Howard Mark Wins Williams-Wright Award at Pittcon

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Howard Mark, member of the editorial advisory board of Spectroscopy, receives 2011 Williams-Wright Award at Pittcon.

Howard Mark, PhD, member of the editorial advisory board of Spectroscopy, received the 2011 Williams-Wright Award from the Coblentz Society. The award was presented on March 16, 2011, at Pittcon in Atlanta, Georgia.

The Williams-Wright Award recognizes an individual industrial spectroscopist for his or her contributions made to vibrational spectroscopy while working in the industry. Mark is the president of Mark Electronics (Suffern, NY), a consulting company that provides services in near-infrared analysis, chemometric and statistical data analysis, and custom instrument design and development.

"When Brian Smith first called me to tell me I had won the award, I told him he should stop pulling my leg and tell me why he really called,” said Mark. “I was completely surprised. Of course, now that it has all sunk in, I'm honored, humbled, and flattered that there are people who think so much of me as to honor me this way. And I'm still surprised!"

Mark received his BS degree in chemistry from the City College of New York in 1963 and earned his MA degree in chemistry from the City University of New York in 1966. He was awarded the PhD degree in physical chemistry from New York University in 1972. He remained at NYU as a research fellow, performing research in surface chemistry and in applications of the then-new field of FTIR spectroscopy.

Mark joined Technicon Instrument Corporation in 1976 and worked in the then–new field of near–infrared (NIR) analysis. While there, he created, designed, and developed new algorithms for NIR quantitative and qualitative analysis and applied statistical and chemometric methods to optimize test procedures. He was the first person to apply the concept of Mahalanobis Distance to spectroscopic analysis.


Howard has authored or co-authored seven patents and more than 190 publications, 85 oral presentations, and 13 books and book chapters on NIR analysis and on the application of statistics and chemometrics to spectroscopic analysis.

Mark was awarded the 2003 Eastern Analytical Symposium Award for Outstanding Achievement in Near Infrared Spectroscopy. Howard has given back to his profession through significant involvement in the Council for Near–Infrared Spectroscopy, the New York Section of the Society for Applied Spectroscopy, and the ASTM.

In 1986, Mark teamed with Jerry Workman to write the “Statistics in Spectroscopy” column for Spectroscopy; the two continue to collaborate on the “Chemometrics in Spectroscopy” column for the magazine.