- R&D 100 Awards
David Bem, PhD, is vice president of Research & Development for Consumer Solutions and Infrastructure Solutions at The Dow Chemical Company. He oversees innovation across a portfolio of key segments, leveraging unique chemistries and advanced technology to drive market-focused products in businesses ranging from automotive and electronic materials to medical and home care goods.
Bem joined Dow in 2007 as the R&D leader for Hydrocarbons & Energy, Alternative Feedstocks and Basic Chemicals, and moved a year later to R&D Director for Dow Automotive. He then became R&D Director for Core R&D, leading early-stage exploration of disruptive technologies and development of new businesses. Prior to his current role, he served as Vice President of Research & Development for Dow's Advanced Materials business.
Bem began his career at UOP, a Honeywell Company, where his work was centered on the synthesis and applications of zeolites and microporous materials. In 2000, he became R&D Director of Torial, a subsidiary of UOP, and developed and commercialized high throughput tools for heterogeneous catalysis. In 2002, Bem joined Celanese Corporation as R&D Director for acetyls, oxygenates and acetone derivatives, where he was responsible for advancements in acetic acid and vinyl acetate technologies. In 2005, he became a member of the Celanese Corporate Executive Committee and R&D Director for Engineering Polymers/Ticona.
Bem holds a Bachelor's degree in chemistry from West Virginia University and a PhD in inorganic chemistry from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In addition to his leadership at Dow, Bem is active with many industry organizations. He is a member of the Board on Chemical Sciences and Technology (BCST) of the National Academy of Sciences, the Pennsylvania State University Materials Research Institute Advisory Board, and Philadelphia Math and Science Coalition. He holds nine U.S. patents and has authored more than 20 publications.