Isao Noda was born in Tokyo, Japan. He came to the United States in 1969 and graduated from Columbia University in 1974 with B.S. degree in chemical engineering. He also received his M.S. in bioengineering (1976), as well as M.Phil. (1978) and Ph.D. (1979) in chemical engineering from Columbia. In 1997 he received D.Sc. degree in chemistry from the University of Tokyo.
After retiring from the Procter and Gamble Company in 2012, he became an Affiliated Professor at the Department of Materials Science and Engineering, University of Delaware and also holds a position of Senior Vice President of Innovation at MHG, Inc. in Bainbridge, GA. His research interest is in the broad area of polymer science and spectroscopy. He is well known for the development novel class of bio-based biodegradable plastics and also a versatile analytical technique called two-dimensional infrared (2D IR) correlation spectroscopy.
He is a recipient of the 1991 William F. Meggers Award from the Society for Applied Spectroscopy and the 2002 Williams-Wright Award from the Coblentz Society. He was selected as the 2005 Chemist of the Year by the Cincinnati Section of the American Chemical Society. He received the International Academic Cooperation and Exchange Medal in 2008 from the Chinese Chemical Society and Chinese Optical Society, the New York State Society for Applied Spectroscopy’s Gold Medal in 2009, the 2011 Bomem-Mechelson Award from the Coblentz Society, and the 2011 Ellis R. Lippincott Award jointly from OSA, the Society for Applied Spectroscopy and the Coblentz Society. He became a Fellow in 2011 and Honorary Member in 2013 of the Society for Applied Spectroscopy and a Fellow of OSA in 2012.