Christopher D. Brown Honored with Williams-Wright Award

Christopher D. Brown Honored with Williams-Wright Award

February 27, 2020

Christopher D. Brown is the winner of the 2020 Williams-Wright Award, which is presented by the Coblentz Society. The award is presented annually to an industrial spectroscopist who has made significant contributions to vibrational spectroscopy while working in industry.

Christopher D. Brown is the winner of the 2020 Williams-Wright Award, which is presented by the Coblentz Society. The award is presented annually to an industrial spectroscopist who has made significant contributions to vibrational spectroscopy while working in industry. Brown was chosen to receive the award in recognition of his work in the development of smart, high-performance miniature analytical systems across a range of industries and application.

Brown received his BSc in chemistry and mathematics at Brandon University, and his PhD in analytical chemistry from Dalhousie University in Canada, where he specialized in the development of chemometric and statistical learning methods for analytical systems. He has focused on the development of analytical systems across a range of industries and applications, with an emphasis on miniaturization, autonomous systems, and user experience.

At the start of his career, Brown was responsible for numerous developments of automated spectroscopy-based products (using near-infrared, mid-infrared, and fluorescence spectroscopy, as well as spectroscopy imaging) for in-vivo biodiagnostics, metabolic monitoring, and clinical chemistry, biometrics, and biopharmaceutical process monitoring at InLight Solutions in New Mexico. In 2004, he joined Ahura Scientific in Boston to work on the development of the world’s first handheld Raman spectrometer and later a handheld Fourier-transform infrared (FT-IR) spectroscopy instrument. During his time as the senior director of engineering and product development at Ahura, he saw the release of more than a half-dozen products with tailor-made hardware and software for hazardous materials, military, forensics, and pharmaceutical applications. His work has resulted in more than 25,000 handheld Raman and IR systems being usable in the field by non-spectroscopists.

After Thermo Fisher’s acquisition of Ahura Scientific, Brown spent two years at Apple, in California, as a platform architect for advanced sensing technologies in the phone and wearables sector. In 2012, he co-founded 908 devices. The company has launched the world’s first self-contained handheld mass spectrometer (in 2015), and a range of microscale mass spectrometry and separation products in the forensics and life-science arenas.

Brown and his teams have received three R&D 100 awards as well as other industry technology and product awards. Selected as a 2017 Society for Applied Spectroscopy (SAS) National Tour Speaker, Brown continues to be active in the broader analytical community. He has published some 150 papers and conference presentations, and more than 50 patents. He is also a reviewer for numerous journals in analytical chemistry, statistics, and machine learning, and is an editorial board member for the Journal of Chemometrics.