Linda Chamberlain, 40
Executive Director, New Product Development, Johnson Controls
Education: B.S., chemistry, Purdue University; Ph.D., organometallic chemistry, Purdue University; Presidential Postdoctoral Fellow, University of California-Irvine
First automotive job: Developing elastomeric materials for under-the-hood applications, Shell Chemical
Proudest achievement: "I'm proud to be able to look around and see the products that our teams have developed and that are in use, making people's lives easier or more enjoyable."
On being successful: "Success is measured in so many ways. Personally I just believe in doing the best that you can at what you are doing. This means - first and foremost - enjoying what you're doing, or it gets much more difficult to give it your best. Working in the moment, dealing with the present - instead of 'what's next?' or, much worse, 'what's in it for me?' - is how to be successful."
On being a woman in the industry: "The automotive industry is a very difficult one to work in, whether you're a man or a woman. And it's getting more complex for suppliers. New business models are required for long-term sustainability, as well as cool new products. As the new business models form, I hope that the playing field is more level. Long-established networks in this industry should be challenged to accept fundamental changes in how things get done. They should confront diversity in thought and in who is hired and promoted to key positions."
- 1997-98 Director, Advanced Manufacturing, Interiors Division, Johnson Controls Inc.
- 1995-97 Global Technical Director, Engineering Plastics Research and Technology, AlliedSignal Inc., Morristown, N.J.
Positions at Shell Development Co., Houston:
- 1992-95 Research Manager, Chemical Research and Applications
- 1991-92 Futures Project Leader, Elastomers Depar