David M. Hercules, PhD

David Hercules

Title: Centennial Professor Emeritus, Consultant
Company: Vanderbilt University
Location: Nashville, Tennessee, United States

David Hercules, Consultant and Centennial Professor Emeritus at Vanderbilt University, has been recognized by Marquis Who’s Who Top Scientist for dedication, achievements, and leadership in the fields of chemistry and higher education.

Dr. Hercules began his higher education at Juniata College, where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in 1954.  He continued his studies at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), where he earned a PhD in analytical chemistry in 1957.  He started his academic career as an assistant professor at Lehigh University, where he remained for three years.  He then returned to his alma mater, working as an associate professor at Juniata College from 1960 to 1963.  In 1963 he accepted a position as assistant professor at MIT, where he rose to the rank of associate professor before his departure in 1969 to the University of Georgia.  He worked as professor of chemistry at the University of Georgia until 1976, when he moved to the University of Pittsburgh.  During his time at the University of Pittsburgh he served as department chairman for 9 years, and in 1990 he was named Miles Professor.  In 1995, he moved to Vanderbilt University as chairman of the chemistry department and Centennial Professor.  In 2007 he took on the role of Centennial Professor Emeritus.

In addition to his work as a chemistry educator, Dr. Hercules worked for a variety of professional and research organizations.  From 1964 to 1965 he was a member of the visiting science program of the National Science Foundation.  He was an organizer of the International Conference on Chemiluminescence and, while in Pittsburgh, was a member of the Pittsburgh Conference on Analytical Chemistry and Applied Spectroscopy committee.  He chaired two Gordon Research Conferences: on “Analytical Chemistry” and “Electron Spectroscopy.”  For his work as a chemist and educator, Dr. Hercules was recognized with the Benedetti-Pichler Award from the American Microchemistry Society, the Achievement in Analytical Chemistry Award from the Eastern Analytical Symposium, the President’s Distinguished Research Award from the University of Pittsburgh, and the Earl Sutherland Prize for achievement in research.  He is a member of the American Chemical Society, the Society for Applied Spectroscopy, and the American Society for Mass Spectrometry.  As a testament to his success and stature, Dr. Hercules has been featured in multiple editions of Who’s Who in Science and Engineering, Who’s Who in American Education, and Who’s Who in America.

Dr. Hercules currently enjoys painting. Please view his artist statement:

Throughout my scientific studies and professional life, I have been interested in the way science and mathematics can be expressed in color. When I began painting, I worked with oil on canvas, and my subject matter was traditional.  As my professional career progressed, however, time for art diminished.  Retirement has afforded me time for a return to my long-existing interest in painting.

“Beginning afresh, I changed to the medium of acrylics with an airbrush, and my subject matter became more abstract, which lends itself to depicting the interaction of form and color. Most of my works now have a very specific scientific/mathematical basis.  Some are puzzles, challenging the viewer to come up with a solution.  Some show the use of color and form to illustrate abstract thoughts or moods.  Others are “serendipitous” and playful use of form and color.

“My retirement now reflects a more balanced distribution of my interests – science, painting, and music.”

-Dr.David M. Hercules

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