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The Williams-Wright Award

2014 Award Recipient

The Coblentz Society is pleased to introduce the recipient of the 2014 Williams-Wright Award, Dr. Mike Doyle.

Mike Doyle is the President of Axiom Analytical, Inc., a manufacturer of sample interfacing equipment and systems for molecular spectroscopy.  He is also President of Symbion Systems, which provides standardized process analytical software. Before founding Axiom, he was the President of Laser Precision Corp. and the founder of its Analect Instruments Division, the first manufacturer of robust, process compatible, FTIR spectrometers.

Mike received his PhD in Physics from the University of California at Berkeley where he started his spectroscopy career with a thesis on magnetic resonance spectroscopy.  After receiving his PhD, Mike entered the new field of laser development, first at Hughes Aircraft Company where he was in charge of gas laser development. In this capacity, he developed the first mercury laser and performed fundamental work which led to the development of the first ion laser.  He then moved on to Philco-Ford Corporation (later Ford Aerospace), where he carried out extensive R & D in the development of lasers and solid-state optical devices, including management of several government contracts. He was the co-inventor of a number of patents in the areas of laser communication, metrology, and frequency stabilization.  His publications included several important papers in the area of laser theory including the first comprehensive theory of gas laser operation.

After seven years in corporate R&D, Mike decided to become an entrepreneur.  He co-founded Laser Precision Corporation and was initially the Executive Vice President and Director of Product Development. In this capacity, he planned and managed the establishment of the Analect Instrument Division.  He also managed several government subcontracts including the development of the scanning spectro-radiometric arrays for the Pioneer Venus and Galileo Jupiter programs. Mike’s many contributions to the Company’s technical estate included the invention of the “Transept” Refractively Scanned Interferometer, the basis for the first commercial FTIR spectrometer sufficiently robust to function reliably in an industrial manufacturing setting. He subsequently became the President of Laser Precision and managed the company’s growth at a compound rate of over 40% per year to a sales level of over $ 25 million/year. 

After leaving Laser Precision in 1988, Mike and Norm Jennings founded Axiom Analytical, which has become a leading manufacturer of sample interfacing equipment for process spectroscopy.  Its major products include in-line probes, flow cells, and fiber-optic multiplexers.  The spectroscopic techniques served include mid-infrared, near-infrared, UV-visible, and Raman.  Mike is the inventor of more than twenty five patents held by the Company.  In 2004, Mike and Norm formed Symbion Systems, Inc. to provide standardized instrument control, connectivity, and process monitoring software for the same markets served by Axiom’s hardware products. 

Mike has authored numerous papers published in refereed Scientific Journals ranging from Physical Review Letters to Applied Spectroscopy.  He was honored at the 1998 Eastern Analytical Symposium as one of ten living “Pioneers of FT-IR Spectroscopy”. He is the inventor of over fifty patents, including the patents underlying many of the more significant products of Analect Instruments and Axiom Analytical. Inc. His patents in the area of spectroscopy encompass interferometer design, highly efficient optical sources, thin film measurement, the fundamental patents underlying ATR probes, FTIR microscopes, ATR flow cells, specular reflectance sampling devices, gas cells, diffuse reflectance probes, optical beam transfer apparatus, fiber-optic multiplexers, sparging-IR systems, and Raman probes.

Mike’s personal interests range from singing and playing guitar to hiking, biking, and traveling with his 15 year old son James Patrick. His extensive travels include eleven extended trips to central and southern Africa where he spent much of the time hiking and camping in the bush, canoeing on the Zambezi River, and experiencing numerous close calls with all manner of beasts.  

The formal presentation of the Williams-Wright award will take place at a special symposium at Pittcon 2014.

Congratulations Mike! 

History and Nomination Process

The Coblentz Society's Williams-Wright Award is presented annually to an industrial spectroscopist who has made significant contributions to vibrational spectroscopy while working in industry. The work may include infrared and/or Raman spectroscopy, instrumental development as well as theory, and applications of vibrational spectroscopy. Government labs are not considered industry in this definition. No restrictions are placed on the selection of the Awardee because of age, sex, or nationality, but the Awardee must still be working at the time the award is presented. The award consists of a frame certificate and an honorarium. In order to ensure that the award is based on an independent evaluation of the candidate’s achievements, the selection is made by a committee chosen by the Coblentz Society.

The Award is presented each year at the Pittsburgh Conference on Analytical Chemistry and Applied Spectroscopy. The Williams-Wright Award Symposium is held in honor of the awardee and immediately follows the presentation. In the picture to the right, John Coates was presented the 2013 Award with Shawn Mehrens (committee chair 2012-2013) and Jim Rydzak (Coblentz Society President 2013-2014). 

The nomination should clearly state the significance of the contribution made by the nominee, e.g., the introduction of novel methods, techniques or theories; innovative work in the field of vibrational spectroscopy; significant improvement on existing methods, theory or techniques; or important impact on the field of vibrational spectroscopy arising from the volume of contributions in a specific area. The nomination packet should include a resume of the nominee's career including a publication list. Seconding letters to the nomination are useful, but not necessary. Files on nominees will be kept active for three years, after which the candidate must either be renominated with an updated file, or the file will be closed. Nominations should be sent to the Chair of the Williams-Wright Award Selection Committee. Nominations close May 1st for the 2014 award.

Please send nomination packages (email is preferred) to:

2013-2014 Chair:  Dr. Doug Elmore 



Recipients of the Williams-Wright Award

2014       Mike Doyle

2013       John Coates

2012       Richard Crocombe

2011       Howard Mark

2010       Patrick Treado

2009       Jerome J. Workman

2008       Rina Dukor

2007       Michael Carrabba

2006       Harry Owen

2005       Fran Adar

2004       Neil Lewis

2003       Neil Everall

2002       Isao Noda

2001       Raul Curbelo

2000       John A. Reffner

1999       Donald Kuehl

1998       Henry Buijs

1997       Michael J. Pelletier

1996       Robert G. Messerschmidt

1995       Michael R. Philpott

1994       John M. Chalmers

1993       Curtis Marcott

1992       Timothy Harris

1991       Robert J. Obremski

1990       John F. Rabolt

1989       D. Bruce Chase

1988       Darwin L. Wood

1987       A. Lee Smith

1986       Abe Savitsky/Joseph J. Barrett

1985       Clara D. Craver/Richard A. Nyquist

1984       Robert Jakobsen

1983       Harry Willis

1982       Robert Hannah

1981       Paul Wilks/James Harrick

1980       Jeanette Grasselli

1979       Norman Colthup

1978       Norman Wright