Strategic technology leader and business partner joins the ChemQuest Group as Vice President

10 December 2021

The ChemQuest Group, a global business strategy and external technology development firm with focus and expertise specific to the specialty chemicals markets, has appointed Dr. Robert G. Duan as a Vice President.

Dr. Duan joins ChemQuest with more than 25 years of experience, both domestically and internationally, across coatings, polymers, research & development, M&A, technology management, and manufacturing efficiency. He has held senior R&D leadership positions in Dow Chemical, Valspar and Sherwin Williams. Across these roles, Dr. Duan has demonstrated his strength in business partnership by increasing the efficiency of portfolio management, improving gross margins, and enhancing collaboration. He’s shown expertise in R&D by leading diverse technical teams, managing innovation, driving technology strategies and developing new products. In addition to Dr. Duan’s leadership and management skills, he is a talented scientist and holds over 35 granted patents.

Over the last four years, Dr. Duan has worked at Sherwin Williams first as Sr. Global Technical Director and then Vice President of Research and Development. During his time there, among many responsibilities, he was in charge of the global R&D organization, and led Sherwin and Valspar integration in wood coating products, technology portfolio and organization in Asia-Pacific. Dr. Duan contemporized the R&D organization by introducing six sigma, statistical design, and data analytics, and established global application technology centers to accelerate the industrial market transformation from solvent to green coating technologies.

While his role as VP of R&D was based in the US, Dr. Duan lived in Europe for a year and has a decade of experience working across Asia-Pacific at both Dow Chemical and Sherwin-Williams. His knowledge and connection to China/Asian-Pacific markets along with his extensive skills synergise perfectly with ChemQuest’s expanding global influence and laboratory capabilities through both ChemQuest Technical Institute (CQTI) and ChemQuest Powder Coating Research (CQPCR).

Dr. Duan is a lifelong learner and holds degrees across four different disciplines. He graduated with honors from the University of Detroit (UD) in 1991 with a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry. From there he completed his master’s degree in Computer Science and Mathematics from UD’s graduate program wherein he received the graduate student of the year award. He received his doctorate in Polymer Chemistry from the University of Minnesota in 1997 and was given the outstanding graduate research award by Materials Research Society. More recently, in 2008 Dr. Duan finished his MBA in Marketing Management from Rutgers University as part of Dow Chemical’s top talent development program.

On his new position at ChemQuest, Dr. Duan says, "My first experience with ChemQuest was at a PCI conference in 2014. I was really impressed with the knowledge and experience of the ChemQuest team as well as their professional approach to addressing the market and client needs. I have since kept in touch with ChemQuest and am very excited to be part of this elite team.”

ChemQuest CEO Dan Murad adds, "Robert came highly recommended by industry colleagues, and I am delighted to have him join the ChemQuest team. His experience in strategy development, technology development and M&A are very valuable to us. His experience and connections in China and Asia-Pacific will help us expand on our sustainable growing business.”

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