2006 Uma Chowdhry
Uma Chowdhry (1947- ), the first woman to be appointed laboratory director at the company’s Experimental Station research facility in Wilmington, Del., retired from DuPont in 2010 as Senior Vice President and Chief Technology Officer, a position she assumed in 2006.
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 (MIT) 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 she was appointed business director of DuPont's Terathane business, and in January 1999 became Director of DuPont Engineering Technology. She became vice president of CR&D in 2002. 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.