T. Daniel Crawford, University Distinguished Professor of Chemistry in the College of Science at Virginia Tech and director of the Molecular Sciences Software Institute in Blacksburg, has received a 2024 Outstanding Faculty Award from the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV) with support from Dominion Energy.

The award has been the highest honor for the Commonwealth of Virginia's faculty since 1987. It has recognized the most exceptional faculty at Virginia's public and private colleges and universities who exemplify the highest standards of teaching, scholarship and service.

"I am tremendously honored to be selected for this award alongside past recipients from the Virginia Tech Department of Chemistry, including Timothy Long and the late Jim Wightman," Crawford said. "One friend recently referred to the SCHEV Outstanding Faculty Award as a 'lifetime achievement award,' but I certainly hope my career isn’t done yet."

Nominees are selected by the institutions, reviewed by a panel of peers and chosen by a committee of leaders from the public and private sectors. In all, 87 nominations were received this year. This group was narrowed to a field of 25 finalists and then to the 12 recipients, three of whom are faculty at Virginia Tech.

"I discovered at an early age that the best way to learn is to teach, and this realization has profoundly influenced my entire academic career.  When I recognized nearly 25 years ago how naturally teaching couples to research, I knew I’d found what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. 

"It’s wonderful to be rewarded simply for doing the things you love."

Crawford's research focuses on developing quantum mechanical models of molecular properties. He has published 150 peer-reviewed papers and given nearly 230 lectures in 26 countries. Crawford is a member of the International Academy of Quantum Molecular Science. His awards include a Cottrell Scholar and Cottrell STAR awards from the Research Corporation for Science Advancement, a National Science Foundation CAREER Award, the Dirac Medal of the World Association of Theoretical and Computational Chemists and Fellowship in the American Chemical Society.

Crawford earned his bachelor's degree in chemistry and mathematics from Duke University and his Ph.D. from the University of Georgia.