Portrait of Robert Walker

Robert Walker

Robert Walker, a professor in MSU’s Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry and director of the Montana University System Materials Science Graduate Program, won the Fox Faculty Award for Achievement in Teaching, Research, Scholarship, Creativity and Mentoring. The award, which includes a $3,325 honorarium, is sponsored by the Martin Fox family and MSU’s Office of Academic Affairs.

“Rob contributes his energy and expertise to advance the mission of MSU and does so with high standards, thoughtful insight and a genuine willingness to work with others and find solutions that make MSU better,” David Eitle, associate dean of the College of Letters and Science wrote in a nomination letter.

Walker joined the faculty at MSU in 2009 and directs one of the largest research programs in the department where his accomplishments underscore his commitment to his students. He has published more than 100 peer-reviewed research articles and often exceeds $500,000 in annual research expenditures. More than 90% of those articles include one or more of his graduate students as a co-author or lead author and almost half of those publications include undergraduate student co-authors. He has mentored 25 doctoral students through graduation and currently supervises 10 in his lab.

“His research students cite Dr. Walker’s commitment to their projects and his never-ending curiosity as inspiration for continuing their studies in chemistry, biochemistry, and materials science,” Eitle stated.

Department head Joan Broderick noted that Walker’s impact is felt well beyond the department or even the College of Letters and Science. He actively mentors junior faculty, leads multidisciplinary research teams and strengthens science and engineering programs across the university system.

“Rob is one of the most productive researchers on campus and his commitment to student instruction at all levels, both in the classroom and as a research mentor, is exceptional,” Broderick said.