FaceOf: Jean Fréchet, King Abdullah University for Science and Technology executive

Jean Fréchet has been the senior vice president for research, innovation, and economic development at the King Abdullah University for Science and Technology (KAUST) since June 2017. 

Fréchet is an American chemist and his specialty revolves around the fields of chemical science, chemical and biological engineering, material science and engineering, polymer science, microfluidics, and nanotechnology. 

His educational background includes a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from the Institut de Chimie et Physique Industrielles de Lyon from Villeurbanne, France; master’s of science and Ph.D. in organic chemistry from Syracuse University, US; and a master’s of science and Ph.D. in polymer chemistry from the College of Forestry from State University of New York.

In his prior experience, Fréchet was a faculty member in the field of chemistry at the University of Ottawa in Canada from 1973 to 1987 as he became the IBM Professor of Polymer Chemistry at Cornell University that year. 

He became the faculty member of chemistry at the University of California in Berkeley and was titled the Henry Rapoport Chair of Organic Chemistry in the Department of Chemistry in 2003. 

Fréchet published about 900 scientific papers and was awarded over 70 US patents.

Recently, KAUST signed a major international Master Research Agreement with US Lockheed Martin, the world’s largest security and aerospace company. The agreement is the first of its kind that Lockheed Martin has signed outside the US.


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