Micromeritics Sadly Announces the Death of its Cofounder and Chairman of the Board, Clyde Orr, Jr., Ph.D. - 9/16/2010
In Memoriam – Clyde Orr, Jr., Ph.D.
October 1, 1921 - September 15, 2010
Clyde Orr, Jr., chairman of the board of Micromeritics Instrument Corporation, passed away on September 15 at the age of 88. Since cofounding the company with Warren P. Hendrix in 1962, Dr. Orr was instrumental in guiding the company to its industry leadership role as a developer of instrumentation for the physical characterization of materials. A highly respected scientist who made many contributions to the fields of materials science and particle technology, Dr. Orr was deeply involved in designing instrumentation, providing a constant stream of new ideas and analytical instruments.
After serving in the U.S. Navy during World War II, Dr. Orr earned his Master’s degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Tennessee in 1948 and entered Georgia Institute of Technology's new Ph.D. program for chemical engineers. His advisor was Joseph DallaValle who had earned a reputation as an expert in particulate matter, having authored one of the definitive works on the subject, Micromeritics: the Technology of Fine Particles. Upon completing the doctoral program in 1952, he was hired as an Assistant Research Professor and remained a faculty member for thirty years, achieving the rank of Regents Professor, and being awarded the status of Emeritus Professor.
In 1958, Dr. Orr and a member of his research team, Warren Hendrix, began designing a new gas adsorption analyzer that would improve on the system currently used in the Georgia Tech Micromeritics Laboratory. This effort eventually led to a patented instrument that became the basis for starting Micromeritics Instrument Corporation in 1962. This research project was listed by faculty and administrators as one of the most significant Georgia Tech contributions of the 20th century. Micromeritics was the first company to market commercially automated instrumentation for surface area and porosimetry by gas sorption, mercury intrusion porosimetry, volume and density by gas displacement, chemisorption analyses, and x-ray sedimentation particle size.The company holds numerous patents in these combined areas of particle characterization.
Over his professional life, Dr. Orr published 62 works in 89 publications in 5 languages. One of his several books, Particulate Technology (1966), became a definitive work in the area of particle technology. Even today, in the reference section of text books and research papers on the subject, you will find the name Clyde Orr cited as one of the pioneers whose research was built upon in the development of the current work. In 1995, he was inducted as a member of the Georgia Institute of Technology Hall of Fame in the 2nd year the honor was available.
“The management team remains strong and the direction of the company has not changed,” states Preston Hendrix, president. “We at Micromeritics will deeply miss Dr. Orr, but remain committed to providing our customers with the same superior products and supporting services that have distinguished the company under his leadership.”