The Williams-Wright Award

2021 Awardee

  The Coblentz Society is pleased to announce that Dr. Ian R. Lewis of Kaiser Optical Systems, Inc., an Endress+Hauser company, has been selected as the recipient of the 2021 Williams-Wright Award.  The Williams–Wright Award is presented annually to an industrial spectroscopist who has made significant contributions to vibrational spectroscopy while working in industry. The award will be officially conferred during the Williams-Wright Award Symposium at the Pittsburgh Conference, which was to be held March 6-10, 2021 in New Orleans, Louisiana USA but will be held virtually.  The 2021 Award Symposium will feature an award address by Ian and talks from his invited speakers.

  Ian received his B.Sc. in chemistry and chemical technology and his Ph.D. in Polymer Science & Spectroscopy from the University of Bradford, UK. While at Bradford, his Ph.D. covered the polymerization, characterization, and reactions of poly-dienes. During his Ph.D. studies he discovered a passion for the application of vibrational spectroscopy and had an opportunity to work with FT-IR, far-IR, Raman, micro-Raman, and hyper-Raman. He conducted experiments to couple a Raman spectrometer to a reactor using a flow-cell and investigated the coupling of Raman to a flow-cell as an optical composition analyzer for gel permeation (GPC) / size exclusion (SEC) chromatography. Outside of his Ph.D. work and with Professor Howell Edwards, his co-advisor, he investigated the application of Raman to arts & antiquities, bio-based lichen degradation, novel characterization of compounds for electronic purposes, the “disease” state of plastic dolls, and the impact of polymer solids and salts dissolution in water. 

  Ian postdoc-ed at the University of Idaho with Professor Peter Griffiths.  During his time there he contributed to the team that worked on projects for the DOE and FBI. These projects were part of efforts to assist in the environmental clean-up of nuclear processing facilities and the detection of explosives in the aviation transportation system.  During his years in Idaho, he started consulting with several Raman companies and started his scientific volunteering by organizing Raman sessions at the FACSS conference.

   In 1996, Ian joined Kaiser Optical Systems to support the development and implementation of Raman in industrial settings.  Ian currently holds the position of Director of Marketing and manages the marketing communications and product management groups at Kaiser. At Kaiser, he has worked with internal and external stakeholders to develop products, applications, and solutions to address the challenges of moving laboratory Raman-based analyses to reliable and transferable process control measurements. 

  During his career Ian has chaired the ASTM subcommittee on Raman (E13.08), has served as the Program Chair of FACSS in 2007 (Memphis) and as co-program chair of ICAVS 10 in 2019 (Auckland, NZ).  He has also served on the program committee or as a session organizer at FACSS, SciX, ICAVS, ICORS, and EAS, and as an invited speaker at the above conferences as well as Pittcon, and IFPAC.  Over the course of his career, he has organized or co-organized more than 200 technical sessions in addition to teaching short courses on Raman at conferences and at customer sites.

  Ian has publishing over 50 papers and 100 conference proceedings. He co-authored Handbook of Raman Spectroscopy: From the Research Laboratory to the Process Line, has authored or co-authored seven other book chapters, and co-authored the first USP general monograph on Raman Spectroscopy (USP-1120). He is a reviewer for numerous journals in analytical chemistry, is an editorial board member for Applied Spectroscopy, Spectroscopy, and American Pharmaceutical Review and has been a guest editor for special issues of Applied Spectroscopy and Vibrational Spectroscopy.

  Ian’s previously awards include the Charles Mann Award for Applied Raman from FACSS, elected as a Fellow of SAS (2011) and Fellow of RSC (2018), Distinguished Service Awards from both FACSS and SAS, and Honorary Membership from the Coblentz Society.


History and Nomination Process

  In 2021, The Coblentz Society celebrates the 43rd anniversary of the Williams-Wright Award. 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 prism 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 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, theories, 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 resumé 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 re-nominated with an updated file, or the file will be closed. Nominations close May 1, 2021 for the 2022 award.

  Please send nomination packages via email to:

Nominations Chair

Recipients of the Williams-Wright Award

2020       Christopher D. Brown

2019       Wolfgang Petrich

2018       Charles R. (Chuck) Anderson

2017       Slobodan Sasic

2016       Drouet Warren Vidrine

2015       Jagdeesh Bandekar

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