David A. Tirrell is the Ross McCollum-William H. Corcoran Professor of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering and Carl and Shirley Larson Provostial Chair at the California Institute of Technology. After earning his B.S. degree in Chemistry at MIT in 1974, Tirrell received his PhD in 1978 from the University of Massachusetts for research performed under the supervision of Otto Vogl. After a brief stay at Kyoto Univeristy, Tirrell was appointed as an assistant professor in the Department of Chemistry at Carnegie Mellon University. Tirrell returned to Amherst in 1984 as Director of the Materials Research Laboratory at the University of Massachusetts before moved to Caltech as a full professor in 1998. He served as chair of the Division of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering at Caltech from 1999 to 2009, and Director of the Beckman Institute from 2011 to 2017.
Tirrell's contributions to macromolecular chemistry have been recognized by this election to the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, the Institute of Medicine, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He has received the Arthur C. Cope Scholar, Carl Marvel, Harrison Howe, S. C. Ling and Madison Marshall Awards of the American Chemical Society, as well as the ACS Award in Polymer Chemistry. Tirrell holds the Chancellor's Medal from the University of Massachusetts; the G. N. Lewis Medal from the University of California, Berkeley; and a Doctor honoris causa from the Technical University of Eindhoven.
Information about Dr. Tirrell's research can be found on the Tirrell Lab website.
Dr. Tirrell is Caltech's tenth provost.