the business-to-business market. These chemicals pollute approximately 192 billion litres of clean drinking water every year. “HYGENIQ wants a great future for current and future generations and would like for this planet to be passed on as healthy as possible. Our products work just as well as, if not better than, traditional cleaning products.” HYGENIQ has been active in the professional cleaning market since 2012, and their products have been available on the consumer market since 2019. HYGENIQ’s cleaning products have also been chosen as product of the year 2020 because of their innovativeness, effectiveness and sustainability.
The feeling of having found the perfect match is mutual. HYGENIQ is delighted with Poupak as an employee. She is one of the master brains behind HYGENIQ’s sustainable products, and she is currently the Research and Development manager at the company. Now that Poupak has been in Twente for a while longer, she is very satisfied with her life and realises the region offers many great challenges. Even more important, according to Poupak, many companies in Twente are sustainable.
“At HYGENIQ, we want to make our business premises more sustainable as well. For example, by using rainwater for production, producing as little waste as possible and installing solar panels. Like HYGENIQ, many companies in Twente are working on sustainability; that is something I love about this region.”