Robert Emery Prud'homme was born in Ste-Martine, south of Montréal. After completing his studies in philosophy at the Séminaire de Valleyfield, he went into chemistry at the Université de Montréal. He received his PhD in polymer chemistry from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst in 1973, under the supervision of Richard Stein. From 1975 to 2003, he was a professor in the Department of Chemistry at Université Laval and, since 2003, in the Department of Chemistry at Université de Montréal, where he is the departmental chair.
Robert Prud’homme is a physical chemist known for his work on the solid state polymers. He made fundamental contributions to the fields of polymer blends, stereocomplexes, orientation and relaxation of polymers, on polymer morphology and crystallization and, most recently, the crystallization in ultrathin polymer films. He has supervised over 60 MSc students, 30 PhD students, and 60 postdoctoral fellows.
In 1990, he chaired the 33rd IUPAC International Symposium on Macromolecules (2,500 participants) and, in 2011, the Canadian Chemistry Conference and Exhibition (3,000 participants), both in Montreal. His work earned him numerous awards including the NSERC Steacie Fellowship in 1985–1987, the ACFAS Urgel-Archambault Prize in 1997 and, in 2011, the Prix Marie-Victorin, the highest distinction awarded in Quebec in natural sciences and engineering.