Harry Gibson, professor with Department of Chemistry, honored with emeritus status by Board of Visitors
April 25, 2019
The emeritus title may be conferred on retired professors, associate professors, and administrative officers who are specially recommended to the board by Virginia Tech President Tim Sands in recognition of exemplary service to the university. Nominated individuals who are approved by the board receive a copy of the resolution and a certificate of appreciation.
A member of the Virginia Tech community since 1986, Gibson developed an international reputation as an innovator in synthetic chemistry particularly in the field of supramolecular chemistry. Because of his expertise in organic and polymer chemistry, leading journals sought him to review more than 1,125 research papers during the past 23 years. Both national and international funding agencies requested his opinions on 184 research proposals during that same time.
Gibson gave more than 230 invited lectureships at meetings, universities, and companies throughout the world. He holds 36 U.S. patents, has co-authored more than 375 peer reviewed publications including journal articles, reviews, and book chapters. He has personally accounted for more than $8 million in grant funds and participated as co-principal investigator in $43 million in interdisciplinary grants.
Gibson taught courses in undergraduate organic chemistry, notably the organic laboratory course SynTech for nearly a quarter century. He also taught graduate courses in polymer chemistry, placing strong emphasis on understanding fundamentals and applying them creatively to advance the properties of real-world materials.
His research supported 51 undergraduate students, and more than half of those subsequently earned a Ph.D. He also funded and served as major advisor to 12 master’s degree students and 23 Ph.D. students, and he funded and mentored 31 postdoctoral associates and helped them develop new skills and knowledge to better serve science and technology.
Gibson received Virginia Tech’s Alumni Award for Research Excellence in 2004. He earned his bachelor’s degree and Ph.D. from Clarkson University in 1962 and 1966, respectively.