The Williams-Wright Award

2018 Awardee

The Coblentz Society is pleased to announce that the 2018 Williams-Wright Award for Industrial Spectroscopy will be presented to Charles R. (Chuck) Anderson at the Pittsburgh Conference, held February 26 - March 1, 2018 in Orlando, FL USA. 

After completing his undergraduate and graduate degrees in engineering from Carnegie-Mellon University in 1968, Chuck designed and built his first FT-IR Spectrometer in 1969, prior to commercially available FT-IR systems being readily available. This FT-IR system was used to successfully support an atmospheric testing program at Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory.  This work led to the development of improved FT-IR systems sold by General Dynamics Corp. using the Nicolet computer systems. The applications of these early FT-IR systems were not well publicized as much of this work required Chuck to carry high level security clearances and could not be discussed or published. However, Chuck's technical leadership in directing suppliers of IR optics, beamsplitters, IR detectors, interferometers, applications  software and data systems made him well known and respected in the instrument business. This reputation led him to the opportunity in 1975 to lead the engineering effort at Nicolet Instrument Corporation in commercializing FT-IR spectrometers for the general analytical laboratory market. 

At Nicolet, Chuck was instrumental in the creation of the Nicolet 7199, 6000, 8000 vacuum system, MX-1, 60SX, 5DX, 20SX FT-IR spectrometers and many customer application solutions such as Quantitative Analysis, Spectral Library/Data Bases, Silicon Wafer Analysis, Automotive Exhaust Gas Analysis, GC-IR and TGA-IR. It was the complex beamsplitter coating designs he created that contributed towards the high performance the Nicolet systems were known for. During his nearly 20 year tenure, Nicolet grew to become the world market leader in FT-IR spectrometer sales.

In 1994, Chuck became the President of Spectral Systems, a manufacturer of infrared optics for FT-IR, who he continues to work for today. At Spectral Systems he was able to bring his vast knowledge of FT-IR to make Spectral Systems the world leader in infrared optics and beamsplitters for optical spectroscopy. In 2015, over 16,000 beamsplitters were supplied to FT-IR manufacturers. While successful in business and management, perhaps his greatest asset has been his high level of system understanding in how FT-IR works. He has the rare ability to diagnose the root cause of any spectral artifact or problem from simply looking at the data.

History and Nomination Process

In 2018, The Coblentz Society celebrates the 40th 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 framed 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. The 2018 Award symposium will feature an Award Address by Mr. Anderson and talks from invited speakers Steve Lowry (Thermo Fisher Scientific), Henry Buijs (ABB Bomem), Arno Simon (Bruker Optics) and Belinda Pastrana (University of Puerto Rico).                      

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 close May 1, 2018 for the 2019 award.

Please send nomination packages via email to:

Nominations Chair

Recipients of the Williams-Wright Award

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