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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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1572 news items

Bath Chronicle

Bath Chronicle
Tue, 28 Jul 2015 01:37:00 -0700

... in his 110m hurdles heat in 13.41. He went on to finish eighth in the final in 13.67 after clipping a couple of hurdles early on. Sports Performance student David King, coached by James Hillier, was seventh in his heat in 13.68. Share0 Share0 ...

Isle of Man Today

Isle of Man Today
Tue, 21 Jul 2015 01:37:30 -0700

Conor Cummins and James Hillier will ride for CSC Racing at this year's Classic TT presented by Bennetts. Two of the TT's fastest ever riders have been confirmed as the Somerset-based CSC Racing's line-up, a move which firmly signals the team's ...

Gloversville Leader-Herald

Gloversville Leader-Herald
Sat, 25 Jul 2015 21:41:15 -0700

Dennis and Joanne Hinman of Gloversville, announce the engagement of their daughter, Amanda Marie Hinman, to James Rodney Hillier Jr., the son of Sharon and James Hillier Sr. of Johnstown. Hinman is a 2006 graduate of Gloversville High School and a ...


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 ...
Southern Gazette
Tue, 28 Jul 2015 05:00:00 -0700

The Under 10 Burry's Service Centre had James Hillier and Robins 241 defeat Scotiabank with a score of 12-8. Evan Badcock was honoured with player of the game for his team. McDonalds came out on top in their efforts against CIBC in the Under 12 Pike's ...

Belfast Newsletter

Belfast Newsletter
Thu, 23 Jul 2015 14:22:30 -0700

Meanwhile, Conor Cummins has joined James Hillier in the CSC Racing team for the Classic TT, with both riding Honda 500-4 machines in the Bennetts 500 race. Hillier will also compete in the 350cc race for the Somerset-based team. CSC Racing team ...

Bath Chronicle

Bath Chronicle
Fri, 24 Jul 2015 07:10:49 -0700

Sports performance student David King, coached by James Hillier, received a late call-up to the eventand will line up in heat two against Olympic silver-medallist Jason Richardson at 7.50pm. Eilidh Child – who, like Clarke, is part of Malcolm Arnold's ...

Belfast Telegraph

Belfast Telegraph
Thu, 23 Jul 2015 12:12:41 -0700

North West 200 rider Stephen Thompson, seriously injured in a crash at this year's north coast race, has lost his arm, his family has revealed. Ads by Google. The Crumlin man had been rushed to hospital after a three bike smash in which a spectator was ...

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