XCELIS™ CHAMPION: Dr. Marina Chow, Sr. Scientist, R&D
For Dr. Marina Chow, the most important bonds are not the chemical ones DuPont's enzymes break down in corn fiber. They are the personal ones between her and fuel ethanol producers.
In her 10 years in DuPont R&D, she's applied her enzyme expertise across a variety of applications from cleaning to animal nutrition to baking. But it's her current work in biofuels that’s brought her closer to customers—and given her a broader perspective on creating the solutions they need.
"While I'm doing an experiment in their plant, I also do a process review," Chow says. "By asking questions and looking at their data, sometimes I can help find a part of the plant that can be further optimized, and I can provide a solution that helps improve performance or cost savings."
"Asking questions brings me closer to the customer."
In one recent example, disappointing results from an enzyme trial at a customer's plant prompted her to bring in DuPont engineering experts to help her research team. They discovered the problem lay not in the enzyme, but in a non-optimized corn oil centrifuge. That enabled the plant manager to request a fix from their equipment vendor.
The result? A 30 to 50 percent increase in corn oil recovery and a very satisfied customer—thanks to Chow's agile thinking and ability to see the big picture.