Global Leadership Award

Linda Shi Cheng, Ph.D.

Honeywell UOP

For leadership with transformative innovation in petrochemical production and impact on human quality of life; for accelerating action on diversity and inclusion; and for coaching and inspiring other women leaders.

Linda Shi Cheng, Ph.D., is the senior director of regional research and development (R&D) at Honeywell Universal Oil Products (UOP). In this role, she is responsible for the strategic development and direction of Honeywell UOP’s regional R&D programs in the United States and around the globe, including R&D centers in India, China, Southeast Asia, and Saudi Arabia. Her organization focuses on developing and commercializing innovative technologies that shape the sustainability future of the energy and petrochemical industries.

Dr. Cheng’s leadership experience is comprehensive, including lab positions, pilot plant operations, experimental work, process modeling, idea generation, product manufacturing, a commercialization launch, adsorbent and catalyst development, and process development and integration. She launched a breakthrough technology platform that led to a series of new technology innovations and commercialization, yielded significant energy savings, reduced the carbon footprint of petrochemical raw material production, and improved people’s quality of life.

Since joining Honeywell UOP, Dr. Cheng’s career has progressed through various areas of the R&D organization, including separation, catalysis, and manufacturing technology. She was promoted to UOP R&D fellow in 2012, and has held significant leadership positions, including manager of manufacturing product technology, senior manager of aromatics and derivatives development, and R&D director for the materials characterizations group, where she led UOP global laboratories at Des Plaines and Riverside, Illinois; Shreveport, Louisiana; Mobile, Alabama; and Zhangjiagang, China.

As a woman engineer, leader, and role model, Dr. Cheng helps others break barriers by sharing her approach to recruiting women engineers at American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) and Society of Women Engineers national conferences; building communities with internal and external women engineers; and coaching and mentoring her teams, which have had a high percentage of women engineers and scientists, throughout her career. She inspires other women leaders and encourages them by example to own their careers through mindfulness and by seeking new projects that push them beyond their comfort zones.

Dr. Cheng serves on the Honeywell Performance Materials and Technologies (PMT) Inclusion and Diversity Council, where she developed and launched mentoring programs globally. She championed and sponsored employee resource network events and inclusion and diversity events in the United States and India at UOP to foster inclusion, career growth, and belonging for women scientists and engineers.

Dr. Cheng has received the UOP Patent of the Year Award, the Honeywell Team Performance Award, the Honeywell Innovation Excellence Award, and the AIChE Separation Division Innovation Award. She was elected AIChE fellow in 2018. She holds 18 patents and has written several book chapters and peer-reviewed papers.

Dr. Cheng grew up in Shanghai, China. She earned a B.S and an M.S. in chemical engineering at East China University of Science and Technology and a Ph.D. in chemical engineering at the State University of New York at Buffalo. In her spare time, she enjoys outdoor activities such as running, skiing, and hiking with her husband and 19-year-old son.