Leon Combs

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Leon Combs

Emeritus Professor and Former Head

B.S., Chemistry, Mississippi State University, 1961
Ph.D., Chemical Physics, Louisiana State University, 1967


Professor Emeritus and Chair Retired
Kennesaw State University, 1992 - 2006

Professor and Head Emeritus
Mississippi State University, 1967 - 1992

Professor of Chemistry and Physics, 1967 - 1992
Head of Chemistry Department, 1982 - 1990


Visiting Professor of Quantum Chemistry
University of Uppsala, Sweden, 1977 - 1978

Research in Quantum Chemistry at the Quantum Chemistry Institute of the University of Uppsala whose Director was Professor Per Olov Lowdin. He was on the selection committee for the Nobel Prize in Physics and an exceptional leader/researcher/teacher. I, my wife, and my son attended the 1977 Nobel Prize Ceremony in Stockholm. The work resulted in several publications and many great friends.


Ph.D., Chemical Physics, Louisiana State University, 1964 - 1967

I completed 18 graduate hours in physics and mathematics while working full time at Devoe and Reynolds. Rather than obtaining a degree there I quit work and went to LSU to complete a Ph.D. in Chemical Physics. I earned the first Ph.D. in chemical physics offered by LSU. I finished all requirements for the Ph.D. in three years with four publications in the Journal of Chemical Physics. I had a teaching assistantship for one semester and a research assistant the remainder of the time there. My major professor was Dr. Kelly Runnels who earned his Ph.D. from Yale under Professor Lars Onsager, Nobel Laurate. Dr. Runnels was a great mentor and friend. I completed all requirements for the Ph.D. in Chemical Physics from LSU the fall of 1967 and accepted a position as Assistant Professor of Chemistry and Physics at MSU.

Activities and Societies: Esso Fellow, APS, ACS, PKP, Sigma Xi, AACE


Polymer Chemist
Devoe and Reynolds, 1961 - 1964

Graduate Studies, University of Louisville, Physics, 1962 - 1964

I worked as a polymer chemist with epoxy resins and esters after earning a B.S. degree in Chemistry from MSU. While working fulltime I took 18 graduate hours in physics and mathematics from Speed Scientific School (Univeristy of Louisville). My main professor there convinced me to study chemical physics so I quit my job there and went to LSU in the fall of 1964.


B.S., Chemistry, Mississippi State University, 1956 - 1961

I changed my major five times so it took an extra year to earn the degree after I finally decided on Chemistry as my major. I started in chemical engineering but learned that I do not think like an engineer. I then changed to chemistry, next to math, then to physics, and finally back to chemistry.

Activities and Societies: Clarinet scholarship as a member of the marching and concert band, Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity.

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