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Grotjahn played many roles in his 25 years at SDSU and earned international recognition for his contributions in chemistry

Doug Grotjahn


Douglas B. Grotjahn, Chemistry professor emeritus, has died.

Grotjahn was one of the department’s most prolific researchers with an international reputation for his expertise in organic and organometallic chemistry. He was director of the department’s Joint Doctoral Program for almost 20 years.

Since joining San Diego State University in 1998, Grotjahn also served as a member of the University Copyright and Patent Committee, University Conflict of Interest Committee and the UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center with which SDSU partners.

He became Professor at SDSU in 2002, working on novel catalysis and organic synthesis, with his latest research focusing on challenging problems in green chemistry and clean energy.

“We are very saddened by Doug’s passing,” said Jeff Roberts, College of Sciences dean. “He was a wonderful person who made many valuable contributions to research on our campus and in the field as a whole.”

Grotjahn is an alumnus of Reed College and UC Berkeley. Before coming to SDSU, he was an assistant professor at Arizona State University. He also enjoyed traveling and was a true citizen of the world, speaking several languages fluently.

In his many roles at SDSU over 25 years, Grotjahn has positively affected many lives as a leader, mentor, and friend to all in the Chemistry department.

“Doug was seen by many as a luminary in the field of organometallic chemistry,” said Jeff Gustafson, chair of the Chemistry and Biochemistry Department who was an undergraduate researcher in Grotjahn’s lab from 2003-2006. “He was also one of the kindest individuals, always happy to offer his time and advice.”

SDSU’s Counseling & Psychological Services has resources available for anyone that needs help in the grieving process.

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