Dr Andrew Howe, who has been a member of the SCI Colloid and Surface Chemistry Group Committee for over 20 years, received a Distinguished Service Award at the Group’s McBain Medal event on 11 December 2009.
What motivated you to get involved in SCI member-led activities?
AH: Three things – Exposure to excellent academic and industrial science; meeting and making friends with fellow colloid/interface/ polymer/ formulation scientists; and organising events on topics I wanted to learn about from speakers I wanted to hear.
Has working for the committee been a rewarding experience? If so, how?
AH: Absolutely. The above aims were all achieved, and I have also had exposure to, and been able to help with, some of the broader aspects of SCI.
What challenges have you met in all these years of committee work?
AH: Joining the activities (events, committees, awards) of the Colloid Groups of both SCI and RSC had its interesting moments and I learned to value the close and constructive involvement of SCI HQ with its Interest Groups.
Re-establishing the Colloid Group’s Student Fund, which enables student members of the Colloid Group to register without charge at many of our meetings, took a lot of time, but was well worthwhile.
Have you learnt something of value?
AH: If you can make time to contribute to SCI, then you are rewarded many times over. I’ve also learnt that colloid scientists are generally very nice people.
Do you think that the effort you’ve put in has paid off in any significant way?
AH: Anything I have achieved has been as part of a team – both committee members and SCI HQ staff, have been essential in making those good things happen. Since my departure from the Committee, I have been delighted at the progress the group has made, particularly the introduction of multiday events into a full programme of events.
Has it helped you progress your career?
AH: Service to SCI has given me the opportunity to take positions of responsibility, which has involved meeting many people and so has given me an excellent ‘network’ of scientific contacts. I hope that the skills, network and external recognition will help to counterbalance the many hours in Belgrave Square (enjoyable though they are!) instead of the lab.
Finally, were you excited to have been selected to receive a DSA?
AH: Deeply honoured and very grateful.