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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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4221 news items

Belfast Telegraph

Belfast Telegraph
Wed, 13 May 2015 01:19:00 -0700

The sun shone on James Hillier yesterday as the Hampshire racer turned up the heat in the Supertwin practice session. Also in this Section. North West 200 horror crash: Woman mown down in front of children as bike smashes into garden · Wee Lee ...


Mon, 18 May 2015 03:41:15 -0700

Strong results for Hillier at North West 200 Quattro Plant Muc-Off Kawasaki rider James Hillier enjoyed a strong day's racing at the International North West 200 road races on Saturday overcoming difficult weather conditions to post two top eight finishes.

Western Daily Press

Western Daily Press
Sat, 23 May 2015 01:15:00 -0700

"Leon now has the European U23 Championship qualifying times for both the 100m and 200m and it is very exciting times at the moment," said coach James Hillier. "That 100m last weekend was a massive PB, but Leon is still a work in progress and there is ...

Cycle News

Cycle News
Thu, 14 May 2015 12:07:30 -0700

Ryan Farquhar topped the listings in the Supertwins class on his SGS/KMR Kawasaki ahead of VRS Kawasaki's Martin Jessopp and Quattro Plant Kawasaki's James Hillier. Grand Prix legend Jeremy McWilliams was fourth quickest on the other SGS/KMR ...


Mon, 18 May 2015 07:24:41 -0700

With relatively good conditions for the race, some of the best all day, a good start to the six lap race saw Keith slot into eighth at the end of the opening lap and here he remained until half race distance, just behind John McGuinness, James Hillier ...

BBC News

BBC News
Wed, 10 Dec 2014 03:03:45 -0800

Isle of Man TT: James Hillier re-signs for Quattro Plant Kawasaki. Former TT winner James Hillier has re-signed for the Quattro Plant Kawasaki team for the 2015 International road races. Hillier, who claimed his first TT victory in the 2013 Supertwins ...

Bath Chronicle

Bath Chronicle
Mon, 18 May 2015 06:52:30 -0700

The sports performance student, coached by James Hillier, smashed his personal best as he won the 110m hurdles race in 13.69secs. "It was a PB and a massive progression, so I feel really, really good," said King, who won gold for the university at the ...

Belfast Telegraph

Belfast Telegraph
Sun, 17 May 2015 03:58:58 -0700

A female spectator is air lifted to the Royal Victoria Hospital after being injured during a crash incident during Saturday's superstock race at the North west 200 road races. Photo Tremaine Gregg/Pacemaker Press. 16 May 2015 ...

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