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Howell Edwards

Emeritus Professor

Faculty/Dept/School School of Chemistry and Bioscience
(Faculty of Life Sciences)
Telephone +441274 234608


Professor H.G.M. Edwards M.A., B.Sc., D.Phil., C.Chem., F.R.S.C. Emeritus Professor of Molecular Spectroscopy, University of Bradford ;  Honorary Scientific Adviser to the de Brecy Trust for the scientific evaluation of artworks.   Howell Edwards  read Chemistry at Jesus College, University of Oxford, and carried out research for his D.Phil. at Oxford on the chemical applications of Raman spectroscopy. Following a Research Fellowship at Jesus College , University of Cambridge, he took a lectureship in Structural and Inorganic Chemistry at the University of Bradford where he became Reader and then Professor of Molecular Spectroscopy and Head of Division of Chemical and Forensic Sciences. In 2003, he received the Sir Harold Thompson Award from Elsevier Science for his international contributions to vibrational spectroscopy. He is the recipient of the Emanuel Boricky Medal for 2008/2009 from Charles University, Prague, for distinguished international contributions to geochemistry and mineralogical analysis. He was awarded the Charles Mann Award from the US Federation of Analytical Chemical Spectroscopic Societies in 2011 for his international work on the applications of analytical Raman spectroscopy. He has recently been awarded the Norman Sheppard Award in vibrational spectroscopy by the IRDG in 2019.   In his research career he has published  over 1300 papers on Raman spectroscopy and its applications and is the co-editor of several books including  “Handbook of Raman Spectroscopy:From Laboratory to Process Line”( with I. Lewis , Marcel Dekker , New York , 2001) “Raman Spectroscopy in Archaeology and Art History” (with JM Chalmers , RSC Publishing , Cambridge, 2005 ; and an updated volume co-edited with P. Vandenabeele in 2018) ,  “ Raman and Infrared Spectroscopy in Forensic Science” (with JM Chalmers and MD Hargreaves , John Wiley & Sons , Chichester , UK, 2012 ) and “ Selected Topics in Analytical Archaeometry” (with P. Vandenabeele , RSC Publishing , Cambridge , 2012). He has recently authored “Swansea and Nantgarw Porcelains: A Scientific Reappraisal” (Springer, Dordrecht, 2017), designed for museum conservators, art historians and analytical scientists working at the arts/science interface and a further text on the scientific analysis of porcelains (“Nantgarw and Swansea Porcelains: An Analytical Perspective, Springer Nature, 2018) . He has also written several monographs on porcelains including Nantgarw Porcelain: The Pursuit of Perfection, Swansea Porcelain: The Vision of Lewis Dillwyn, Derby Porcelain: The Golden Age:1780-1830, and William Billingsley: The Enigmatic Porcelain Artist, Decorator and Manufacturer (with   MD Denyer) all  published in 2016 and 2017. He has written a book entitled “Porcelain to Silica Bricks:The Extreme Ceramics of William Weston Young, 1776-1847”, published by Springer in 2019.   He is member of the International Science Team on the RLS Raman instrument for the ExoMars 2020 mission , being responsible for biomolecular signature  detection, with the European Space Agency /IKI Roscosmos for the construction and terrestrial evaluation of a miniature Raman spectrometer adopted for a planetary robotic lander for surface and subsurface exploration and life–detection on Mars .The lander will deploy on the Martian surface in a “Search for Extinct and Extant Life” in which the miniaturised Raman RLS instrument will be the prime first-pass , screening analytical device for biosignatures. Professor Edwards is also a UK representative of the international Landing Site Selection Working Group for the ESA /Roscomos  ExoMars 2020 mission  for the evaluation of potential landing sites for the lander.   He has been Chairman and committee member of the Molecular Spectroscopy Group of the Analytical Division of the Royal Society of Chemistry (London) and is on the Scientific Committees of several international conferences in Raman spectroscopy . He is Honorary Scientific Adviser to the de Brecy Trust in the evaluation of the scientific composition of their collection of Renaissance and later period oil paintings.   He has acted as External Examiner for the Ph.D. degree for 20 Universities in the UK and has served on international tribunals and committees for doctoral degrees at the Universities of Amsterdam, Amman, Galway, Limerick, Copenhagen, Bilbao, Ghent, Charles University Prague, Pretoria, Witwatersrand, Valladolid, Valencia, Sydney, Brisbane (QUT), Deakin University and Melbourne. He has been Visiting and Honorary Professor at the Universities of Sydney (Australia), Juiz de Fora (Brazil), Sao Paulo (Brazil), Valladolid (Spain) and Charles University Prague (Czech Republic).   He has supervised 60 research students successfully at Bradford for the degree of Ph.D. and 14 for M.Phil. by research.