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November 12, 2008

Iowa State Chemist Wins 2008 Monie Ferst Award

John D. Corbett RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, NC - Chemist John D. Corbett at Iowa State University received the 2008 Monie A. Ferst Award from the Georgia Institute of Technology Chapter of Sigma Xi.

The award is given annually to an educator in engineering or science who has made "notable contributions to the motivation and encouragement of research through education." It includes a $5,000 prize. The Ferst Award is named for an Atlanta engineer and businessman who received his engineering degree from Georgia Tech in 1911.

A symposium was held in October at Georgia Tech in Corbett’s honor, focusing on the research accomplishments of his many former students, five of whom were speakers.

A member of the National Academy of Sciences, Corbett has been a staff researcher at the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Ames Laboratory and a faculty member in Iowa State’s chemistry department since 1952.

During that time, he has served as a division chief and program director at the federal laboratory and as chair of the ISU chemistry department.

Throughout his career, Corbett has mentored 41 Ph.D., 14 M.S. and 65 postdoctoral students. He has published more than 445 articles in peer-reviewed journals and has presented more than 345 invited seminars around the world. His research interests revolve around inorganic solid-state chemistry, emphasizing strong metal-metal bonding.

According to the award citation, “Corbett’s enthusiasm for chemical research has contributed significantly to the growth and development of solid state chemistry, in particular, as an academic discipline, and has also inspired numerous scientists to participate in this field.”

He is considered a pioneer for imaginative synthetic principles or procedures that have often revealed new species, many of which have been included in chemistry textbooks.

A Sigma Xi member since 1949, Corbett has served as a visiting professor at the Max-Planck-Institut and the Technical University of Denmark as well as Oxford and Justus-Liebig universities. He is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Among his many honors are three American Chemical Society awards in inorganic chemistry and for distinguished service in the advancement of the field.

He has also received a Senior Scientist Award from the A. V. Humboldt Foundation, two DOE Awards for Outstanding Scientific Accomplishments and Sustained Research in Materials Chemistry and the 2005 Spedding Award from the Rare Earth Research Conference.

About Sigma Xi
Founded in 1886, Sigma Xi is the international honor society of research scientists and engineers, with more than 500 chapters at colleges and universities, government laboratories and industry research centers. Membership is by invitation, in recognition of research potential or achievement. Over the years, more than 200 Sigma Xi members have received the Nobel Prize. In addition to publishing American Scientist, the non-profit Society awards hundreds of grants annually to student researchers and sponsors a variety of programs that support science and engineering.


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