Skip to main content

About Delbert Day, PhD

The Phelps Health Delbert Day Cancer Institute (DDCI) is named after Delbert Day, PhD, Curators’ Professor Emeritus of Materials Science and Engineering and Senior Investigator (formerly Director) of the Graduate Center for Materials Research at the Missouri University of Science and Technology.

The creation of the DDCI was initially funded through a gift from Dr. Delbert Day’s daughter-in-law and son, Kim Day and her late husband, Ted.

Dr. Day has published more than 365 technical papers dealing with the structure, properties and uses of glass, edited three books and has been granted 53 United States and foreign patents. His patents include glass microspheres for medical (radiation therapy) and dental applications, bioactive glasses for wound and bone repair, chemically durable glasses for vitrifying nuclear waste, optically transparent composites and high temperature ceramics.

He conducted the first US glass melting experiments in micro-gravity on NASA’s Space Shuttle and is co-inventor of special purpose glass microspheres, TheraSphere™, which are now being used worldwide to treat patients with inoperable liver cancer. He is a co-inventor of “Glasphalt,” which recycles waste glass by using it as part of the aggregate in asphalt paving.

Dr. Day’s numerous honors and awards include the following:

  • Election to the National Academy of Engineering,
  • Distinguished Life Member (and past president) of the American Ceramic Society,
  • The Presidential Award for Research and Creativity and the Presidential Citation for Alumni Service Award (University of Missouri),
  • Selection as the Nation’s Outstanding Young Ceramic Engineer (Pace Award) by the National Institute of Ceramic Engineers,
  • The Hosler Alumni Scholar Medal for Scientific Achievement (Pennsylvania State University),
  • The Chancellor’s Medal and Doctor of Science,
  • Honoris Causa (University of Missouri),
  • The Outstanding Educator Award from the American Ceramic Society, and
  • Fellow of the American Ceramic Society, the Society of Glass Technology (United Kingdom) and the National Institute of Ceramic Engineers.

In 2009, he received the Toledo Glass and Ceramics award for his “Achievements in Education and Industry.” In 2010, he was awarded the Phoenix Award and was named “Glass Person of the Year” for his technical achievements and contributions to the glass industry.

Dr. Day is the former Chairman and President of MO-SCI Corporation in Rolla, a company he co-founded to manufacture special purpose glasses for healthcare, electronics, transportation, aerospace, chemical and sporting goods industries. He continues work as an educator, researcher, entrepreneur, consultant and multi-engine commercial pilot/flight instructor.