Women In Forestry

Pulp and paper’s future leaders: Meet Emily Dou


January 5, 2021
By Kristina Urquhart
Presented by:
Pulp and Paper Canada
Women in Forestry

Next up in our Top 10 Under 40 2020 recap is Emily Dou, new product development manager at Domtar’s plant in Espanola, Ont.

In case you missed it, we’re highlighting each of the winners from Pulp & Paper Canada‘s inaugural Top 10 Under 40 contest – the results of which were announced last year – ahead of the Apr. 9 deadline for the 2021 competition.

Whether they work in operations, maintenance, sales or technical support, these leaders-in-the-making all share several things in common: a strong work ethic, initiative and curiosity, and a commitment to training and safety.

In three years with Domtar, Emily Dou has contributed to the development of more than 50 specialty papers, including food packaging and medical papers.

In her role as new product development manager for the Espanola mill’s specialty papers area, Dou also supervises 10 technicians on development projects, leads trials on the paper machine and conducts investigations into customer complaints about paper performance.

“[Emily] is very passionate about product development, performance improvement and meeting customer needs.”

Dou, 34, graduated from the University of British Columbia in 2016 with a PhD in wood science, writing her thesis specifically on the bioconversion of kraft pulp to dissolving pulp. Previously, she’d earned a Master of Engineering, majoring in pulp and paper making, at the South China University of Technology.

“She is very passionate about product development, performance improvement and meeting customer needs,” says Xuejun Zou, Dou’s frequent colleague at research firm FPInnovations, where Dou participated in a Zero Plastic Waste workshop.

Finding alternatives to plastic is important to Dou, who, along with Domtar’s research team and industry partners, is currently focusing on developing sustainable paper and packaging solutions.

Managing all of this comes naturally to Dou, says Zou. “She has demonstrated strong work ethics, capability for quick learning, willingness to take [on] new challenges and passion for sustainability.”

Nominate a colleague in the 2021 Top 10 Under 40 competition by Apr. 9! For criteria and nomination forms, click here.