39th Probst Lecture Series to feature international chemist Robinson

For the 39thAnnual William J. Probst Memorial Lecture, SIUE will host internationally known chemist Gregory H. Robinson on March 16.

International chemist Robinson will present his advancements in fundamental chemistry March 16 for the 39th Probst Lecture Series. Photo courtesy of Jones.

Robinson will present his inorganic/organometallic chemistry research findings, titled “Stabilization of Highly Reactive Molecules” to students and faculty during an 11 a.m. seminar.

From 3-5 p.m. he will interact with students presenting their projects at the Thomas D. Bouman Student Research Symposium: Undergraduate and Graduate Research Poster Competition at the Meridian Ballroom at the MUC.

Also at the Meridian Ballroom, Robinson will conduct a general lecture at 7 p.m. titled “Molecules That Changed History.”

Chemistry professor Myron Jones said he is very excited for Robinson to come.

Jones met Robinson more than 20 years ago as an undergraduate at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga during recruitment and had him as a professor at Clemson University.

Jones said he found Robinson very personable and easy to relate to.

“He personally inspired me as an African-American and chemist I think he engages students very well,” Jones said.

Robinson was also a noted football player at Jacksonville State University in Jacksonville, Ala., from 1976-1980 receiving All-American honors in 1979.

Jones said Robinson’s work involves very highly reactive molecules, and Robinson is known for inventing a method to stabilize them, thus advancing the field of fundamental chemistry.

“You can study those molecules that you wouldn’t be able to study any other way,” Jones said.

Some molecules from elements on the periodic table include diphosphorous and disilicon and certain compounds with metal-metal bonds.  Robinson’s research could be applicable to fields that include materials science and electronics.

Robinson, a professor at the University of Georgia in Athens, has published more than 150 peer-reviewed journal articles and has received numerous awards. Some of his awards include the Award for Special Creativity (1999) from the National Science Foundation; from the Organization of Black Chemists and Chemical Engineers (NOBCChE) he was recognized for Excellence in Pure and Applied Science and Engineering (2004); and he received the Humboldt Research Award (2012) from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation in Germany.

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