Director, Process and Product R&D
(304) 720-8612 ext. 887
Dr. Duane Dombek joined Union Carbide’s R&D Department at South Charleston, WV in 1976 and became involved in a search for alternatives to petroleum as a chemical feedstock. His research focused on homogeneous catalytic routes to organic chemicals from carbon monoxide and hydrogen (syngas), which can be obtained from coal, biomass, and many other sources). This work led to the discovery of several novel catalytic systems, which were the subject of a number of patents and publications. The research was then expanded to the use of heterogeneous catalysis for production of chemicals from syngas, which led to additional discoveries of novel catalysts. Research on routes from syngas to chemicals was continued through successful several contracts with the U.S. Department of Energy. Dr. Dombek served as Program Manager and research supervisor for these contracts for a period of about ten years. At the same time, he became a Group Leader in the Catalysis Skill Center, a section of R&D that carried out projects for all of Union Carbide’s divisions and many of its business areas. Several new catalysts were developed and commercialized during this period. Dr. Dombek helped develop portfolio management work processes and systems for initiating and approving new R&D projects, evaluating existing and potential projects based on economic, technical, and market potential, and allocating resources accordingly. Dr. Dombek served in the capacity of Senior Group Leader in the Catalysis Skill Center at the time of the merger with Dow Chemical in 2001. He then accepted a position as Knowledge Management Leader for Dow’s Global Chemical Sciences Capability. He participated in starting up MATRIC and currently serves as Director of Process and Product R&D. Dr. Dombek is the author of thirty refereed technical publications and a inventor or co-inventor of ten US patents. He received a BA in Chemistry from Southwest Minnesota State University and a PhD in Inorganic Chemistry from Iowa State University.