Naoko Akiya

Senior Research Scientist
Function: Research & Development
Business: Corporate Pull Services
Location: USA-Freeport, Texas
Project Team: Ethiopian Chamber of Commerce and Sectoral Associations


Naoko Akiya is the Senior Research Scientist for the Process Optimization discipline in Core R&D Engineering & Process Sciences capability and the Project Leader in the Oil Sands Platform of Dow Oil, Gas, & Mining R&D. She is responsible for leading the technology development and commercialization for chemical additives to enable in situ production of bitumen from Canadian oil sands with more efficient use of natural resources. She is leading a large multi-functional, multi-capability team to develop the necessary technical capabilities from the ground up and is now preparing for a major field trial with the first generation offering.

Prior to joining the Oil Sands Platform, Naoko led process optimization projects with emphasis on systems analysis, debottlenecking, and reliability improvement. She developed novel modeling approaches to generate information needed to make business investment decisions in capital and improvement projects. She supported a wide range of businesses including Dow Kokam, Dow AgroSciences, Dow Automotive, and Performance Monomers. Prior to joining Process Optimization, Naoko was part of the Reaction Engineering discipline, where she applied fundamental understanding of reaction kinetics and mechanisms to solve a variety of problems, ranging from resolving product defects to evaluating technical feasibility of novel process technologies.

Naoko earned her Bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering from Rice University in Houston, TX. She earned her Master’s and Doctorate degrees from University of Michigan in Ann ,MI, where she was a National Science Foundation fellow and a U.S. EPA STAR fellow.