Rob was a group member (undergraduate) from 1985-1987. He worked on some (silox)2V(O)R compounds that were a model for propylene oxidation. Then he moved into the [(silox)2TaH2]2 and the CO reduction work. Rob was famous for introducing the Jeopardy format into the Group Challenge question. He received a degree in chemistry, magna cum laude with distinction in all subjects.
Rob did his PhD work in the Schrock group 1987-1991 where he developed the first well-defined Re metathesis catalysts, first examples of heteroatom-substituted alkylidenes, and a new class of Re dimers containing unbridged Re=Re double bonds. He also developed new high-yield routes into Re chemistry and expanded our understanding of alkylidene rotamers. During this time, the group was doing work that lead to the 2005 Nobel in chemistry with Chauvin, Schrock and Grubbs. Rob gained further fame by masterminding the fake rejection letter for "Carbonylation of [tBu3SiNH]3ZrH and X-ray Structural Study of [tBu3SiNH]3ZrCH3," which was sent on official Organometallics stationery. Pete subsequently read this letter aloud at a Harvard-MIT seminar.
After his time at MIT, Rob did an NSF Postdoc with Ken Poeppelmeir at Northwestern University, where he worked on high temperature superconductors and gleaned some materials characterization skills. There he got attention for writting a letter to the editor of USA Today comparing the salaries of Madonna and university professors.
Rob has passed the years1993-2000 as an assistant professor of chemistry at the University of Kentucky, where his group studies many things such as Re imido complexes, sterically constrained bis-imido complexes, and supramolecular architectures. Additionally, Rob has gained numerous #1-ranked web pages on topics including organometallics, MSDS's, fire extinguishers, and more:
At his last count, Rob's stuff had over 150 top-10 matches at Google and some pages that he's developed have received over 800,000 hits per month.
Rob encourages all PTW group members to take a look at http://www.ilpi.com/fun/msds/
Rob founded ILPI in 1998, which originally focused on custom web-based training solutions and consulting. Now ILPI is moving into consulting on environmental and occupational health. He's also launched a retail division, Safety Emporium, which carries lab and safety supplies. All PTW alumni and wannabees will automatically receive a 0.00002% discount on their orders at checkout, but if you want a bigger one, you'll have to ask.g