John D. Corbett

2008 Monie A. Ferst Awardcorbett

John Corbett is a pioneering chemist who has been on the faculty at Iowa State University and a staff researcher at the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Ames Laboratory 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. A member of the National Academy of Sciences, 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.” His imaginative synthetic principles or procedures 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.