In Memoriam, Paul A. Wilks, Jr.


Paul A. Wilks, Jr., died Saturday, october 11, 2008, at Dartmouth?Hitchcock Center in Lebanon, New Hampshire, after a brief illness.

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.

Mr. Wilks was born on June 16, 1923, in Springfield, Massachusetts. 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, Connecticut, that same year. Mr. Wilks helped create Perkin–Elmer's analytical instrument division and the development and introduction of their first infrared (IR) spectrophotometer. After several years, he left Perkin–Elmer to start his own IR 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 IR spectroscopy. Until his death, Mr. Wilks played an active role in managing his latest two companies - Wilks Enterprise, Inc., founded in 1995 and located in S. Norwalk, Connecticut, 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, Florida, which has developed an instrument for the soft drink industry to measure Brix and Carbon Dioxide.

Over a career spanning more than six decades, Mr. Wilks introduced many innovative products to the IR analysis marketplace. He held numerous patents on IR instrumentation and sample handling techniques and published a long list of articles and technical papers on IR technology. Mr. Wilks served on the advisory board of Spectroscopy magazine, and he was the recipient of many awards for his contributions to the field of IR 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 the NY Section of the Society of Applied Spectroscopy.

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