Department of Chemistry University of Oxford

The Alan Howe Prize: Best Junior Demonstrator


Please Consider Giving in Alan's honour.
Our goal is to fund this prize in perpetuity through donations from the alumni community. 
This prize brings significant positive benefits to the teaching labs, and every gift will truly make a difference.

Support "The Alan Howe Prize for Best Junior Demonstrator" Donate Online Now 



A Message from a Donor:

 Dear Alan

 I have much pleasure in contributing  to your fund, to help to ensure,  in  such a wonderful way, the  continuation of the very important  work from which you are now  retiring.

 I only wish, from all that I have read  regarding your career in the Dyson  Perrins, that you had been around at  the time when I used to work there  as an undergraduate. It was one  year behind Margaret Thatcher! I  know that you would have been a  great stimulus and help to me. 

 You will always be a great role model  for all the future "Alan Howes".

 Through the Alan Howe Fund, you  are assuring a great succession of  "Alan Howes" in the Dyson Perrins   Lab.

 Charles Wickham-Jones
 (ChCh, 1945)



Created in honour of Alan's service to the Chemistry Department, the Alan Howe Prize is funded through the generous donations of Oxford Chemistry alumni.  Prof. Tim Softley, Head of Oxford Chemistry at the establishment of the award, says "The quality of the demonstrating can make or break the practical course, and I am so glad that, through the generosity of our alumni we have been able to establish this prize to recognise where an excellent job is being done."

Best Demonstrators 2017

The Alan Howe Prizes for 2017 were presented to Clara Hongri Suo and Nick Parker by HoD Prof. Mark Brouard at the Oxford Alumni Weekend celebrations.













Previous winners

Best Demonstrators for 2016

The Alan Howe Prizes for 2016 were presented to Minh Tran and David Robinson by HoD Prof. Mark Brouard at the Oxford Alumni Weekend celebrations.




























Best Demonstrator 2015

The Alan Howe Prize for 2015 was presented to Dr Hua Wang by HoD Prof. Mark Brouard at the Annual Chemistry Alumni Reception. 

Hua says: "I knew Alan when I was in Oxford doing my DPhil and he remembered everyone's name and treated everyone with kindness.  He made the teaching experience in Oxford special and personal, and I could say that because the students and staff felt the same.  Great teachers and mentors make a difference for any student, and I feel very lucky to have known Alan before he retired and to have him as a role model."

In 2014, the first Alan Howe Prize was awarded to Kristina Csatayova and Rebecca Maksymowicz in recognition of their excellence and enthusiasm in the organic teaching laboratories.

Senior Lab Demonstrator Alan Howe will be retiring on August 31st 2013.Please help us celebrate this extraordinary man.

Thank You!

Senior Lab Demonstrator & Chief Technician Alan Howe retired in August 2013 after over 30 years in the Department of Chemistry. Thank you for helping us celebrate his extraordinary achievements. 


To date, over 180 alumni have written in with messages for Alan (presented to him in a booklet at his retirement), and many have also contributed towards the Prize for Best Junior Demonstrator.


A message from Alan:

Many many thanks to all who made contributions towards the booklet I was presented with to mark my retirement. It was a wonderful surprise and on reading it I really was taken aback as any happy memories were revived.

I can only say it gives me great pleasure to think that I was able to help to make life in the organic teaching labs a little easier. It is worth saying that it works both ways, so many thanks to everyone for contributing to my working life too.

Very best wishes for the future to one and all at whatever stage of your careers you have reached. 

Yours sincerely,
Alan Howe 

  "Whenever a group of chemistry alumni get together, there is always one name that brings universally fond memories. Friendly and approachable, Alan Howe knew who we were, what we were doing, and invariably where we were going wrong as we navigated our way through organic teaching labs. 

  It was Alan who taught me how to use an NMR spectrometer, and it was Alan who held the key to the reference samples.

  If it really went horribly wrong Alan would always be on hand to set you going again from the last point you'd reached. He'd tease and joke but he was also making sure we performed everything we were meant to. 

  Alan is remembered by all my peers for how much he helped us but I'm not sure we realized at the time exactly how smart he was being and I feel for future undergraduates who won't have him to turn to.

  Alan was the students' ally in the teaching lab, even if he was secretly teaching us all the time." 
Laura Howes,
Chemistry World (Merton, 2001)

The Alan Howe Prize for Best Junior Demonstrator

To celebrate his impact on the lives of countless undergraduates over the past 30 years, the Chemistry community of alumni and researchers created a prize in Alan's name, to be awarded annually to the Best Junior Demonstrator.

This prize help ensures that Alan's inspirational legacy of outstanding teaching, welcoming and friendly character, and incredible ability to help and remember each student can be carried on.