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Nobel Laureate Visits UT


This past spring, the Department of Chemistry co-hosted a lecture featuring Nobel Laureate Richard R. Schrock. Schrock was invited as part of the East Tennessee chapter of the American Chemical Society’s S.C. Lind Lecture Series, which is designed to bring exceptional scientists and researchers to East Tennessee. 

Richard Schrock received the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 2005 for his work on “the development of the metathesis method in organic synthesis.” In 1990 Schrock successfully produced a metallic compound that aids in metathesis, a process that has contributed to more effective and environmentally sound practices in industry. Schrock shared this award with Yves Chauvin and Robert H. Grubbs.

In his lecture, “How Molybdenum and Tungsten-Based Olefin Metathesis Catalysts are formed from Olefins,” Schrock addressed how heterogeneous and homogeneous alkylidene complexes are formed from olefins. 

More than 100 students and faculty members from the Department of Chemistry, the university, and the East Tennessee chapter of the ACS were in attendance. Following the lecture, Schrock answered questions and engaged with students one-on-one, providing a unique opportunity for graduate students to discuss research with an internationally renowned scientist.

Schrock earned his PhD from Harvard University, followed by a postdoctoral appointment at the University of Cambridge. In 1975 he joined the faculty at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and became a full professor in 1980. Schrock was named the Frederick G. Keyes Professor of Chemistry at MIT in 1989 and is now Professor Emeritus. In 2019, he joined the faculty of his alma mater, the University of California, Riverside, where he is now the Distinguished Professor and George K. Helmkamp Founder’s Chair of Chemistry.