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James Hillier
James Hillier.jpg
Born (1915-08-22)August 22, 1915
Brantford, Ontario, Canada
Died January 15, 2007(2007-01-15) (aged 91)
Princeton, New Jersey
Citizenship Canadian
Nationality Canadian
Institutions RCA
Alma mater University of Toronto
Known for Commercializing the electron microscope
President of the Electron Microscope Society of America (1945)
Notable awards IEEE Founders Medal (1981)
Not to be confused with the British actor James Hillier (actor).

James Hillier, OC (August 22, 1915 – January 15, 2007) was a Canadian-born scientist and inventor who designed and built, with Albert Prebus, the first successful high-resolution electron microscope in North America in 1938.[1]


Born in Brantford, Ontario, the son of James and Ethel (Cooke) Hillier, he received a Bachelor of Arts in Mathematics and Physics (1937), Master of Arts (1938), and a Ph.D (1941) from the University of Toronto, where, as a graduate student, he completed a prototype of the electron microscope that had been invented by Ernst Ruska. This transmission electron microscope was used as a prototype for later electron microscopes.

In 1941, he went to the United States of America and joined the Radio Corporation of America in Camden, New Jersey. He became General Manager, RCA Laboratories (1957); Vice President, RCA Laboratories (1958); Vice President, Research and Engineering (1968); Executive Vice President, Research and Engineering (1969); and Executive Vice President and Chief Scientist (1976). New technologies developed during his tenure include the system that became RCA SelectaVision. (Note: RCA Laboratories, located in Princeton, NJ, became independent of RCA as a result of the corporate take-over by General Electric in 1986 and became Sarnoff Corporation, a subsidiary of SRI International through 2011, when it was absorbed by SRI.) Hillier spent many years refining the electron microscope and marketing it to research laboratories and universities, receiving a total of 41 patents for devices and processes.

After retiring from RCA in 1977, Dr. Hillier advised on the role of technology in the Third World and promoted science education. Although he became a U.S. citizen in 1945, Hillier remained involved with the Brantford community throughout his lifetime. The James Hillier Foundation, established in 1993, awards annual scholarships to Brant County students pursuing education in science.

In 1936, he married Florence Marjory Bell, a union that lasted until Florence's death in 1992. They had two sons: James Robert Hillier and William Wynship Hillier.

On January 15, 2007, Hillier died in Princeton, New Jersey due to a stroke.



  1. ^ Newberry, Sterling (September 2007). "Obituary: James Hillier". Physics Today 60 (9): 87–88. Bibcode:2007PhT....60i..87N. doi:10.1063/1.2784698. 
  • Ball, Vicent and Bauslaugh, Cheryl (January 18, 2007). "James Hillier". Brantford Expositor, pp. A1-A2, A8, A10-A11.

External links[edit]

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Hillier — Please support Wikipedia.
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2774 news items


Fri, 12 Jun 2015 18:12:28 -0700

Kawasaki rider James Hillier is looking to claim the fastest speed ever recorded for a motorcycle on closed roads at the Isle of Man TT after registering over 206 mph on the famous Sulby straight riding a Ninja H2R in a parade lap. The Quattro Plant ...

The Checkered Flag

The Checkered Flag
Wed, 03 Jun 2015 08:11:15 -0700

James Hillier has been invited to ride the new supercharged Kawasaki Ninja H2R at this year's Isle of Man TT. Hillier already has a busy schedule at this year's event, with the 30-year-old competing in all events baring two, and will now add the 326bp ...


Thu, 04 Jun 2015 04:00:20 -0700

Here's one more thing that adds extra excitement to this year's Isle of Man TT. On June 10th, Quattro Plant Kawasaki rider James Hillier will be riding the Kawasaki Ninja H2R around the Snaefell Mountain. This is most likely the first top-ranking road ...


Sun, 07 Jun 2015 16:18:07 -0700

James Hillier celebrated his maiden Superbike TT rostrum with an excellent ride on the Quattro Plant Kawasaki in Sunday's RST Superbike race. Hillier gained a place when Michael Dunlop crashed out at the Nook on the sixth and final lap, making a big ...

Brantford Expositor

Brantford Expositor
Mon, 15 Jun 2015 18:23:20 -0700

High school students Matthew Csordas (left), Mihai Dumbrava, Noah Kunej and Joel Ruhland are recipients of full four-year scholarships by the James Hillier Scholarship Foundation. (Brian Thompson / The Expositor) ...


Thu, 02 Jul 2015 07:26:15 -0700

The 13-year-old James Hillier Public School student graduated Grade 8 this week without missing a single day of school. He didn't even get a late slip in nine years of education. He has not missed one day of school from senior kindergarten to Grade 8.

Bath Chronicle

Bath Chronicle
Thu, 02 Jul 2015 04:26:15 -0700

"The whole focus of the year for Leon has been the European Championships so to qualify so comfortably is really good," said coach James Hillier, who works from the University of Bath. "Qualifying was just ticking a box for Leon because he is not going ...


Tue, 09 Jun 2015 13:03:45 -0700

James Hillier and the Quattro Plant Muc-Off Kawasaki team narrowly missed out on their second podium of the 2015 Isle of Man TT Races when the Hampshire rider finished fourth in Tuesday's Superstock race, just 0.270s adrift of third placed Lee Johnston.

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