Prof. Robert Grubbs was born in Marshall County, Kentucky, USA in 1942. He finished his high school from Paducah Tilghman High School in Paducah, Kentucky, and then went to do his B.S. and M.S. in chemistry from the University of Florida. In 1968, he completed his Ph.D. study from Columbia University.
He was faculty of Michigan State University, and later shifted to the California Institute of Technology (better known as “CalTech”), where he still works to present. He was elected a member of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA. In 2005, he won the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in honor of the Grubbs’ Catalyst which helps to make Green Chemistry a reality. Prof. Grubbs’ most famous contribution is ‘olefin metatheses. An important substance in a metathesis reaction is catalyst, which helps a reaction go faster but does not involve in the process. In a metathesis reaction, the catalyst is needed to help swap the reagents so that a new chemical can be obtained. Grubbs’ discovered a special group of chemicals, ideal catalysts for metathesis. These special chemicals are so called Grubbs’ Catalysts. They are complex organic compounds, with a metal ion like ruthenium at the core. Grubbs’ Catalysts really speed up reactions and can be used widely without producing waste. Thus they stick to the principles of Green Chemistry.