Dr Verkade has made landmark contributions in work that has shed new light on the nature of phosphorus-acceptor bonding. Dr Verkade has developed caged phosphines, “Verkade superbases,” as catalysts for many important organic transformations. Proazaphosphatranes of this type have found legion applications as superior reagents and catalysts in diverse organic processes that are known to be based-induced. Several of these proazaphosphatranes have become commercially available. Dr Verkade has expanded his phosphatrane research to related metallatranes. He was awarded the 1994 B F Goodrich Collegiate Inventors Program Award.
Dr Verkade has published 5 books, over 400 refereed papers, and holds 20 patents. He has given over 100 invited lectures at academic and industrial laboratories around the world. He has mentored 38 PhD and 15 MS graduate students, 69 post-doctoral fellows, 10 visiting faculty, and 33 undergraduate students. Dr Verkade invented a novel, systematic and simple pictorial approach to generating the shapes of all the molecular orbitals and vibratory motions of a wide variety of molecules: a teaching methodology that became known as the “generator orbital” approach. In 1987, the Santa Clara Section of the ACS awarded him the Harry and Carol Mosher Award for teaching, research and service.
Dr Verkade has been a tower of strength on many important ACS committees. He has chaired the Society Committee on Publications, served as an elected member on the Board of Directors, chaired the Chemical Abstracts Services Committee, and has chaired the Committee on Grants and Awards for the Petroleum Research Foundation.