•Professional Achievement - Level II•
Andre Bozzo Argenton, Ph.D.
Global R&D Director
Performance Materials and Chemicals
The Dow Chemical Company
Education: Ph.D., M.S., and B.S., physical chemistry, University of São Paulo, Brazil.
It was a difficult decision to make when Dr. Andre Bozzo Argenton had to choose between following his passion for music or choosing a career in science. Perhaps it was his father’s experience as a chemist that led him to realize that his true calling was in the scientific field. Nonetheless, his subsequent career success has only reinforced the wisdom and foresight of his choice.
In Dr. Argenton’s current position as Global R&D Director for performance materials and chemicals, he presides over an organization of over 360 researchers globally and leads R&D and technical services for a division that accounted for $9.2 billion of revenue in 2016. He is a member of the American Chemical Society and a board member of the Joint Center for Artificial Photosynthesis. As a member of the Dow Midland Hispanic Network, he remains highly involved with recruiting and mentoring new employees, both in the U.S. and Latin America.
After graduating from the University of São Paulo with a degree in Physical Chemistry, Dr. Argenton spent some time at Colgate Palmolive, where he was responsible for the development and launch of new cleaning products, as well as the implementation of innovative new manufacturing processes for products such as shampoo formulations and surfactants. Remarkably, he combined his full-time role at Colgate Palmolive with his studies for his M.S. degree, putting his personal life on hold to advance both his work and his education.
Dr. Argenton’s work ethic and talent caught the attention of Dow, who in 1999 hired him as a senior researcher in their specialty chemicals unit, part of their technical service and development division of their global R&D organization. His new responsibilities included application development in industries such as pulp & paper and cleaning. One of his contributions was the use of experimental design and statistical data analysis, aligned with chelation chemistry expertise and modeling, in the optimization of bleaching sequences of pulp mills throughout Latin America. He completed his M.S. degree while at Dow and began the studies that would earn him a Ph.D., all while continuously raising the standards for scientific research within the company.
The success of Dr. Argenton’s work in Brazil led to an offer to move to the company’s headquarters in the U.S., where he rapidly rose to leadership roles. He developed the research strategy for a newly created business focused on fabric & surface care and led a group of researchers responsible for launching
new technologies for the entire industry. Dr. Argenton then moved to the head of the
important polyglycols, surfactants and chelants division, where he oversaw product research with a wide array of commercial, industrial and medical applications. In this role, he made key contributions to the development of new alkoxylation strategies, novel surfactants, and programs biodegradable chelants, molecular binding agents fundamental to a wide variety of practical applications, including nutritional supplements, to fertilizers, to contrasting dyes used in MRI scanning.
In 2010, Dr. Argenton was appointed Global R&D Strategy leader, reporting directly to the Chief Technology Officer, and bringing a new level of data analytics to Dow’s R&D efforts. He subsequently assumed the role of R&D Director for Dow Corporate Venturing and gained additional responsibilities for External Technologies, transforming Dow’s front-end research into a joint effort with a dedicated commercial team focused on guiding new research ideas into profitable opportunities while leveraging external investment in long-term research at strategic universities.
In Dr. Argenton’s current position as Global R&D Director for Performance Materials and Chemicals, he presides over an organization of over 360 researchers globally and leads R&D and technical services for a division that accounted for $9.2 billion of revenue in 2016. He is a member of the American Chemical Society and a board member of the Joint Center for Artificial Photosynthesis. As a member of the Dow Midland Hispanic Network, he remains highly involved with recruiting and mentoring new employees, both in the U.S. and Latin America.
-By Vinnie Longobardo