Dr. Shelby F. Thames
Distinguished University Research Professor Emeritus, Professor of Polymer Science and engineering professor emeritus
Dr. Shelby F. Thames received his B.S. and M.S. degrees in Chemistry from the University of Southern Mississippi in 1959 and 1961, respectively, and his Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry from the University of Tennessee in 1964. He joined Southern Miss in 1967 as Assistant Professor of Chemistry. In 1970, he requested, founded, and managed the polymer science program as the sole faculty member. In 1973, he started the annual Waterborne Symposium which continues to attract premier technical papers on all aspects of coatings every year. In 1976, he served as Vice-President for Administration and Regional Campuses, and in 1982, advanced to become the Executive Vice-President of the University. In 1986, he returned full-time to teaching and research and was bestowed the title of Distinguished University Research Professor. Dr. Thames served as the President of Southern Miss from 2002 – 2007, and subsequently returned to his leadership role of the Thames-Rawlins Research Group. In 1998, Southern Miss’ Polymer Science Research Center was named the Shelby Freland Thames Polymer Science Research Center. In Modern Paint & Coatings March/April 2003 edition, Dr. Thames was named the “2002 Coatings R&D Person of the Year.” He has authored more than 165 scientific articles, over 400 presentations, and holds 30 U.S. patents (including 6 international patents).