The production of fuel, detergents and pharmaceutical medications all owe their environmentally friendly production processes to the work of UCR incoming Professor of Chemistry and Nobel prize-winner Richard Schrock. A UCR alumnus himself, Shrock helped pioneer methods of olefin metathesis which allows for a cleaner, more efficient production of a multitude of chemical products.
Returning to his alma mater, Schrock brings with him an impressive legacy of scientific research. “Professor Schrock is an inspirational role model for UCR students and faculty,” wrote Cynthia Larive, professor of chemistry and provost and executive vice chancellor. “In addition to helping to spotlight the excellent research being carried out at UCR, Prof. Schrock brings to campus a wealth of experience and connections that will help our junior faculty advance in their careers.”
Having graduated from UCR, Schrock continued at Harvard, where he graduated with a doctorate in chemistry in 1971. After working for DuPont, a material sciences conglomerate responsible for such inventions as teflon, he joined the faculty at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1975. He became the Frederick G. Keyes Professor of Chemistry in 1989, nine years after becoming a full professor.
Schrock, along with Yves Chauvin and Robert Grubbs, won the Nobel Prize for chemistry in 2005 for furthering scientific knowledge of the structures and functions of certain catalysts used in olefin metathesis. His research focuses on organic synthesis, an area of chemistry concerned with creating organic compounds, which are often complex and difficult to synthesize. This work has paved the way for the more environmentally efficient production of many common products.
Schrock is also a member of several important groups, including the National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He has also won many awards, including the ACS Award in Organometallic Chemistry in 1985 and the F. Albert Cotton Award in Synthetic Inorganic Chemistry in 2006. He was also elected as a Foreign Member of the Royal Society in 2008.