Petru Poni (born: 4th January 1841, Săcăreşti, Iaşi , deceased: 2nd April 1925, Iaşi) – chemist, Romanian professor, member of the Romanian Academy

Between 1852 and 1859 he attended the High School of the Mihaileana Academy of Iasi. He continued his studies in physics and chemistry in Paris, as scholar of the Collège de France and of Sorbonne. When he returned home in 1866, he was appointed teacher at The National High School. In October 1878, he was appointed, by contest, professor at the Department of Chemistry of the University of Iasi, a position that he held for 33 years. Here, he established the first chemistry laboratory of the University of Iasi (1882), and the Department of Organic Chemistry (1891). In 1897, together with Anastasie Obregia, he established a modern chemistry laboratory in the new building of the University. In 1903, he began delivering a new lecture – “The Chemical Study of Oil”. He published the first textbooks of chemistry and physics in Romanian. He cooperated in setting up the Romanian Society of Sciences in 1890, and the Society of Sciences in 1900. Petru Poni conducted the first research on the chemical composition of minerals in Romania.

In 1889, he was elected member of the Romanian Academy, later to become its president. He was three times appointed Minister of Culture and Education. He retired in 1911.