Virginia Tech®home

Joseph M. DeSimone

Joseph DeSimone

Joseph M. DeSimone, of Chapel Hill, North Carolina, earned a doctorate in chemistry from Virginia Tech in 1990. Previously, he earned a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Ursinus College. DeSimone is the Chancellor’s Eminent Professor of Chemistry at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC), and the William R. Kenan Jr. Distinguished Professor of Chemical Engineering at North Carolina State University and of Chemistry at UNC. He is also an adjunct faculty member at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center.DeSimone is currently on leave from the universities and has assumed the CEO role at Carbon3D in Silicon Valley.

An innovative polymer chemist, DeSimone has made breakthrough contributions in fluoropolymer synthesis, colloid science, nano-bio-materials, green chemistry, and most recently 3-D printing. He is the co-founder of several companies, including Micell Technologies, Biostent, Liquidia Technologies, and Carbon3D. He has published more than 300 scientific articles and has more than 150 issued patents in his name, with more than 80 additional patents pending. DeSimone is one of only a few individuals to be elected to all three U.S. National Academies: the Institute of Medicine (2014), the National Academy of Sciences (2012), and the National Academy of Engineering (2005). He is also a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

DeSimone has received more than 50 major awards and recognitions, including the 2015 Dickson Prize from Carnegie Mellon University; the 2014 Industrial Research Institute Medal; the 2014 Kathryn C. Hach Award for Entrepreneurial Success from the American Chemical Society; and election as a Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors in 2013.

An enthusiastic supporter of the College of Science at Virginia Tech, DeSimone is a long-time member of the Department of Chemistry Advisory Council. He established an endowed scholarship in honor of his mentor, Dr. James McGrath, to support undergraduate students majoring in chemistry with an emphasis in polymer science.