Elected: 1981
Discipline: Unspecified at this time
Professor Alan Ernest Owen FRSE
Alan Owen was born on 7 October 1928 in Hastings, Sussex. He was a student at Brighton College of Technology from 1949 to 1953. In 1953 he joined English Clays Research Laboratories at St Austell, Cornwall, to work on the physical chemistry of clays and mineral processing and then in 1955 moved to the Mullard Research Laboratories to research on photoconductors. In 1956 he joined the Department of Glass Technology in the University of Sheffield where he obtained a PhD studying the dielectric properties of glass.

From 1959 to 1962 Alan worked at the Westinghouse Research Laboratories in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, researching on crystal growth, oxidation and diffusion in semiconductors. He returned in 1962 to the University of Sheffield as a Lecturer in the Department of Glass Technology and pursued research in electronic conduction in vitreous semiconductors with grants from the UK Research Council and the Ministry of Defence. In 1967 he joined the University of Edinburgh as a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Electrical Engineering; he became a Reader in 1969 and Professor of Physical Electronics in 1981. He was Head of Department from 1989 to 1994 having previously held the special position of Research Professor for three years. This post was funded by British Petroleum International Limited and involved close liaison with BP scientists and engineers on a broad range of company interests concerned with aspects of solid state electronics.

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