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Uma Chowdhry (1947-), the first woman to be appointed laboratory director at the company’s Experimental Station research facility in Wilmington, Delaware, is Director of DuPont Engineering Technology. Born in Mumbai, India, Chowdhry obtained her bachelor's degree in physics from the Indian Institute of Science and completed her training in the United States. She earned a master's degree in Engineering Science at the California Institute of Technology, then a Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1976. The following year she joined DuPont as a research scientist.
Chowdhry’s early work at DuPont focused on developing catalysts for making tetrahydrofuran, a versatile industrial solvent. Her range of research interests then broadened to include electronics and ceramics. In 1987 she led DuPont’s research effort in ceramic superconducting materials and developed a world class program that generated over 20 patents and 50 publications. Chowdhry subsequently held a number of research and business management positions with the company, integrating research and business planning and helping to improve the transfer of technologies from laboratory to market. In 1995 was appointed business director of DuPont's Terathane® business, and in January 1999 became Director of DuPont Engineering Technology. In 1996 Chowdhry was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in recognition of her scientific contributions in ceramics, chemical synthesis and electronic circuitry. Chowdhry is a fellow of the American Ceramic Society, a member of the board for the National Inventor's Hall of Fame, and serves on the National Research Council's Committee on Women in Science and Engineering.
From Lab to Market: Where Technology is Headed—The Research Director’s Point of View
as author at MIT World Series: The Emerging Technologies Conference at MIT (2004),
together with: Rebecca Henderson (moderator), Paul Horn, Robert Tepper,