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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.



  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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61 news items

Tue, 26 Aug 2014 14:44:14 -0700

Michael Dunlop, the 2013 race winner and lap record holder, was first away from the start line on the Team Classic Suzuki XR69 but Anstey had established a three second lead over Jackson Racing's James Hillier, on the ZXR 750 Kawasaki by the first ...

Belfast Telegraph

Belfast Telegraph
Wed, 27 Aug 2014 02:02:01 -0700

On lap two Dunlop was slowing and at Ramsey it was reported his Suzuki was misfiring badly, confirmed when he retired at the end of the lap. James Hillier led the race on lap two as he didn't refuel until end of the lap while Anstey pitted at the end ...


Tue, 26 Aug 2014 08:11:15 -0700

Bruce Anstey set new lap and race records in Tuesday afternoon's Motorsport Merchandise Forumla One Classic TT, coming home over a minute clear of James Hillier and Russ Mountford as main rival Michqel Dunkop ground to a halt at the end of lap two.

Belfast Telegraph

Belfast Telegraph
Mon, 25 Aug 2014 02:00:00 -0700

There is a quality field waiting in the wings if the 'big two' strike problems with James Hillier, Russ Mountford, Ryan Farquhar, Gary Johnson, Lee Johnston and Jamie Hamilton all chasing a podium finish. Triple UGP/Dundrod 150 winner James Cowton has ...

Belfast Telegraph

Belfast Telegraph
Thu, 21 Aug 2014 02:42:15 -0700

Other notable lap times came from James Hillier on the Jackson Racing ZXR 750 Kawasaki (119.396mph), Russ Mountford on the York Suzuki Racing XR69 (119.127mph), Mistral Racing's Steve Mercer on a ZXR Kawasaki (118.298), Ryan Farquhar on ...
Birmingham Mail
Fri, 15 Aug 2014 04:06:35 -0700

But with six years with the Life Guards, a unit of the Household Cavalry, under his belt, the 40-year-old former Captain James Hillier Blount, is used to that reaction. “I have said before that I used to go round the world with a bunch of blokes in a ...


Wed, 20 Aug 2014 01:59:25 -0700

Quattro Plant Kawasaki has enjoyed some fantastic success with James Hillier at the TT. Is that something that interests you? Dan Linfoot: It does, yeah. Every May I watch it on ITV and think, 'I've got to do this next year.' Then it gets to June [and ...

Scunthorpe Telegraph

Scunthorpe Telegraph
Sat, 23 Aug 2014 02:56:15 -0700

His best time though during the week of practice was 19 minutes, 16 seconds, set on Wednesday. His average speed of 117.426mph means he will start Monday's race in seventh spot. Bruce Anstey, Dunlop and James Hillier have qualified in first, second and ...

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