T. Daniel Crawford, professor of chemistry in the College of Science at Virginia Tech, was recently named the Ethyl Corporation Chair in Chemistry by the Virginia Tech Board of Visitors.

Ethyl Corporation established the chair position in 1986 to support the Department of Chemistry by providing resources to recruit and retain the most highly qualified research and teaching faculty.

Crawford joined the Virginia Tech faculty in 2000 and has since been recognized for his groundbreaking work in theoretical and computational chemistry. During the past 10 years, Crawford has developed a series of quantum mechanical models capable of high-accuracy simulations of the interaction of polarized light with chiral molecules, a class of compounds that includes most modern medicines ranging from chemical sedatives to anti-tumor agents. These new computational tools will shorten the development time of new chiral drugs.

Crawford has published more than 100 papers, has been cited more than 4,500 times, and has attracted more than $4.5 million in external funding. Most recently, Crawford led a successful multi-institutional proposal to the National Science Foundation that resulted in the creation of the Molecular Sciences Software Institute. He will lead the new organization.

Crawford has won major awards professional awards, including the Dirac Medal in 2009, the Camille and Henry Dreyfus New Faculty Award in 2000, and a National Science Foundation CAREER Award in 2002. He became a Fellow of the American Chemical Society in 2015 and currently serves as secretary/treasurer of the physical chemistry division of the society and is senior editor for the Journal of Physical Chemistry.
In 2012, Crawford received Virginia Tech’s Alumni Award for Excellence in Research.

Crawford received his bachelor’s degree from Duke University and his Ph.D. from the University of Georgia. He was postdoctoral fellow at the University of Texas from 1996 to 2000.

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