The Scottsboro High School Class of 1960 will be honoring one of its most accomplished classmates at its 6othclass reunion. Dr. S. Davis Worley will be honored on Oct. 11, 2019 at 10:00 a.m. at the Scottsboro City Board of Education.
Worley graduated with a B.S. with Honor in Chemistry from Auburn University in 1964. HE then received a Ph.D. in Chemistry from the University of Texas at Austin in 1969 having worked under the supervision of Professor Michael J. S. Dewar. Following a three-year tour of duty with the U.S. Army at the NASA Johnson Spacecraft Center where he performed research in atmospheric kinetics, he spent one-year periods teaching Physical Chemistry at Cleveland State University and as a Scientific Officer at the Office of Naval Research. He then returned to Auburn as an Assistant Professor of Organic Chemistry in 1974.
At Auburn, he was active in both teaching and research. He was named Teacher of the Year in 1992 by the Auburn chapter of Alpha Epsilon Delta (Premed Honorary).
He was an Alumni Professor from 1982 to 1986 and Scharnagel Professor of Physical Sciences from 2001 to 2004. He has been active in research on such topics as photoelectron spectroscopy, molecular orbital theory, surface science and antimicrobial materials.
He received the Dean’s Research Award for COSAM and The Auburn University Innovative Faculty Research Award for 2004 and 2006. In 2004, he received the Charles Stone Award from the Carolina-Piedmont ACS Section as the Outstanding Chemist in the Southeast. In2015, he was named a Fellow of the National Association of Inventors.
His premier achievement, made possible by collaboration with his many graduate students and post-doctoral fellows, was the invention of a polymer material which is being used to kill bacteria and inactive viruses in a water filter application which has been commercialized for use in developing nations. This invention has brought several million dollars in royalties to Auburn University over the past two decades.
Worley retired from active teaching in 2009 but remains active in research as an Emeritus Professor of Chemistry at Auburn. He and his wife Karen, whom he met while a student at Auburn, have established a Professorship in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at Auburn.
They have two sons, Chris and Scott, as well as six grandchildren.