Sharon Feng appointed executive director of Institute for Molecular Engineering

Sharon Feng will join the University of Chicago’s new Institute for Molecular Engineering as the executive director, effective Sept. 15, Institute Director Matthew Tirrell has announced. In this position, Feng will serve a key leadership role in planning, coordinating, and directing broad and complex financial, operational and management functions at the institute as well as acting as a high-level liaison between the institute, its partners and industry.

Feng previously served as vice president of business development for Bayer MaterialScience LLC, one of the world’s largest producers of high-performance polymeric raw materials. In this position Feng was responsible for innovation activities, including product development and performance management in support of Bayer’s business in the United States, Canada and Mexico. She also was a member of the global Innovation Community Council, which is responsible for developing and implementing innovation strategy worldwide for Bayer MaterialScience.

Additionally, Feng is a member of the board of directors of Koppers Holding Inc., a world leader in manufacturing carbon materials. She chairs the board’s safety, health and environmental committee.

Feng joined Bayer as a research and development chemist in 1992 after completing her postdoctoral work at the Medical University of South Carolina. Throughout her 15-year tenure at Bayer, she took positions with increased responsibilities in R&D, marketing and operations.

In 2005, she took the assignment as Vice President of Business Development of Industrial Coatings, Asia Pacific Region, for Bayer MaterialScience. During her assignment in Shanghai, she was responsible for building the physical facility for the Polymer R&D Center in Shanghai and establishing the technical organization for supporting Bayer’s business in the Asia Pacific region.

Feng earned her PhD in bioinorganic chemistry from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1991, her MS in organometallic chemistry from the University of California at Davis in 1987, and BS/MS degrees in chemistry from Nanjing University in China. She is the author of 30 technical publications and patents, and has been an invited speaker at numerous professional and technical conferences.

The Institute for Molecular Engineering, founded in 2011, explores innovative technologies that address fundamental societal problems through advances in nanoscale manipulation and design at a molecular scale.