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42nd IUPAC Council Meeting

Nominee for Vice President

Robert G. Gilbert (Australia)

Bob Gilbert

Prof. Robert (Bob) Gilbert’s research interests are in the areas of chemical dynamics and in the fundamentals and applications of the formation and properties of polymer colloids. He developed theories to understand the pressure dependence of unimolecular reactions, including models for collisional energy transfer and for microscopic rate coefficients for barrierless reactions. His 1990 book on the theory of unimolecular reactions is regarded as the definitive authority in that field. In polymer colloids, his work includes the development of the means, using appropriately designed experiments, of determining rate coefficients for individual processes in these complex heterogeneous systems, and then using these data to determine the dominant mechanisms. His book on this topic, published in 1995, is regarded as a landmark. His research has since broadened to look at polymer colloids in natural systems, and to bridge the gap between chemical and chemical engineering sciences in the manufacture of industrial products. He consults widely with multinational industry.

Education and Career
Prof. Gilbert received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Sydney and completed his Ph.D. at the Australian National University, Canberra, in 1970. After two years of postdoctoral research at MIT (Cambridge, MA, USA), he returned to the University of Sydney where he holds a Personal Chair in Polymer Chemistry.

IUPAC Involvement
He has served IUPAC in many capacities, including creating and leading a Working Party on polymerization kinetics. He was also president of the Macromolecular Division (1998—2001), convener of the IUPAC "New Directions" Summit in Singapore (1997), a member of the IUPAC Strategy Development and Implementation Committee in 1997, and co-chair of the IUPAC Scientific Congress in 2001. He was elected a Bureau Member for the period 2002—2005. He is currently serving on both the Evaluation Committee and the Membership Development Committee.

Related Professional Accomplishments
He has supervised 50 Ph.D. and M.S. students and 25 postdoctoral fellows. Gilbert serves on the editorial board of several major polymer journals and is the author of two books, four patents, and 270 papers.

Gilbert received an Excellence in Teaching Award at the University of Sydney in 1990. Other awards include both the Polymer and Physical Chemistry Medals, and the Smith Medal, of the Royal Australian Chemical Institute. In 1994, he was elected a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science.


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