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Dr. Scott Simpson, SBU chemistry professor, receives prestigious Henry Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar Award

Nov 08, 2023

Chemistry Professor Scott Simpson_webDr. Scott M. Simpson, professor of chemistry at St. Bonaventure University, is one of eight chemistry professors from colleges and universities across the nation to receive a 2023 Henry Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar Award.
The award from The Camille & Henry Dreyfus Foundation supports the research and teaching careers of talented early-career faculty in the chemical sciences at primarily undergraduate institutions. It recognizes independent faculty members who have demonstrated leadership in original scholarly research of outstanding quality, substantially carried out with undergraduate students, and innovation in and dedication to undergraduate education.
The award provides an unrestricted research grant of $75,000.
“I am deeply honored to be the recipient of this prestigious national recognition, and I am immensely grateful for the opportunity to work at SBU, which fosters an environment conducive to close-knit mentorship for my research students,” Simpson said.
The $75,000 grant will support the Simpson Research Group’s continued efforts to use computational chemistry to solve major environmental problems. The group has been recognized for its research into developing ways to safely store hydrogen for use as an alternative to fossil fuels, and for its work to identify perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances, known as PFAS. These manmade chemicals, which can cause cancers and other health issues, have been detected in food, soil, and drinking water, and can be found in virtually every living thing.
“The grant will significantly contribute to the support of my dedicated research team, allowing me to provide fair compensation to my students and further enrich the invaluable one-on-one mentorship experience inherent in the pursuit of scientific research at SBU,” Simpson said.
Simpson was nominated for the award by Dr. David Hilmey, an associate professor of chemistry at St. Bonaventure who was named university provost and vice president for Academic Affairs in August.
“Dr. Simpson’s award and grant from The Camille & Henry Dreyfus Foundation is well-deserved, and I cannot think of an individual who better exemplifies that combination of excellence in research and in education,” Hilmey said.
“Scott’s research not only advances the field and provides potentially transformative possibilities for society, but also excites our students in the process. He prioritizes the undergraduate student experience and takes great pride in giving students hands-on training with cutting-edge instrumentation. We are privileged to have him as a member of our faculty, and we congratulate him on his amazing success.”
This is one of many grants Simpson has received in recognition and support of his research, Hilmey said, the most notable being a $544,892 National Science Foundation CAREER grant for his group’s research into hydrogen storage. He has received one other National Science Foundation grant, an American Chemical Society Petroleum Research Fund grant, and multiple internal university grants.
The award is an added incentive for his team to continue its research, Simpson said.
“The educational research conducted by the dedicated members of the Simpson Research Group has consistently yielded evidence-based materials that originate from SBU but have far-reaching impact across the globe,” he said. “It is with profound gratitude that we acknowledge the philanthropic efforts of the Camille & Henry Dreyfus Foundation, which will empower more talented students at SBU to make a global difference in addressing critical issues such as pollution and energy storage.”
About the University: The nation’s first Franciscan university, St. Bonaventure University is a community committed to transforming the lives of our students inside and outside the classroom, inspiring in them a lifelong commitment to service and citizenship. Out of 167 regional universities in the North, St. Bonaventure was ranked #6 for value and #14 for innovation by U.S. News and World Report (2024).