Chemical Heritage Foundation and Pittcon to Present Pittcon Heritage Award to Creators of Thermo Instrument Systems

March 7, 2011 - Philadelphia

The Chemical Heritage Foundation (CHF) today announced that George N. Hatsopoulos, John N. Hatsopoulos, and Arvin H. Smith, who created Thermo Instrument Systems (THI), will receive the 2011 Pittcon Heritage Award. Jointly sponsored by the Pittsburgh Conference on Analytical Chemistry and Applied Spectroscopy (Pittcon) and CHF, this award recognizes outstanding individuals whose entrepreneurial careers have shaped the instrumentation community, inspired achievement, promoted public understanding of the modern instrumentation sciences, and highlighted the role of analytical chemistry in world economies. This 10th annual award will be presented at Pittcon 2011 in Atlanta, which begins March 13.

“George, John, and Arvin combined innovation and business acumen to create one of the leading instrument makers in the world,” said Thomas R. Tritton, president and CEO of CHF. “Under their leadership, Thermo Instrument Systems became a world center of instrument innovation.”

The awardees will receive the Pittcon Heritage Award at the 62nd annual Pittsburgh Conference. Pittcon is the world's annual premier conference and exposition on laboratory science. It is organized by The Pittsburgh Conference on Analytical Chemistry and Applied Spectroscopy, a Pennsylvania not-for-profit educational corporation that comprises the Spectroscopy Society of Pittsburgh (SSP) and the Society for Analytical Chemists of Pittsburgh (SACP).

Pittcon attracts nearly 20,000 attendees from industry, academia, and government from 90 countries worldwide and is managed by a committee of volunteers and a 10-person staff. Proceeds from Pittcon fund science education and outreach at all levels, kindergarten through adult.

The Pittsburgh Conference donates nearly a million dollars each year in the form of science-equipment grants, research grants, scholarships and internships for students, awards to teachers and professors, and grants to public-science centers, libraries, and museums.

More information is available at www.pittcon.org.

About the Awardees

George N. Hatsopoulos, John N. Hatsopoulos, and Arvin H. Smith together built THI, which was the world’s leading producer of analytical instruments.

Thermo Electron was the brainchild of George Hatsopoulos, who as a boy dreamed of following in the footsteps of Thomas Edison, both as an inventor and entrepreneur. In the post-war period Hatsopoulos came to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he obtained a Ph.D. in 1956. In that same year, he launched THI.

Initially Hatsopoulos based the company on thermionic-converter technology that he had invented. In the 1970s THI moved into the field of instrumentation by manufacturing a chemiluminesce instrument for the auto industry. Heading this effort was Arvin H. Smith, who had shortly before come to Thermo from NASA.

In the mid 1980s Thermo’s instrument business really began to expand. In 1986 Smith became CEO of THI. Over the next decade, THI acquired, developed, and spun out some of the most storied franchises in instrumentation. Smith demonstrated an incredible ability to transform troubled businesses into profitable ones, and soon THI became the largest analytical instrumentation company in the world.

By 2000 George and John Hatsopoulos and Arvin had retired. Today the Hatsopouloses and Smith are involved in a number of ventures, including GlenRose Instruments, a venture they have launched together.

About the Pittcon Heritage Award

The Pittcon Heritage Award is jointly sponsored by the Pittsburgh Conference on Analytical Chemistry and Applied Spectroscopy (Pittcon) and the Chemical Heritage Foundation. This award recognizes outstanding individuals whose entrepreneurial careers shaped the instrumentation and laboratory supplies community, inspired achievement, promoted public understanding of the modern instrumentation sciences, and highlighted the role of analytical chemistry in world economies.

The award is presented annually at a special ceremony during Pittcon. The recipient’s name and achievements are added to a roster of Pittcon Hall of Fame members that includes such industry pioneers as Arnold Beckman, Robert Finnigan, Chester Fisher, Aaron Martin, James Waters, and others.

About Chemical Heritage Foundation

The Chemical Heritage Foundation fosters an understanding of chemistry’s impact on society. An independent nonprofit organization, CHF strives to:

• Inspire a passion for chemistry;
• Highlight chemistry’s role in meeting current social challenges; and
• Preserve the story of chemistry and its technologies and industries across centuries.

CHF maintains major collections of instruments, fine art, photographs, papers, and books. We host conferences and lectures, support research, offer fellowships, and produce educational materials. Our museum and public programs explore subjects ranging from alchemy to nanotechnology.

 

 

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