Prof. Harry Gibson honored with emeritus status by Board of Visitors
June 10, 2019
(June 10, 2019) Prof. Harry Gibson has been conferred the title of professor emeritus by the Virginia Tech Board of Visitors, recognizing a long and successful career in chemistry.
Prior to his academic career at Virginia Tech, Prof. Gibson was employed in industry for 20 years. During his three years at Union Carbide in Tarrytown, NY he carried out kinetic and mechanistic studies of reactions of alcohols with ethylene oxide to form glycol ethers, important as brake fluids and solvents, and explored new uses for formic acid. His 15 years at Xerox in Webster, NY were devoted to interdisciplinary study of photo-electrical phenomena and materials useful in imaging and display technologies: liquid crystals; triboelectrification, the charging of the toner particles necessary to produce the final image in xerographic copies; development of organic photoconductors, now used exclusively in all copiers and laser printers; he contributed to the early development of conducting organic polymers (polyacetylenes). At Signal in Des Plaines, IL for two years he was engaged in research and management of a program on high performance printed circuit wiring boards.
He joined Virginia Tech in 1986 and developed an international reputation as an innovator in synthetic chemistry, particularly in the field of supramolecular chemistry. Along with reviewing hundreds of articles and co-authoring a few hundred more, Prof. Gibson advised 23 Ph.D. students, 12 master’s degree students, 31 postdoctoral associates, and 51 undergraduate students.
In retirement, Prof. Gibson will travel and play golf with his lady, Brenda Raine. He wants to get his handicap back down to single digits, if possible, and will also get back to fishing at Smith Mountain Lake. He is also looking forward to more time to spend with his six grandchildren, five of whom call Blacksburg home.
Thank you for your service, Prof. Gibson and congratulations on your retirement!