In Memoriam- Paul A. Wilks, Jr

October 15, 2008

Paul A. Wilks, Jr. died Saturday, October 11, 2008 at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Center in Lebanon, New Hampshire after a brief illness. He was 85 and lived an active and productive life until the end.

Paul A. Wilks, Jr. died Saturday, October 11, 2008 at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Center in Lebanon, New Hampshire after a brief illness. He was 85 and lived an active and productive life until the end.

Paul was born on June 16, 1923 in Springfield, MA. He was the son of the late Paul A. Wilks and Ethyl Libby Wilks and the husband of the late Laura Parsons Wilks.

He graduated Harvard University in 1944 with a BS degree in Engineering and joined the Perkin-Elmer Corporation in Norwalk, CT that same year. Paul helped create Perkin-Elmer’s analytical instrument division and the development and introduction of their first infrared spectrophotometer. After several years, he left Perkin-Elmer to start his own infrared sampling handling equipment company – Connecticut Instrument Company -- which he later sold to Barnes Engineering. Since that first company, he has founded 4 additional companies – all specializing in instruments and accessories based on infrared spectroscopy. Until his death, Paul played an active role in managing his latest two companies -- Wilks Enterprise, Inc., founded in 1995 and located in S. Norwalk, CT, and specializing in analyzers for such applications as determining oil/grease in water and biofuels measurements and his latest business venture - Wilks QC, Inc., founded in 2006 and located in Bradenton, FL, which has developed an instrument for the soft drink industry to measure Brix and Carbon Dioxide.

Over a career spanning more than six decades, Paul introduced many innovative products to the infrared analysis marketplace. He held numerous patents on infrared instrumentation and sample handling techniques and published a long list of articles and technical papers on infrared technology. Paul served on the advisory board of SPECTROSCOPY magazine and he was the recipient of many awards for his contributions to the field of infrared spectroscopy, including the Williams-Wright Award from The Coblentz Society of which he was a founding member, the 2004 PITTCON Heritage Award from the Chemical Heritage Foundation, and the Gold Metal Award from NY Section of the Society of Applied Spectroscopy.