Dr. Margaret M. Wu - Carlson Caspers


“If my work taught me anything, it’s that there’s always something new to discover.”

Dr. Wu epitomizes the inventive spirit.

Dr. Wu began her career at ExxonMobil in 1976, having earned a Bachelor of Science degree in chemical engineering from the National Taipei University of Technology (Taiwan) and Master of Science and doctorate (Physical Organic Chemistry) degrees from the University of Rochester.

At ExxonMobil, she developed a new class of polyalphaolefin (PAO), a type of synthetic base oil that improved the lubricating properties of synthetic lubricants. Consequently, this has enhanced engine performance with reduced wastage. Such products are especially significant as they contribute to fuel economy and longer engine life.

According to the National Inventors Hall of Fame®, Wu explains what made her synthetic lubricants revolutionary. “The novelty of our product is that has a very elegant chemical structure. It was put together in a very uniform and regular manner and has no extraneous undesirable side branches. If you look at the old products, they have small branches sticking out here and there. Because of the new chemical composition, the new molecules have significantly better lubricating properties.”

Wu’s work is used in various applications, from passenger car engines to industrial machines, such as wind turbines.

Dr. Wu holds more than 100 patents for her pioneering inventions and epitomizes her inventive spirit.

Author: Saukshmya Trichi

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Process for producing novel synthetic basestocks