After a distinguished 54-year career at the University of Texas at Austin, CEC faculty member Professor Alan Cowley retired on August 31, 2015. A retirement symposium was held on October 9-10.
Alan played a major role in helping establish the department of Chemistry as one of the best in the country through his research, teaching, and service. As one of the leading figures in the world-wide renaissance of main group chemistry, he made numerous seminal scientific contributions in inorganic chemistry. His early work was with the group 15 elements, especially the chemistry of phosphorus. Particularly noteworthy contributions include the isolation of compounds with multiple bonds between the heavier main-group elements. Later his attention turned to group 13, and he helped pioneer the development of single-source precursors to important electronic materials such as gallium arsenide, indium phosphide and gallium nitride. Although Alan served the community in many high profile roles, one that that had a major impact on the entire field of chemistry was his involvement in chairing the Gordon Research Conferences for many years. During his career, Alan had over 560 publications and has been recognized for his outstanding achievements with numerous awards. Among these are the ACS Award for Distinguished Service to Inorganic Chemistry and the Royal Society of Chemistry Award for Main-Group Chemistry. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1988. Alan's infectious enthusiasm for chemistry remains undiminished, and he can be found still working in his office. His new title is The Robert A. Welch Chair of Chemistry, Emeritus.