Dave Worley

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Dave Worley

2018 COSAM Distinguished Alumnus


Dr. Dave Worley '64

 

Dr. Worley graduated with a B.S. with Honors in Chemistry from Auburn University in 1964, followed by a Ph.D. from UT Austin. After a tour of duty with the U.S. Army at NASA Johnson Spacecraft Center where he performed research in atmospheric kinetics, he taught Physical Chemistry at Cleveland State University and was a Scientific Officer at the Office of Naval Research. He returned to Auburn as an Assistant Professor of Organic Chemistry in 1974, where he was active in both teaching and research. Worley was named Teacher of the Year in 1992 by the Auburn chapter of AED, an Alumni Professor in 1982-86, and the Scharnagel Professor in 2001-04. He has been active in research on such topics as photoelectron spectroscopy, molecular orbital theory, surface science, and antimicrobial materials. Dr. Worley received the Dean’s Research Award for COSAM and the Innovative Faculty Research Award for 2004 and 2006. In 2004 he received the Charles Stone Award from the Carolina-Piedmont ACS Section as the Outstanding Chemist in the Southeast and in 2015 was named a Fellow of the National Association of Inventors. His premier achievement, made possible by collaboration with graduate students and post-doctoral fellows, was the invention of a polymer material being used to kill bacteria and inactivate viruses in a water ilter application which has been commercialized for use in developing nations. This invention has provided clean drinking water for millions. Dr. Worley retired from teaching in 2009, but remains active in research as Professor Emeritus of Chemistry. He and his wife Karen Holcombe Worley ’63, have established a Professorship in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at Auburn. They have two sons and six grandchildren.

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