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Michael Riedel

Forty under 40 winner 2018; Director of quality control, Stemcell Technologies, Age 39
Rob Kruyt

Science has always been Michael Riedel’s passion. As a child, he would visit his grandfather, who at the time was the dean of science at the University of British Columbia. A microscope given to him by his grandfather fuelled Riedel’s curiosity, and his commitment to science hasn’t waned since. 

Ultimately, Riedel is driven by a quest to understand the world around him and a desire to push the boundaries of science forward through his research. 

The desire for continuous learning often spurs aspiring scientists to enter the field of academia – a path many of Riedel’s university peers took – but when it came time to make a career decision, Riedel followed the road less travelled in the private sector, helping to narrow the gap between academia and industry.

“It’s about making new discoveries and playing whatever role we can in that,” Riedel said. “It’s about providing all researchers with the tools they need to make their job more efficient. In that way, we play a role in helping scientific discovery, and that’s really rewarding for me.”

At Stemcell Technologies, Riedel found a place where he could help push scientific knowledge forward in a much broader way than simply conducting the research itself. While he began as a researcher at the company, he eventually took on the role of director of quality control. Riedel is able to make tools, programs and services that help academics and other professionals conduct their research more efficiently, allowing them to spend more time advancing their various fields of scientific study. 

Riedel’s desire to learn new things has helped him rise to the top of both his field and his company. The eagerness for knowledge and various perspectives is what allows him not only to pursue his own scientific initiatives but also help other researchers do their jobs better.

“You can always learn more. You’re never really an expert in what you do, and if you are, it’s probably time to go try something new.”

Birthplace: Langley

Where you live now: North Vancouver

Highest level of education: PhD, pharmacology

Currently reading: The Speed of Trust: The One Thing That Changes Everything by Stephen Covey; Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J.K. Rowling (to my kids)

Currently listening to: Freakonomics Radio podcasts and Pearl Jam

When you were a kid, what you wanted to be when you grew up: Scientist

Profession you would most like to try: Elementary school science teacher

Toughest business or professional decision: Moving away from research and development and into a more operational role

Advice you would give the younger you: Don’t be afraid of new opportunities or change

What’s left to do: Further Stemcell’s foray into clinical development

Join us to celebrate the 2018 Forty under under 40 Awards January 24, 2019, at the Vancouver Convention Centre. For tickets and event info visit