Uma Chowdhry was born in Mumbai, India in 1947. She received a Bachelors Degree in physics from Indian Institute of Science, Mumbai University in 1968 before coming to the United States. She received a Masters Degree in Science from Caltech in engineering science in 1970. After two years with Ford Motor Company, she entered MIT where she earned a Ph.D. in materials science in 1976.
She joined DuPont in 1977 as a research scientist in Central Research & Development Department of E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Company at the DuPont Experimental Station in Wilmington, Delaware. The table shows the broad experience obtained in a rather typical career path for an individual who achieves high levels within DuPont.
|Year||Position within DuPont|
|2003||Senior Vice President and Chief Technology Officer|
|1999||Director, DuPont Engineering Technology|
|1997||Business Planning and Technology Director, Chemicals|
|1995||Business Director, Terathane Products|
|1993||R&D Director, Specialty Chemicals|
|1992||Laboratory Director, Jackson Laboratory, Chemicals|
|1991||Business Manager, Microcircuit Materials|
|1988||Laboratory Director, Electronics|
|1985||Research Manager, Central Research|
|1983||Research Supervisor, Central Research|
|1981||Group Leader, Central Research|
|1977||Research Scientist, Central Research|
Chowdhry is currently senior vice president and Chief Science and Technology Officer of DuPont and is responsible for the company's core research programs and the DuPont "APEX" portfolio of research programs spanning basic chemistry, materials science and biotechnology. Chowdhry retired on 31 December, 2010.
Her technical career specialized in the science of ceramic materials, including catalysts, proton conductors, superconductors and ceramic packaging for microelectronics. 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. For her contributions to the science of ceramics, Chowdhry was elected Fellow of the American Ceramic Society in 1989 where she chaired the Academy's Emerging Technologies Committee, 2002–2004. She was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 1996 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.
She has served on the National Research Council's study groups that generate assessment reports on various technology topics of national interest and was a member of National Research Council’s Committee on Globalization (2004). She served on the board of directors for the Industrial Research Institute, the National Inventors Hall of Fame and to a Laboratory Operations Board for the Department of Energy for the US Government. Chowdhry is a member of the National Committee on Women in Science and Engineering sponsored by both the National Academies of Science and Engineering since 1999. 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. She was elected to the board of trustees for Christiana Care Health Services in Delaware in 2003. Chowdhry received the 2011 IRI Medal for her leadership contributions at DuPont. Chowdhry received the 2011 Earle B. Barnes Award for Leadership in Chemical Research Management from the American Chemical Society.
She and her husband, Vinay Chowdhry, live in Wilmington, Delaware.
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