Emerging Global Leadership Award

Elaine Lin, Ph.D.


For significant technical contributions to the paint industry; for leadership grounded in persistence, kindness, and inclusion; and for serving as a role model for women engineers and technologists worldwide.

Elaine Lin, Ph.D., is director of research, development, and technical service organization for Dow’s Coating Materials (DCM) Business in the Asia-Pacific region. In this role, she is responsible for the DCM innovation strategy, including filling the project pipeline, prioritizing the portfolio, managing projects, fostering customer relationships, and working cross-functionally to execute commercialization of new products.

Dr. Lin joined Dow in 2008. Her contributions are both broad and deep, spanning basic research on the design of complex polymers and formulations to the process engineering scale-up, as well as critical support functions such as reliable quality assurance over product lifetime.

She has delivered more than 30 innovation product/application solutions with high volume and revenue potential. Under Dr. Lin’s leadership, innovation sales for DCM-APAC in 2021 in her area have increased by more than 30%. The innovation and sustainability of these new technologies earned her team the Ringier Award for Innovation Team of the Year; the Ringier Product Innovation Award for MAINCOTE™ HG-300; the Gold Market Potential Award from PACKCON Star for RHOBARR™; and Dow’s 12th Gold Paint Award.

Previously, her impact in manufacturing and engineering was equally impressive, with successful product scale-ups from lab to manufacturing sites, garnering her team 14 Tech Center and Waste Reduction awards. Her team also achieved a safety record that earned Shanghai Dow Center’s Best Lab in Safety award for seven consecutive years.

Three product families have benefited from Dr. Lin’s teamwork: PRIMAL™ low-emission acrylic emulsion, which improves the indoor air quality profile of solvent-free interior paints without compromising performance; PRIMAL™ bio-based acrylic emulsion made from natural, renewable sources, which also provides formaldehyde abatement and ultra-low odor, and low emission properties; and the MAINCOTE™ waterborne emulsions developed to shift from solvent-borne to water-borne formulations for general industrial finishing, freight container, auto parts, and general protective coatings.

Dr. Lin is a magnet within Dow for advice and has been designated the Greater China employee engagement ambassador. She sponsors the inclusion and diversity team for DCM research, development, and technical service organization globally. She officially serves as training facilitator for human resources, where she teaches classroom sessions on unconscious bias, presentation skills, and building relationship versatility.

An active SWE member, Dr. Lin also is a certified change practitioner by Prosci, equipped with tools and skills to build effective change strategies and plans. She is a cohort leader who facilitates a group of 20 diverse, influential leaders in DCM throughout the change management training and helps individuals and organizations build internal change management capabilities.

Dr. Lin holds a B.S. and a Ph.D. in chemical engineering from Tsinghua University, China. She is married, has a 14-year-old daughter, and enjoys swimming and cooking in her spare time.