University of California, Irvine
William Evans was born in Madison, Wisconsin and raised in Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin. He received a B.S. degree from the University of Wisconsin, where he did undergraduate research on pentaboranes with Professor Donald F. Gaines. He obtained a Ph.D. from UCLA under the direction of Professor M. Frederick Hawthorne studying metallocarboranes. He did postdoctoral research on transition metal phosphite complexes with the late Professor Earl L. Muetterties at Cornell University. When he began his independent career in 1975 at the University of Chicago, he chose an area of research completely different from his training and experience, namely the chemistry of the rare earth metals and actinides, with the central thesis that the special properties of these metals should lead to unique chemistry. After receiving tenure at Chicago in 1982, he was recruited to the University of California, Irvine, where he has been a Professor since 1983. He has received the American Chemical Society Awards in Inorganic Chemistry and in Organometallic Chemistry as well as received the Sir Edward Franklin Award of the Royal Society of Chemistry, the Frank Spedding Award for Excellence in the Science and Technology of Rare Earths, the Terrae Rarae Award of the Tage der Seltenen Erden Society in Germany, a Special Creativity Extension Award from the National Science Foundation, the UCI Physical Sciences Outstanding Contributions to Undergraduate Education Award, and the UCI Distinguished Faculty Award for Research. He has recently been named a Distinguished Professor at UCI.