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Professor Alan Cowley


Alan Herbert Cowley was born in Manchester, England. He was educated at the University of Manchester, England, where he received the following degrees: Bachelor of Science with Honors in Chemistry in 1955, Master of Science in 1956, and Doctor of Philosophy in 1958. He was a Postdoctoral Fellow, and later an Instructor at the University of Florida during the period 1958-1960. During the years 1960-1961 he was a Technical Officer with the Exploratory Group of Imperial Chemical Industries (Billingham Division), England. From 1962 to 1988 he was at The University of Texas at Austin, where he held the following positions: Assistant Professor of Chemistry, 1962-1967, Associate Professor of Chemistry, 1967-1970, Professor of Chemistry, 1970-1984, George W. Watt Centennial Professor of Chemistry, 1984-1988. From 1988-1989, he was the Sir Edward Frankland Professor of Inorganic Chemistry at Imperial College, London, England. He returned to the University of Texas at Austin in 1989 and currently holds the Robert A. Welch Chair in Chemistry. He is the author of more than 500 publications on main group and transition metal chemistry, and is the winner of several awards, including most recently the 2009 ACS Distinguished Service Award in the Advancement of Inorganic Chemistry.



Royal Society of Chemistry Award for Main-Group Element Chemistry, 1980
Centenary Medal and Lectureship, Royal Society of Chemistry, 1986
American Chemical Society Southwest Regional Award, 1986
Stiefvater Memorial Award and Lectureship, University of Nebraska, 1987
Elected a Fellow of the Royal Society (Britain’s National Academy), 1988
Chemical Pioneer Award of the American Institute of Chemists, 1994
von Humboldt Prize, 1996
Chevalier dans l'Ordre des Palmes Académiques. Decoration awarded by the French Government, 1997
Honorary Doctorate, University of Bordeaux I, 2003
Elected a Corresponding Member of the Mexican Academy of Sciences, 2004

Other Honors

Dalton Chemical Scholar, University of Manchester, 1956-1958
Deutsche Akademische Austauschdienst Fellowship, 1973
Guggenheim Fellowship, 1976-1977
Jeremy I. Musher Memorial Lectureship. The Hebrew University, Jerusalem, Israel, 1979
Appointed to the Editorial Board of Inorganic Chemistry, 1979-1983
Appointed to the Editorial Board of Chemical Reviews, 1984-1988
Chairman, Gordon Research Conference on Inorganic Chemistry, 1983
Appointed to the Board of Inorganic Syntheses, 1983-. Editor-in-Chief of Volume 31
Elected to Council of Gordon Research Conferences, 1984-1987
College of Natural Sciences Award for Teaching Excellence, 1984
Appointed to the Editorial Board of Polyhedron, 1984-1998
Mobay Lecturer, University of New Hampshire, 1985
Karcher Lecturer, University of Oklahoma, 1985
Appointed to the Editorial Board of the Journal of the American Chemical Society, 1986-1991
Elected Councilor, American Chemical Society, Division of Inorganic Chemistry, 1986-1989
Appointed to the Editorial Board of the Journal of Organometallic Chemistry, 1987-
Appointed to the American Chemical Society Committee on Divisional Activities, 1987-1989
Reilly Lecturer, University of Notre Dame, 1987
Appointed to the AFOSR Chemical Sciences Review Panel, 1987-1990
Appointed to the Editorial Board of Organometallics, 1988-1991
Appointed to the Editorial Board of Progress in Inorganic Chemistry, 1988-
Appointed to the Editorial Board of Heteroatom Chemistry, 1988-1996
Elected to the Board of Trustees of the Gordon Research Conferences, 1989-1998
Appointed to the Editorial Board of Advances in Inorganic Chemistry, 1989 -
Irvine Lecturer, St. Andrews University, Scotland, 1989
Fischel Lecturer, Vanderbilt University, 1991
Frontiers of Science Lecturer, Wayne State University, 1991
Appointed by Governor Richards of Texas to the Executive Board of Texas Science and Mathematics
Renaissance Centers, 1991-93
Baxter Lecturer, Northern Illinois University, 1992
Appointed to the Scientific Committee of the European Journal of Solid State and Inorganic Chemistry,
Co-Chairman, First Gordon Research Conference on Science Education, 1992
Frontiers in Materials Science Lecturer, University of Iowa, 1993
Elected Vice-Chair, Gordon Research Conferences Board of Trustees, 1993
Elected Chair, Gordon Research Conferences Board of Trustees, 1994-95
Inaugural Etter Memorial Lecturer, University of Minnesota, 1995
President, International Council on Main Group Chemistry, 1997-98
Appointed to the International Advisory Board of Dalton Transactions, 1997-2000
Institut Universitaire de France Professor, 1999
Appointed to the Scientific Advisory Board of Materia, Inc., 2004
Appointed to the Science and Engineering Advisory Board of Orfid, Inc., 2004
Appointed to the International Advisory Board of the Jordanian Journal of Chemistry, 2004
Gauss Professorship, Göttingen Academy of Sciences, 2005