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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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1543 news items

Brantford Expositor

Brantford Expositor
Mon, 13 Apr 2015 16:26:15 -0700

Glenn Brown (left), manager at the Sanderson Centre, Doug Ouellette, principal at James Hillier School, Victoria Young, past chair of the James Hillier Foundation, and Stephen Horne, current foundation chair, announce An Evening with Chris Hadfield.


Tue, 14 Apr 2015 08:22:30 -0700

“We're hoping James Hillier will not just be associated with the school and foundation, but someone our youth will aspire to be like,” said Victoria Young, the outgoing chair of the James Hillier Foundation. The foundation kicked off a year-long ...

The Checkered Flag

The Checkered Flag
Fri, 03 Apr 2015 08:19:42 -0700

James Hillier will continue to ride for the Greenall Racing team at this year's Classic TT, with the aim to better his runners-up spot of 2014. SHARE ON: Joshua Close — April 3, 2015. hillier. James Hillier returns to Greenall Racing in 2015 (Credit ...
Thu, 02 Apr 2015 04:15:00 -0700

Isle of Man TT race winner James Hillier will return to the 2015 Bennetts Classic TT where he will once again ride for Greenall Racing. The 2013 Lightweight TT winner will ride the Greenall Racing ZXR750K Kawasaki in the four-lap Motorsport Merchandise ...

Gloucestershire Echo

Gloucestershire Echo
Sun, 12 Apr 2015 07:48:45 -0700

Captain James Hillier was was first in the sin bin for a ruck infringement and then second row Ryker Barrowcliffe joined him for a hand in the ruck. Chosen Hill soon made the most of the numerical advantage with James Wylie grabbing a try converted by ...

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 ...

Runway Girl Network

Runway Girl Network
Mon, 23 Mar 2015 11:58:47 -0700

In what might come across as a somewhat disingenuously worded email to Executive Club frequent flyers, the loyalty program's manager James Hillier confirms that, “for bookings made from 26 March 2015 British Airways will allocate a seat for all ...

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 ...

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