A studentship enabled Narayan Hosmane to come to Edinburgh in 1971 to study a PhD in Chemistry with Professor Evelyn Ebsworth. He tells us about his academic career in Northern Ireland and the United States.
|PhD in Chemistry
|Year of Graduation
Your time at the University
I came from a very poor background in India and, as a student interested in a science subject, I was reading Alfred Stock’s book on Silicon Hydrides and Boron Hydrides. His discovery of silicon hydride as a yellow flame by placing the magnesium silicide in water and boron hydride with a green flame by placing magnesium boride in water fascinated me to do research in these areas.
Since Professor Stock died before I was born, I contacted his student Professor Harry Emeleus of Cambridge University about my intention. As Professor Emeleus was just about to retire, he directed me to contact his student, Professor Evelyn A V Ebsworth of Edinburgh University who wrote me back that he would try his best to get me the studentship from Edinburgh University as he was impressed by my credentials despite my poorest financial background. He emphasized that the studentships are mainly for the Scottish students, but I might get it because of my keen interest in doing research in his field of expertise!
As luck turned out in my favour, I received the Studentship of University of Edinburgh and joined the University in October 1971 as a PhD student of Professor Ebsworth and completed my degree in September 1974. If I have any success in my career now, that is only because of my education at the University of Edinburgh.
If I have any success in my career now, that is only because of my education at the University of Edinburgh.
Your experiences since leaving the University
After postdoctoral research training in Queen’s University of Belfast, I joined the Lambeg Industrial Research Institute in Northern Ireland, and then moved to the United States to continue postdoctoral work with Russell Grimes at the University of Virginia.
In 1979 I joined the faculty at the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. Later in 1982, I joined the faculty at the Southern Methodist University, where I became a Professor of Chemistry in 1989.
In 1998 I moved to Northern Illinois University and am currently a Distinguished Research Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry and the Inaugural Board of Trustees Professor.
In 2012 I received a note from Professor Ebsworth. His appreciation of my accomplishments is more than any prize one can get in his/her lifetime!
The training of undergraduates and preparing them for the real world - I think that is my real accomplishment. I believe the science of chemistry can only be taught in a research lab where fundamental questions on the frontiers of chemistry are probed. In my view, both researching and teaching are integral parts of the learning process.