Robert H. Grubbs

Robert Howard Grubbs ( born February 27, 1942 in Calvert City, Kentucky) is an American chemist and Nobel laureate. Grubbs is a professor at the California Institute of Technology.


Grubbs studied at the University of Florida in Gainesville, where he made his Bachelor of Science in 1963. Two years later he received his master's degree and eventually he received his Ph.D. in 1968 at Columbia University in New York with Ronald Breslow.

After graduating, he spent a year at Stanford University and then at the Michigan State University in East Lansing. He was first an assistant professor and remained there until 1978. Since then he has been Professor of Chemistry at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena. Since 1990, he has the Victor and Elizabeth Atkins Chair held.


Grubbs conducts research especially in the field of organometallic chemistry and synthetic chemistry, especially about catalysts. 1992 he developed a catalyst for olefin polymerization of the cyclic hydrocarbons. This so-called Grubbs catalyst constitutes an improvement of two years earlier developed by Richard R. Schrock catalyst, so that it was now possible to perform olefin metathesis even without perfect laboratory conditions. He investigated further in the field of ring-opening metathesis polymerization, also known as " living polymerization ". With its name and an apparatus is connected, which allows the necessary oxygen for these tests and anhydrous solvent without the usual distillation and highly reactive additives such as To produce alkali metals.

1995 Grubbs was awarded the ACS Award in Polymer Chemistry. In 2005 he received for "the development of Metathesemethode for organic synthesis " along with Yves Chauvin and Richard R. Schrock received the Nobel Prize for Chemistry. 2013 he received an honorary doctorate at the RWTH Aachen.


  • RH Grubbs (Ed.): Handbook of Metathesis, Wiley -VCH, Weinheim 2003, ISBN 978-3-527-30616-9