Uma Chowdhry

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Uma Chowdhry
Uma Chowdhry JPS 2007 10 10 podium.JPG
Born1947 (age 71–72)
Alma materMumbai University, Caltech, MIT
AwardsIRI Medal (2011)
Scientific career
FieldsMaterials science
InstitutionsFord Motor Company, DuPont
External video
Uma Chowdhry 2008.JPG Uma Chowdhry in 2008
"I had the courage to dream the impossible", Uma Chowdhry, Science History Institute (14:21)

Uma Chowdhry is an American chemist whose career has been spent in research and management positions with E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Company.[1][2] She has specialized in the science of ceramic materials, including catalysts,[3][4] proton conductors,[5] superconductors[6][7][8] and ceramic packaging for microelectronics.[9][10]

Early life and education[edit]

Chowdhry was born in Mumbai, India in 1947. She received a Bachelor's degree in physics from the University of Bombay (now Mumbai University) in 1968 before coming to the United States. She received a Masters Degree in Science from the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) in engineering science in 1970. After two years with Ford Motor Company, she entered the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) where she earned a Ph.D. in materials science in 1976.[11][1][2]



She joined DuPont in 1977 as a research scientist[12] in Central Research & Development Department of E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Company at the DuPont Experimental Station in Wilmington, Delaware. By 1985 she had been promoted to Research Manager of Central Research. In 1987 she led DuPont's research effort in ceramic superconducting materials and developed a program that generated over 20 patents and 50 publications.[13] In 1988 she became Laboratory Director of the Electronics group,[1][2] and by 1991 was promoted to be its Director.[14]

The following year she was appointed Laboratory Director of the Jackson Laboratory for the Specialty Chemicals group.[14] In 1993 she became R&D Director, Specialty Chemicals.[1][2] In 1995 she became Business Director for Terathane Products, and 2 year later was promoted to Business Planning and Technology Director for Chemicals.[14] In 1999 she was promoted to Director of DuPont Engineering Technology.[1][2]

In 2006 she became Senior Vice President and Global Chief Science and Technology Officer of DuPont,[1][2][14] responsible for the company's core research programs and the DuPont "APEX" portfolio of research programs including basic chemistry, materials science and biotechnology.[14] She retired in September 2010, becoming Chief Science & Technology Officer Emeritus.[15]

Other contributions[edit]

Chowdhry has served on study groups for the National Research Council to assess various technology topics of national interest, and was a member of National Research Council’s Committee on Globalization (2004). Chowdhry is a member of the National Committee on Women in Science and Engineering sponsored by both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering since 1999.[16] [17][18] [19]

She has served on the board of directors for the Industrial Research Institute (2002-2005),[12] Baxter International Inc. (2012-),[20] LORD Corporation (2010-),[21] the Advisory Board for Advanced Technology at the National Institute of Standards (NIST, 2010),[15][12] the National Inventors Hall of Fame[16] and the Laboratory Operations Board for the Department of Energy for the US Government.[16] She was appointed to the Laboratory Operations Board for the U.S. Department of Energy, Washington, D.C. in 2002.

Chowdhry has served on advisory boards of engineering schools at MIT, University of Pennsylvania, Princeton University and the University of Delaware.[16]

Uma Chowdhry and her husband, Vinay Chowdhry, live in Wilmington, Delaware.[11] She was elected to the board of trustees for Christiana Care Health Services in Delaware in 2003.

Awards and honors[edit]

For her contributions to the science of ceramics, Chowdhry was elected Fellow of the American Ceramic Society in 1989,[22][23] where she chaired the Academy's Emerging Technologies Committee, 2002–2004. She was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 1996,[24] where she has served on the program advisory board and election subcommittees. She was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2003.[25]

Chowdhry received the 2011 IRI Medal for her leadership contributions at DuPont.[12][26] Chowdhry received the 2011 Earle B. Barnes Award for Leadership in Chemical Research Management from the American Chemical Society.[27]


