Sandip Shinde Brings Innovative Eye to Technical Marketing

:: Monday, January 22, 2024

Sandip Shinde is always looking for ways to innovate.

Throughout his career, Sandip has proven how his ability to view processes through a different lens and embrace change can foster true innovation.

Now Sandip is bringing his cross-industry experience, impressive educational background, and deep technical expertise to a new role as technical marketing specialist at U.S. Borax.

From jet fuel to research leader

How many people can say that they’ve researched how to transform algae into jet fuel? Sandip can.

While completing his PhD in chemistry from Arizona State University, Sandip became interested in renewable energy. After graduating, he joined an algae research firm focused on developing a new type of jet fuel.

Unfortunately, the jet fuel proved to be commercially impractical. But another project he worked on launched successfully—the first microalgae-based bio stimulant.

These experiences helped Sandip uncover his interest in finding ways to innovate products and processes. However, he wanted to focus on ones with better commercial viability. That led him to join U.S. Borax in 2018, as a leading scientist on the innovation team at Boron Operations.

During his tenure on the research and development team (R&D), Sandip gained extensive experience in product and process development, including products for wood preservation and agriculture. With Sandip as a leader, the R&D team made noteworthy progress on the intellectual property front, filing several patents.

Sandip also played a valuable role in a breakthrough lithium recovery process. This new method involves extracting high-grade lithium from the waste material found at our Boron mine, which can be used in numerous applications such as electric vehicles and smartphone batteries.

Those who have worked with Sandip understand how passionate he is about finding better solutions through collaboration. A self-described introvert, he’s a modest person who isn’t normally one to taut accomplishments or talk about himself.

Embracing personal innovation

After a career spent mostly in R&D, Sandip felt it was time to expand his skillset beyond research. So, he went back to school and earned his MBA from the W.P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University.

The move from R&D may seem like a substantial shift, but Sandip is accustomed to change. Instead of resisting it, he welcomes the opportunity for personal innovation.

“Switching industries helped me adapt to change,” says Sandip, who was born in Western India and now lives in Chicago. “I know how to embrace continuous improvement in my career without fearing change.”

Plus, pairing an MBA with his chemistry degrees and technical ability, only strengthens Sandip’s ability to find better solutions for customers.

Helping customers innovate

Persistent inflation and slow growth are causing producers across the globe to become more hesitant toward major changes.

In Sandip’s mind, however, these realities shouldn’t slow innovation. Rather, they make finding better ways of operating even more critical.

Equipped with that mindset, Sandip and the technical marketing team will continue to collaborate closely with customers to identify opportunities that create value.

“I don’t believe in ‘thinking outside the box’,” Sandip says. “’Eureka moments’ are rare and often the culmination of our life experiences. I encourage my team to focus on ‘expanding the box,’ which happens through collaboration and a desire to learn.”

Sandip Shinde and family in Hawaii




U.S. Borax, part of Rio Tinto, is a global leader in the supply and science of borates—naturally-occurring minerals containing boron and other elements. We are 1,000 people serving 650 customers with more than 1,800 delivery locations globally. We supply around 30% of the world’s need for refined borates from our world-class mine in Boron, California, about 100 miles northeast of Los Angeles.  Learn more about Rio Tinto.

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