• Chromatography Pioneer Scoops Prestigious Pittcon Award


Chromatography Pioneer Scoops Prestigious Pittcon Award

Mar 21 2015

One of the leading proponents of ion chromatography, A. Blaine Bowman, had his achievements formally recognised last weekend by Pittcon, a non-profit educational corporation at their annual conference. The event, whose full name is Pittsburgh Conference on Analytical Chemistry and Applied Spectroscopy, is the largest of its kind which deals with laboratory sciences.

The organisation is dedicated to provide support (both scientific and economic) to educational and charitable bodies in the realm of the sciences. Every year, they honour one individual with their Pittcon Heritage Award, which comes with induction into the Pittcon Hall of Fame. A. Blaine Bowman will now join Walter Jennings, who conducted some of the earliest research into gas chromatography (GC) methods, applications and instrumentation, and David Nelson, developer of the world’s first computer chromatography data system (CDS) in the Hall.

About the Event

The annual event attracted more than 16,000 attendees from the academic, governmental and industrial arms of more than 90 countries. This year’s incarnation was the 66th Pittcon Conference and took place in New Orleans, Louisiana, from the 8th-12th of March.

The 2015 President of the event was Charles Holifield, who opened proceedings with welcoming words and the awarding of the prestigious prize to Bowman. Bowman is best known in his role as the head of ion chromatography firm Dionex, which has since been taken over by Thermo Fisher Scientific.

Dionex was key in achieving an increased global commercialisation of the technique of ion chromatography and bringing it into laboratories around the world. In the words of the President himself, Bowman received the recognition for “providing the dedication, leadership and vision to commercialise ion chromatography and foster its evolution to a technology of critical importance for academic and a broad range of industries.”

About the Winner

A. Blaine Bowman attended Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah, where he received a BS degree in Physics. He gravitated more towards the business side of things in his post-grad, earning an MBA from Stanford University’s School of Business as top of his class.

In 1977, Bowman joined International Plasma Corp., a small start-up which was attempting to commercialise ion chromatography. In 1980, he branched away from Plasma Corp. to begin his own company named Dionex. With him at the helm, Dionex achieved startling results in the field, greatly reducing the time and labour involved in the process and revolutionising the way it was viewed by the world as a whole.

In the same year that the company was launched, Bowman also displayed his business acumen by opening a branch in the United Kingdom to encourage globalisation. With the rapid improvements in the discipline brought about by his work at Dionex, ion chromatography became more and more popular in diverse industries, such as the environmental and life science markets.

He continued to guide the company with a steady hand, remaining its CEO until 2002, its chairman until 2005 and a board director until 2011 – the same year that it was bought out by Thermo Fisher Scientific. He now joins a long list of who’s who in the realm of laboratory science with his induction into the Pittcon Hall of Fame.

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