Nilesh Shah ’85PhD
Chemical Engineering  

Nilesh Shah graduated with a BS in Chemical Engineering in 1979 from Jadavpur University in Calcutta, India. He went on to receive his PhD in Chemical Engineering from the University of Massachusetts Amherst in 1985. 

After joining the Rohm and Haas Company in 1985 as a research scientist for the Plastics business, he held positions of increasing responsibility in research management, leading Polymer Synthesis and Exploratory Polymer Research. From 1999 to 2002, Shah held commercial roles in the Architectural and Functional Coatings business, with responsibility for strategic planning and marketing before returning to research in 2003 as a global technology director. In this role, he led research and regulatory affairs for the Consumer and Industrial Specialties businesses followed by the Process Chemicals and Biocides business. He became the Research and Development Director for the Home and Personal Care business after The Dow Chemical Company acquired Rohm and Haas in April 2009.  In his final decade at Dow, he also served as the Site Director for the Northeast Dow Center and as the R&D Director for Dow India. In those years, he was also a member of the R&D Leadership Team for Dow. Shah retired in June 2019. 

Shah is a member of the Tau Beta Pi, American Chemical Society, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He serves as the Chair of the Industrial Advisory Board of the Chemical Engineering Department at UMass Amherst. As a volunteer, he also holds leadership roles in Scouts BSA, Wyncote Audubon Society, and the Delaware Valley Ornithological Club.