  1. ^ a b c d e f Center for Oral History. "Uma Chowdry". Science History Institute.
  2. ^ a b c d e f Domush, Hilary (25 August 2011). Uma Chowdry, Transcript of an Interview Conducted by Hilary Domush at Experimental Station Wilmington, Delaware on 24 and 25 August 2011 (PDF). Philadelphia, PA: Chemical Heritage Foundation.
  3. ^ Machiels, C. J.; Chowdhry, U.; Staley, R. H.; Ohuchi, F.; Sleight, A. W. Formaldehyde from methanol. Catal. Convers. Synth. Gas Alcohols Chem., [Proc. Symp.] (1984), 413-18.
  4. ^ Contractor, R. M.; Bergna, H. E.; Horowitz, H. S.; Blackstone, C. M.; Malone, B.; Torardi, C. C.; Griffiths, B.; Chowdhry, U.; Sleight, A. W. Butane oxidation to maleic anhydride over vanadium phosphate catalysts. Catalysis Today (1987), 1(1-2), 49-58.
  5. ^ Chowdhry, U.; Barkley, J. R.; English, A. D.; Sleight, A. W. New inorganic proton conductors. Materials Research Bulletin (1982), 17(7), 917-33.
  6. ^ Sleight, Arthur W.; Chowdhry, Uma. Superconductivity and the metal-semiconductor transition. Advanced Ceramic Materials (1987), 2(3B), 713-18.
  7. ^ Subramanian, M. A.; Torardi, C. C.; Calabrese, J. C.; Gopalakrishnan, J.; Morrissey, K. J.; Askew, T. R.; Flippen, R. B.; Chowdhry, U.; Sleight, A. W. A new high-temperature superconductor: Bi2Sr3−xCaxCu2O8+y. Science (Washington, DC, United States) (1988), 239(4843), 1015-17.
  8. ^ Torardi, C. C.; Subramanian, M. A.; Calabrese, J. C.; Gopalakrishnan, J.; Morrissey, K. J.; Askew, T. R.; Flippen, R. B.; Chowdhry, U.; Sleight, A. W. Crystal structure of Tl2Ba2Ca2Cu3O10, a 125 K superconductor. Science (Washington, DC, United States) (1988), 240(4852), 631-4.
  9. ^ Chowdhry, U.; Sleight, A. W. Ceramic substrates for microelectronic packaging. Annual Review of Materials Science (1987), 17 323-40.
  10. ^ Subramanian, M. A.; Corbin, D. R.; Chowdhry, U.. Zeolites as precursors to aluminosilicate-based ceramics for microelectronic packaging. Advances in Ceramics (1989), 26(Ceram. Substrates Packages Electron. Appl.), 239-47.
  11. ^ a b "Uma Chowdhry". Science History Institute. Retrieved 21 March 2018.
  12. ^ a b c d "DuPont's Uma Chowdhry honored with Industrial Research Institute's 2011 Medal". Innovation Research Interchange. 26 May 2011. Retrieved 21 March 2018.
  13. ^ "2006 Uma Chowdhry". DuPont. Retrieved 21 March 2018.
  14. ^ a b c d e Hawkins, Carol Hooks (2009). American women leaders : 1,560 current biographies. Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland & Co. p. 73. ISBN 9780786438471.
  15. ^ a b "DuPont Scientist Joins NIST Advisory Group". NIST. 28 September 2010.
  16. ^ a b c d Committee on Facilitating Interdisciplinary Research, Committee on Science, Engineering, and Public Policy, National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, and Institute of Medicine (2005). Facilitating interdisciplinary research. Washington: National Academies Press. ISBN 9780309094351. Retrieved 21 March 2018.CS1 maint: Uses authors parameter (link)
  17. ^ National Research Council (2004). Achieving XXcellence in Science: Role of Professional Societies in Advancing Women in Science: Proceedings of a Workshop. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.
  18. ^ Committee on Maximizing the Potential of Women in Academic Science and Engineering, National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering and Institute of Medicine (2007). Beyond bias and barriers : fulfilling the potential of women in academic science and engineering ([Online-Ausg.] ed.). Washington, D.C.: National Academies Press. ISBN 978-0-309-10042-7.CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link)
  19. ^ Committee on Prospering in the Global Economy of the 21st Century: An agenda for American science and technology; Committee on Science, Engineering, and Public Policy (2007). Rising above the gathering storm energizing and employing America for a brighter economic future (PDF). Washington, D.C.: National Academies Press. ISBN 978-0-309-65442-5.CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link)
  20. ^ "Baxter Appoints Two New Directors to Its Board". BusinessWire. 27 September 2012.
  21. ^ "LORD Corporation Names Chowdhry to Board of Directors". Coatings World. 15 September 2010. Retrieved 21 March 2018.
  22. ^ "Fellows of the American Ceramic Society" (PDF). Retrieved 20 November 2016.
  23. ^ The American Ceramic Society (2016). "Profile 15: Uma Chowdhry". Successful women in ceramics and glass science and engineering. [S.l.]: John Wiley. pp. 85–88. ISBN 978-1-118-73360-8.
  24. ^ "NAE Members". National Academy of Engineering. Retrieved 20 November 2016.
  25. ^ "Biography of Dr. Uma Chowdhry". NIST. Retrieved 20 November 2016.
  26. ^ "DuPont Sweeps IRI's 2011 Industry Awards", R&D Magazine, 27 May 2011, accessed 8 February 2012.
  27. ^ Chemical & Engineering News, 30 August 2010, page 32.

External links[edit]