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Molinaroli College of Engineering and Computing

  • Joseph Gibbons student and professor headshot

In Memoriam: Joseph Gibbons, Ph.D.

Joseph Gibbons headshots as a USC senior in 1956 and as chemical engineering distinguished professor emeritus.

The College of Engineering and Computing (CEC) was saddened to learn of the death of Chemical Engineering Distinguished Professor Emeritus Joseph Gibbons on July 5. He was 88 years old.  

Gibbons served the College of Engineering and Computing for 43 years from 1963 to 2006. In addition to his teaching and mentoring, he was the chair of the Department of Chemical Engineering for 15 years and associate dean for academic affairs. Gibbons was also CEC interim dean from 1999 to 2000. 

“Joe was universally beloved by all who knew him but especially the students. He cared about them as people and cultivated a sense of belonging,” says CEC Dean Hossein Haj-Hariri. “This is why the first question to me from every alum who overlapped him was ‘How’s Dr. Gibbons? Tell him I said hi.’ That is a wonderful legacy to leave.”

Gibbons earned his bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from the University of South Carolina in 1956. He was later one of five chemical engineers nationally selected for the Westinghouse Fellowship Program and graduated with his master’s and Ph.D. in chemical engineering from the University of Pittsburgh.

Gibbons was a Fellow of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers as well as a member of numerous societies, including the American Chemical Society and National Society of Professional Engineers. In 2005, he received the Order of the Palmetto, the highest civilian honor awarded by the Governor of South Carolina. Among his many awards included the USC Educational Foundation Service Award, the CEC Distinguished Alumnus Award, the Junior Engineering Technical Society Outstanding Service Award and the Columbia Chapter Engineer of the Year Award. 

Gibbons was a member of Phi Beta Kappa, Omicron Delta Kappa, Mortar Board and Tau Beta Pi honor societies. The Joseph H. Gibbons Omicron Delta Kappa USC Outstanding Senior award is presented annually at the university’s Awards Day. Gibbons and his wife, Neva, also contributed to the establishment of several CEC scholarships, foundations and a teaching award for chemical engineering professors.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Neva and Joe Gibbons Biomedical Endowed Scholarship (B11510) or the Dr. Joseph H. Gibbons Scholarship in Chemical Engineering (1B1762).

Full obituary

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