24 May 2023 Aspire to Tech – Redlen Technologies
Tell me about your company. When were you founded? What do you do? And where are you located?
Redlen Technologies is now part of the Canon Inc. group of companies. We are the global leader in the design and manufacturing of semiconductor X-ray detectors, based on our proprietary cadmium zinc telluride (CZT) crystal growth technology. What’s significant about our technology is that it enables photon counting – this is a true paradigm shift in the CT imaging market. For the first time we can detect individual X-ray photons and detect the energy, and we combine that capability with smaller individual pixels which provides significantly improved image resolution, to give up to 10 times more information in the CT scan, with a significantly reduced dose of radiation. We are in the transition from the prototypes stage to mass-production because this technology is in high demand globally.
We have quite an impressive history – we were founded in 1999 by a metallurgist named Bob Redden. Bob founded Redlen Technologies to pioneer the growth of CZT crystals using a method that gives much higher purity and uniformity of the semiconductor wafers, which is very beneficial for X-Ray sensors, and is the backbone of our technology.
Our headquarters are located in Saanichton BC, as well as our facility where we grow, process, and test the CZT semiconductor wafers, so many of our various teams work from this location.
What is the big problem your company is tackling?
Our number one goal right now is transitioning from where we were – a venture startup – to a mass production stage company. We are defining the strategy, building the structure, and developing the system around the use of CZT sensors for application in photon counting CT. This requires every key function in the company from Operations, Facilities, R&D, HR, to all work towards the same operational objectives. The technology will help save lives, which is why we are working to increase production.
What are you most proud of in terms of company Milestones?
A massive milestone that Redlen reached was our acquisition by Canon Inc. Just under two years ago, we were acquired by Canon, which was a huge achievement for us because it means that we can continue our transition to mass production with the security that comes with being part of a larger organization with existing mass production expertise. In a way, Redlen has been marching towards this for 20 years, and had to achieve so many advancements to be able to make it happen, which is why it’s a very prideful milestone for us. With Canon’s help, we are going to make the world a healthier and safer place, and our entire organization is driven by this mission.
How would you describe the company culture?
At the moment, much of our culture is being dictated by the transitional period that we are in. There is a lot of growth and with that, change. At times, our work and priorities are well defined, and other times they are not. Everyone must be very aligned with the shared mission right now, which means our need to work together has never been greater. We share a lot of drive and enthusiasm, but there are still turbulent periods where we need to step back and synchronize ourselves. There are a lot of highly specialized and incredibly talented people at Redlen, and an inspiring part of our culture is our ability to support and learn from each other.
What are three words you would use to describe your company culture?
Rapid. Intense. Striving to Synchronize.
What is it like to work for your company, and why is it a great place to work?
It’s a great place to work because of the worthy cause that we’re contributing to – people’s health. If you’re a good specialist, and you know your stuff in whichever specialization you are in, you’ll be in high demand to help us to succeed collectively. There are lots of challenges to be engaged in at Redlen. It’s a great environment to grow professionally in for this reason. The work is challenging but rewarding, which makes it very fulfilling. I have been fortunate to form project teams with many strong individuals, and learn from several experienced leaders who are mentors to me.
In their own words, what do your employees say?
Are you hiring?
Yes, we are! Our mission is to enhance our people first, and we do invest a lot into the growth of our team members. You can visit our careers page to see present postings and future opportunities, as we are posting new openings all the time.