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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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1314 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 ...


Fri, 11 Sep 2015 05:57:51 -0700

And what a start to the school year it was for the students of James Hillier. They were on the edge of their seats waiting for the arrival of the famous spacewalking Canadian who graces the back of our $5 bill. His tell-it-like-it-is presentation was a ...

Brantford Expositor

Brantford Expositor
Thu, 10 Sep 2015 17:33:45 -0700

Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield signs a NASA suit belonging to five-year-old Ben Innes, a senior kindergarten student at James Hillier School on Thursday September 10, 2015 in Brantford, Ontario. Brian Thompson/Brantford Expositor/Postmedia Network.

Belfast Telegraph

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

Upper hand: James Hillier took advantage of the sun to finish 0.065seconds up on rival Ryan Farquhar in the Supertwin class. The sun shone on James Hillier yesterday as the Hampshire racer turned up the heat in the Supertwin practice session.

Brantford Expositor

Brantford Expositor
Fri, 13 Mar 2015 14:33:45 -0700

The James Hillier Public School Choir is singing the praises of mentoring in support of Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Grand Erie. The 44-member choir's rendition of I Thank You by The Tenors has earned them a finalist spot in the national 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) ...


Mon, 24 Aug 2015 06:30:00 -0700

TT rider James Hillier took the world's most powerful closed-course production motorcycle, the Kawasaki Ninja H2R, around the deadliest race course in world, the Isle of Man, and has described the experience in a new video. 25-year-old Quattro Plant ...


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 ...

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