James L. Sanderson

James L. Sanderson
  • BS Chemical Engineering 1973

James L. Sanderson, a native of Hanover, Michigan, earned a bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering from Michigan Tech in 1973 and, while working, obtained an MBA in long term finance from Central Michigan University in 1981. After graduating from Michigan Tech, he began his career at Dow Corning Corporation where he worked for 36 years before retiring in 2009.

Jim enjoyed a diverse career at Dow Corning, working first in process engineering, then in facilities engineering, before moving into manufacturing management. After obtaining his MBA, his career diversified into a variety of functions including human resources, marketing, commercial management, and global business management. These roles increasingly included global responsibility, initially in Europe and Latin America, and then later in Asia. Following these business assignments he served as the general manager for the Fluids, Resins and Process Industries Business. His career then returned to a more functional emphasis when he assumed leadership for the global supply chain responsibilities (plan, source, make and deliver) for Dow Corning’s basic intermediates division. During this period Jim played a key role in implementing a strategic change for one of the company’s primary raw materials. This resulted in Dow Corning’s backward integration into the metallurgical industry and the acquisitions of companies in Brazil and the United States as well as the formation of a joint venture in China. Jim was subsequently named as the Chief Procurement Officer and Global Logistics Executive Director for the corporation, a position he held until the time of his retirement. 

Jim has maintained a long standing relationship with Michigan Technological University since his graduation. Early in his career he was awarded the Outstanding Young Alumni Award by the Chemical Engineering Department. His involvement has included acting as Dow Corning’s lead recruiter on campus for several years; serving ten years on the Michigan Tech Fund before transitioning to life trustee status; and participating both as a member and as chairman of the Chemical Engineering Industrial Advisory Board. Jim is also a member of the President’s Club. 

Jim has been active in his community as well, serving on the Junior Achievement of Central Michigan board for multiple years, including three as its chairman. During this time the group was recognized with Junior Achievement’s Summit award for excellence and achieved the highest student penetration rate in Michigan and the second highest rate in the United States.

Jim and his wife Terri, a chemist, have two daughters who are also interested in technology. Kelly has a master’s degree in engineering and is currently employed in industry. Jamie, a high school student, is just beginning the exciting task of assessing colleges and potential fields of study. 

From 2010 Induction to the Department of Chemical Engineering Academy