Gregory H. Robinson, Franklin Professor and Distinguished Research Professor of Chemistry, is one of a select group of international academics awarded a 2012 Humboldt Research Award from Germany’s Alexander von Humboldt Foundation.
The award is valued at approximately $80,000, and Robinson is the second UGA chemist to receive the award in as many years.
“I have known for many years that UGA is home to some of the best faculty in the world,” said UGA President Michael F. Adams. “The fact that Dr. Henry Schaefer won the Humboldt Award last year and now Professor Robinson is this year’s recipient demonstrates that fact to the world. I am very proud of both of them and wish
Dr. Robinson well in his research with colleagues in Germany.”
Robinson has been invited to undertake prolonged periods of collaboration with colleagues in Germany, and he plans to work with chemists at the Carl von Ossietzky University of Oldenburg and the Technical University of Berlin.
The award, presented to up to 100 scientists worldwide annually, recognizes a researcher’s entire achievements to date and is presented to academicians whose fundamental discoveries, new theories or insights have had a significant impact on their own discipline and who are expected to continue producing cutting-edge achievements in the future.
Robinson is internationally known for his work synthesizing chemical compounds that other scientists had dismissed as impossible. In a landmark 1995 paper, he demonstrated that metals can display electronic behavior that was previously only thought possible with carbon-based ring systems such as benzene. In another landmark paper published in 2008, his team stabilized a new form, or allotrope, of silicon and developed a technique to stabilize highly reactive molecules that otherwise would be fleeting.