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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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1361 news items

Belfast Newsletter

Belfast Newsletter
Sun, 29 Nov 2015 13:56:15 -0800

The team will also retain the services of James Hillier for the International Road racing events at the North West 200 and Isle of Man TT. Last season, Hillier secured three podiums, two fourths and a sixth place finish earning him third in the 2015 TT ...


Sat, 28 Nov 2015 05:02:50 -0800

The team has also retain James Hillier for the Road Racing events at the North West 200 and Isle of Man TT. The Quattro Plant Muc-Off squad will also be the official entrant of Kawasaki UK for the 2016 roads season. Team principal Extance says he ...
Thu, 26 Nov 2015 07:56:15 -0800

You can't rule Bruce Anstey out of any race now that he's broken his duck in the big bike class while James Hillier has served his apprenticeship and is ready to challenge for a Superbike win. And the emerging threat of the dynamic Lee Johnston, the ...


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, 13 Nov 2015 04:01:55 -0800

James Hillier will stay with the Quattro Kawasaki team in 2016 to spearhead the team's roads campaign as he looks for a first big-bike win at the Isle of Man TT. Hillier took second behind John McGuinness in this year's Pokerstars Senior TT and also ...

Gloucestershire Echo

Gloucestershire Echo
Sun, 22 Nov 2015 09:03:45 -0800

He offloaded to James Hillier with Tom Bell on hand to score a fine try with Herbert adding the extras. Cheltenham were now playing with a swagger and they had double the points of the opposition (24-12) when Josh Stafford-Smith finished off an eight ...


Wed, 25 Nov 2015 05:30:00 -0800

Others lined up to talk through their laps include Michael Dunlop and James Hillier the latter man explaining what was going through his mind on his Kawasaki H2R parade lap from earlier in the year. And if you ever wondered what it feels like to race a ...


Sun, 22 Nov 2015 08:18:45 -0800

European U23 200m silver medallist Leon Reid (James Hillier) is an additional name to the list. Para-Futures is incorporated into the programme and will assist a sextet of athletes, including three 2015 IWAS World Games medallists. Molly Kingsbury ...

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