2017 Distinguished Alumni Awards

Dr. Carlos M. Bowman, PhD 1957
Dr. Edward M. Eyring, PhD 1960
Dr. Ellen R. Fisher, PhD 1991
Dr. Bryant W. Rossiter, PhD 1957
Dr. Clifton G. Sanders, PhD 1990

On Monday, April 17th, the Department of Chemistry honored five former students as our 2017 Distinguished Alumni.


Carlos M. Bowman received his PhD in Organic Chemistry from the University of Utah in 1957. While working in rocket fuel research early on in his career at the Dow Chemical Company, Bowman implemented the innovative use of computers in using thermodynamics to predict substance thrust capabilities for use in rocket propellants. In 1967 he became the Dow Chemical Company’s Research Director, where he continued to advance the field of cheminformatics until 1980.

Ellen R. Fisher earned her PhD in Physical Chemistry from the University of Utah in 1991, after which she joined Colorado State University as a Professor of Chemistry. From 2009 to 2014 she served as Department Chair for CSU’s Department of Chemistry, and in 2014 she became Senior Faculty Advisor to the Vice President for Research. Her research focuses on using analytical and materials chemistry methods to better understand the underlying mechanisms of the processes of chemical vapor deposition and plasma-enhanced chemical vapor deposition.

Bryant W. Rossiter earned his PhD from the University of Utah in 1957 and currently works as a consultant, author, and as the senior editor of Physical Methods of Chemistry. From 1957-1985 he was the Director of the Chemistry Division at Eastman Kodak Co., and from 1985-1989 served as President of Viratek Pharmaceuticals, Inc. His ventures resulted in several successful attempts at developing broad-spectrum antiviral drugs, some of these treatments experiencing worldwide implementation.

After receiving his PhD from the University of Utah in 1990, Clifton G. Sanders went on to hold many positions in both research and education, including Research Scientist for CardioPulmonics, Dean for the School of Science, Mathematics and Engineering for Salt Lake Community College, and Adjunct Instructor for the Salt Lake Theological Seminary. He is currently the Chief Technology Consultant and Co-Owner of Better Options Consulting International, and is the Provost for Academic Affairs at Salt Lake Community College.

Honorary Distinguished Alumnus Edward M. Eyring received his PhD in Physical Chemistry in 1960 and proceeded to become an NSF Postdoctoral Fellow with the University of Goettingen. He would then spend the next 50 years of his life as a dedicated faculty member of the University of Utah Department of Chemistry, where he contributed most recently to nanoparticle and Chemical Looping Combustion research. He is the recipient of several awards, including the NATO Senior Fellowship in 1977, the Willard Gardner Prize of the Utah Academy of Sciences, Arts and Letters in 1993, and the Utah Governor’s Medal for Science and Technology in 2011. He retired in 2016, after which the Edward M. Eyring Undergraduate Scholarship was established in his honor and in gratitude for his many years of service and contributions to chemistry.

Past Distinguished Alumni

The Department is honored to have such great alumni and looks forward to recognizing a select few each year. To recommend a Distinguished Alumni please contact Heather Burkhart at 801-585-7896 or heather.burkhart@utah.edu.

Last Updated: 6/13/17