Area General Manager
Phone: +27-10-5901052/ 3 / 4
Having left his native Iran in 1979 to study in Sweden, Mehdi Fathi-Najafi first gained a degree in Chemical Engineering followed by a Licentiate in Engineering at Chalmers University of Technology in Gothenburg. He then worked in the grease industry before joining Nynas in 2008. The company’s Grease Lab is his brainchild. As Senior Technical Coordinator, he oversees technical development work while also assisting Nynas customers around the world. Find out what's on Mehdi's mind.
At the moment, I am rereading a book entitled Simplicity by Edward de Bono, the philosopher who coined the phrase lateral thinking. De Bono presents 10 rules of simplicity to encourage the reader to be creative and break down the complex into manageable and recognisable parts. I am drawn to literature of this type as it helps you to become more efficient.
Going to work when work is global as well as local means a lot of travel. Just back from Brazil, I’m now applying for visas to China and Russia. Nynas is taking part in a grease conference in Russia, whereas the trip to China has a focus on seminars, first at an industry gathering and then another one at a customer company. It takes time to prepare for trips like these.
It’s my pleasure to help our customers solve specific problems and develop new products. Often it’s quicker and more cost effective to speak on the phone or via video – an excellent way to keep in touch. Recently, I linked up with some customers in Trinidad and Tobago, a first for me.
Here at Nynas I have regular meetings with my colleagues. As a senior technical coordinator, I lead the development work at our grease lab. We discuss ideas for new research projects or perhaps how to proceed once we have finished a project. I also try to play an active role in as many projects as possible. I enjoy working with others to solve problems.
My private life is currently in a period of transition. As both our children have left home, my wife and I are downsizing, leaving our house and moving to an apartment. It is quite an emotional process as we can no longer keep all the things we collected whilst the children were growing up. But it will be good to move on. It’s the right thing to do.
Poor points for pour points? Well, not quite, but a Nynas study shows that pour points should be viewed with scepticism when picking a lubricant for cold climates. Read more about Is knowing the pour point enough?