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Chemistry Nobel Laureate and Former MSU Chemistry Faculty Robert Grubbs dies at 79

Prof. Robert H. Grubbs c. 2017
Prof. Robert H. Grubb

Robert H. Grubbs, a Nobel laureate and the Victor and Elizabeth Atkins professor of chemistry at the California Institute of Technology, died Dec. 19, 2021, at the age of 79.

Prof. Grubbs was on the faculty ay MSU from 1969 to 1978, and mainly developed novel organometallic catalysts and used them to make new compounds and polymers. But his impact on chemistry went beyond his research.

He won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 2005 along with Richard R. Schrock of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Yves Chauvin of the French Institute of Petroleum. The three chemists shared the award equally for their work developing olefin metathesis, a key reaction for redistributing carbon-carbon bonds by breaking and then remaking C–C double bonds.

Consideration of the Mechanism of the Metal Catalyzed Olefin Metathesis Reaction