Leadership Board

The Department of Chemistry Leadership Board was established in the Spring of 2011 to provide guidance and support for the Department’s continual drive for excellence. The Board, made up of business, academic, and community leaders, adopted the mission statement: “To offer leadership and guidance, to provide financial strength, and to achieve national acclaim as a top 10 Department of Chemistry.”

Robert H. Grubbs Ph.D.

Victor and Elizabeth Atkins Professor of Chemistry California Insitute of Technology
Photo of Robert H. Grubbs Ph.D.

Biographical Info

Professor Grubbs is the current Victor and Elizabeth Atkins Professor of Chemistry at the California Institute of Technology, a title he has held since 1990. Since 2009 he has held the concurrent position of Chair Professor from the King Fahd University of Petroleum & Minerals Dhahran, Saudi Arabia.

Professor Grubbs earned B.S. and M.S. degrees in Chemistry from the University of Florida in 1963 and 1965, respectively. His Masters research was conducted under the direction of Merle Battiste. His Ph.D. in Chemistry from Columbia University was awarded in 1968 and his doctoral advisor was Ronald Breslow.

Professor Grubbs began his academic career as an Assistant Professor at Michigan State in 1969. Subsequently, he became an Associate Professor in 1973 before moving to the California Institute of Technology in 1978 with the title of Professor of Chemistry. Professor Grubbs has garnered a variety of accolades, including the University of Canterbury’s 2nd Canterbury Distinguished Professor (2007), an Honorary Degree of Doctor of Science at the University of Florida (2006), the Havinga Medal (2006), Honorary Fellowship of the Royal Society of Chemistry (2006), the Nobel Prize in Chemistry (2005), Fellowship in the Royal Society of Chemistry (FRSC) (2004), the Tetrahedron Prize for Creativity in Organic Chemistry (2003), the Linus Pauling Award Medal (2003), the American Chemical Society Award for Creative Research in Homogenous or Heterogeneous Catalysis (2003), the American Chemical Society Arthur C. Cope Award (2002), the American Chemical Society Herman F. Mark Polymer Chemistry Award (2000), the Benjamin Franklin Medal in Chemistry (2000), the Fluka Prize – Reagent of the Year (1998), the Nagoya Medal of Organic Chemistry (1997), the American Chemical Society Award in Polymer Chemistry (1995), Fellowship in the American Academy of Arts & Sciences (1994), an American Chemical Society Arthur C. Cope Scholar Award (1990), Membership in the U.S. National Academy of Sciences (1989), the American Chemical Society National Award in Organometallic Chemistry (1988), an Alexander von Humboldt Fellowship (1975), The Camille and Henry Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar Award (1975), and the Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellowship (1974).

Professor Grubbs’ research interests include organometallic synthesis and mechanisms, organic synthesis and reagents, and polymer synthesis. Central to this research is the continued development of olefin metathesis catalysts.

Categories: leadership