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The school with 3 Nobel laureates

Alfred NOBEL’s last wish was that an institution be set up that each year would reward people that had rendered a great service to humanity by improving or allowing considerable progress to be made in the field of knowledge and culture in 5 disciplines: peace, literature, chemistry, medicine and physics.

The Nobel prizes have been awarded every year since 1901.

1912: Victor GRIGNARD, Nobel Prize for Chemistry

Director of the school from 1921 to 1935, Victor GRIGNARD discovered a process that completely changed modern organic chemistry: the synthesis of mixed magnesium organic compounds. Today magnesium organic compounds have an even more important role as the building blocks in a great many fine organic chemical reactions in pharmacy, cosmetics and biotechnology.
Victor GRIGNARD has inspired the school with his commitment to research and development.

See the history of the school

More recently…

2005: Yves CHAUVIN, the Nobel Prize for Chemistry

Yves CHAUVINYves CHAUVIN, a former student at CPE Lyon (Ecole Supérieure de Chimie Physique Electronique de Lyon – ESCIL, 1954), Emeritus director of research at the surface organometallic chemistry laboratory (attached to the chemistry, catalysis and polymerisation laboratory (LC2P2) CNRS / CPE Lyon), former director of research at the Institut Français Du Pétrole, received the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 2005 for his work on the development of the metathesis method in organic synthesis.

Yves CHAUVIN (left) and his co-laureates Richard SCHROCK and Robert GRUBBS during the international symposium “Tomorrow… towards a selected chemistry” organised at CPE Lyon in September 2006He received the Nobel Prize jointly with Robert H. GRUBBS (Caltech/USA) and Richard R. SCHROCK (MIT/USA), who were present at CPE Lyon for the scientific conferences in September 2006 that were part of the international symposium “Tomorrow…towards a selected chemistry”.

The process developed by the 3 researchers is used “day to day in the chemical industry, essentially in developing pharmaceutical products and sophisticated plastic materials.” “Yves CHAUVIN is the spiritual father of homogenous catalysis and his conceptual contribution to the discovery of the mechanism of alkene metathesis was a particularly remarkable innovation.” Jean-Marie BASSET, member of the French academy of sciences, director of the Chemistry, Catalysis and Polymerisation Processes Laboratory (LC2P2) UMR 5265 CNRS - CPE Lyon


2007: Jean JOUZEL, joint winner of the Nobel Peace Prize

Jean JOUZELA “little bit” of a Nobel Peace Prize in 2007 for a former student, Jean JOUZEL! Jean JOUZEL, (Ecole Supérieure de Chimie Physique Electronique de Lyon – ESCIL, 1968), is a climatologist and vice president of the intergovernmental panel of experts on climate change (IPCC), set up in 1988 by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).

He was co-laureate of the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007, which was jointly attributed to Al GORE and the IPCC. Jean JOUZEL received the CNRS gold medal in 2002, the highest scientific distinction in France.