Vernon C. Gibson

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Vernon Gibson
Born Vernon Charles Gibson
Education The King's School, Grantham
Alma mater University of Sheffield (BSc)
University of Oxford (DPhil)
Sue Gibson (m. 1994)
Awards Corday-Morgan Prize[when?]
Tilden Prize[when?]
Scientific career
Institutions Ministry of Defence
University of Manchester
Imperial College London
California Institute of Technology
Thesis Synthesis and reactivity studies on high-energy tertiary phosphine transition metal compounds (1983)
Doctoral advisor Malcolm Green
Other academic advisors John E. Bercaw

Vernon Charles Gibson CB FRS (born 15 November 1958) is a British scientist who served as Chief Scientific Adviser at the Ministry of Defence between 2012 and 2016.[2] He is Visiting Professor at Imperial College London and Honorary Professor at the University of Manchester.[3]

Early life and education[edit]

Gibson was born in Grantham, Lincolnshire and educated at The King's School, Grantham followed by the University of Sheffield where he studied Chemistry and graduated with a First Class Special Honours degree in 1980.[citation needed] He was awarded a Doctor of Philosophy degree from the University of Oxford in 1983 for research supervised by Malcolm L.H. Green.[4]

Career and research[edit]

After his DPhil, Gibson spent two years as a NATO postdoctoral research fellow with the US chemist, John E. Bercaw at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech).[citation needed]

Gibson is Executive Director of the BP International Centre for Advanced Materials.[5] He was Chief Scientific Adviser to the Ministry of Defence from 2012 to 2016 and Chief Chemist at BP plc from 2008 to 2012. Prior to this he was the Sir Edward Frankland Professor of Inorganic Chemistry at Imperial College London where, following foundations laid in the Chemistry Department at the University of Durham, he developed an international reputation for his fundamental studies on metal complexes and discoveries of new catalyst systems for the production of commercially relevant polymers.

Awards and honours[edit]

Gibson has received numerous national and international awards, including the Royal Society of Chemistry Corday-Morgan and Tilden Prizes, the Royal Society of Chemistry award for Organometallic Chemistry and the Joseph Chatt lectureship. He was elected to the Royal Society in 2004 for his seminal synthetic, structural and bonding studies on metal complexes and design of novel initiators and catalysts for controlled polymer synthesis.

He was awarded an honorary Doctor of Science degree by the University of Sheffield in 2010 and appointed Companion of the Order of the Bath in the 2017 New Year Honours, for services to Defence.[citation needed]

Personal life[edit]

Gibson is married to Sue Gibson (née Thomas).[1]


  1. ^ a b Anon (2017). Gibson, Prof. Susan Elizabeth. Who's Who (online Oxford University Press ed.). A & C Black, an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing plc. doi:10.1093/ww/9780199540884.013.4000527.  closed access publication – behind paywall (subscription required)
  2. ^ "Professor Vernon Gibson - GOV.UK". 
  3. ^ "Prof Vernon C. Gibson FRS". 
  4. ^ Gibson, Vernon Charles (1983). Synthesis and reactivity studies on high-energy tertiary phosphine transition metal compounds. (DPhil thesis). University of Oxford. OCLC 59298028. EThOS 
  5. ^ Kolade, Ayodele. "Vernon Gibson - ICAM - International Centre for Advanced Materials".