nathan perkins
r&d chemist, baytown

What is your current role? How long have you worked for Monument? 

I am an R&D Chemist at Baytown, although I sometimes support the Houston site as well. I officially joined Monument in this role in December 2011 after a few months as a contractor. As a millennial, I know it’s rare for someone in my generation to stay at one company for so long, and my tenure here is a testament to the interesting challenges we tackle, the supportive nature of the team, and the family-like nature of the company.

What is your favorite part of what you do?

I’m a nerd at heart, so I love being in the lab and working with chemicals. But even more rewarding is the close collaboration – very different from the mentality at a big company, where the lab team sometimes writes reports that no one sees. Instead, I’m in constant communication with everyone at the site, from the plant leader to the operations team. And then, I also enjoy seeing the results of the work I do in the lab translate into a successful scale-up.

What do you like to do in your spare time?

I read a lot of science fiction and fantasy books, play PC games, lift weights, and my wife and I enjoy going to comic book conventions. But most of my time now belongs to my 17-month-old son, Nathan (who we call by his middle name Henry to avoid confusion). He’s a genuinely happy baby, and pretty much everything he does seems magical to us. Just the other day, he said the word “apple” for the first time, and it blew my mind. My wife and I look forward to every stage of his growth – and to watching him become who he is supposed to be.

What is the most surprising thing about you?

In my late teens, I weighed over 300 pounds, and that usually surprises most people. One day, I just realized that I wanted to be healthier, so I started lifting weights and eating better. After 18 months, I went down to 190 pounds. I have waffled up and down (and I’m up now with Henry around), but I still work hard to stay healthy. I don’t believe in “dieting”; a commitment to staying healthy has to be part of your daily life – and now that I’m a father, that commitment is more important than ever.