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From the Chemistry Department

Alan Cowley Retiring After 54 Years

Professor Alan Cowley, who has had a distinguished 54-year career at the University of Texas, has announced he will retire effective August 31, 2015.


Professor Cowley has long been a leader in our department, and he played a major role in helping establish our department as one of the best in the country through his research, his teaching, and his 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 Professor Cowley 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, Professor Cowley has 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.


Professor Cowley's infectious enthusiasm for chemistry remains undiminished. Accordingly, plans are underway for a symposium that will be held in his honor, likely this Fall. A formal announcement is forthcoming.


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