Poopathy Kathirgamanathan


Poopathy Kathirgamanathan, organic electronics innovator and SID Fellow

Professor Poopathy Kathirgamanathan, known to his friends and colleagues as “Nathan”, “Kathir” or simply “PK” passed away on the 20th November 2019 at the age of 67. He was an extremely talented academic who had a long and distinguished career in the field of Organic Electronics.

Professor Poopathy Kathirgamanathan C. Chem. FRSC. C. Phys. F. Inst. P. C. Sci. (Professor of Electronic Materials Engineering, Wolfson Centre, Brunel University, UK) was a world leading expert in Organic Electronics. Born in Inuvil, Sri Lanka in 1952 he gained his Chemistry degree at Colombo University. After his Ph.D at Exeter University in the UK, where he was made a Sir Arthur Reed Scholar, he pioneered research and development in the area of Organic Electronics at Newcastle University, Cookson Group plc., University College, London and London South Bank University where he was Chair in Electronic Materials Engineering from 1993 to 2009. Poopathy was proud that he was early in the field of publishing electroluminescence from polymers (Materials Letters Volume 40, Issue 6 in 1999) as well as small molecule technology where he is better known.

In 2000, he founded OLED-T, based on the technology that he pioneered at London South Bank University and served as the CTO, developing a broad portfolio of charge injection, charge transport and emitter materials until the company and most of the I.P was sold to a multinational company in 2008. His innovations are currently being exploited globally for OLED displays and lighting.

In 2009 he moved to Brunel University as Professor of Electronic Materials Engineering where he joined the internationally recognised Centre for Displays and Lighting. At the Wolfson Centre he continued to develop his interests in new materials for OLED’s, OPV and OTFT in addition to electrochemistry and nanotechnology. He attracted a great deal of funding from UK and EU sources working closely with a number of industries. He was passionate about the commercialisation of OLEDs for displays and lighting and OPV. He was also interested in hydrogen generation, storage, fuel cells and Quantum Dots.

In the UK, Poopathy was a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry (FRSC), a Fellow of the Institute of Physics and a Member of the IEEE. He was an Executive Committee Member of the Materials Chemistry Group at the Society of Chemical Industry in London and served as the Chairman of the Group from 1999 to 2000. He was also a Committee Member of the Materials Chemistry Division of the Royal Society of Chemistry since July 2013.

Internationally, Poopathy was the Europe Regional Vice President for SID from June 2013 until May 2017. He sat on the Emissive Displays Committee of SID and was involved in Display Week in the USA for many years. He also served as an Associate Editor of the Journal of the Society of Information Displays (JSID). In 2019, the SID awarded Poopathy with the grade of Fellow for his contributions to charge transport materials for OLED displays and lighting.

He published over 200 publications and patents and over 150 conference papers. He was the holder of many research grants, for example he was co-ordinator of a Horizon 2020 programme called “Flexolighting” involving 8 partners and a significant budget. He was a consistent referee for a wide range of scholarly Journals as well as for UK Research and Innovation.

Over the course of his long career he organised or helped to organise several national and international meetings including Eurodisplay 2017 in Berlin in conjunction with the Institute of Physics, London.

Throughout his academic career Poopathy has taken his teaching and educational duties very seriously. He was a great teacher and took pride in his PhD students. He examined PhD candidates at many UK Universities such as UCL, Cambridge, Kingston, Loyola College (India), Anna University (India), IIT (Madras, India) and many others.

Poopathy was much more than just a very able scientist; he had a great sense of humour and was an honest and true friend. He was a real gentleman, a loving husband to Jayanthi and a caring father to his daughter Janany and his son Ganesh.

Contributions from Professor Jack Silver, BSc, PhD, DSc, CChem, FRSC, Honourary Professor and Emeritus Professor at Brunel University, UK and the Society for Information Display, United Kingdom & Ireland Chapter

On September 8, 2018, members of the Society for Information Display lost a long-time colleague and friend when Erwin “Erv” Ulbrich passed away at the age of 86.

Erv had a distinguished 38-year career as a technical innovator and leader in the aerospace industry and was greatly admired by his peers. He is credited with a myriad of avionics designs, including flight controls for the Apollo moon landing capsule, the enhanced vision situational awareness display system, the enhanced vision remote system, aircraft synthetic vision, and many more. He also served in various leadership roles for Rockwell North American, Douglas Aircraft, Boeing and McDonnell Douglas. What’s more, Erv taught integrated avionics courses at UCLA and was known for the first successful translation of an operational flight program from Jovial to Ada.

He dedicated his life to the development of electric vehicles and is recognized as having one of the first modern operational electric vehicles in the United States.

Erv Ulbrich

Erv Ulbrich

Erv was a charter member of SID and continued his membership in the Los Angeles chapter for the remainder of his life. He held many offices in SID International including treasurer (1970 -1973), publications and archives chair (1973), secretary (1974), and president (1974 -1977). In SID’s LA chapter, he served as chapter chair (1965) and director (1967 - 1969). He also chaired and contributed to many of the chapter’s one-day conferences.

Erv was born on May 22, 1932 and raised in Oak Park, Illinois. He attended Rose Polytechnic Institute in Terre Haute, Indiana, where he was a member of the football team. He graduated in 1954 with a degree in electrical engineering and, that same year, married his wife Myrna whom he had met while in college.

Erv spent three years in the Navy as a commissioned officer and earned a master's degree from the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque.

After leaving the Navy, he moved to Columbus, Ohio, for three years where he worked for GE. Just as Erv planned to enroll in a Ph.D. program at Ohio State University, his engineering advisor told him about an incredible opportunity: North American Aviation was searching for a technical leader who could manage a facility of hundreds of analog computers that would track and record flight equations of high-performance military aircraft. This was at a time when the U.S. Navy was starting to deploy the A3J Vigilante, a carrierbased fighter that could carry an atomic bomb, deliver the weapon, and retreat at mach 2 speeds. Erv was hired by NAA, and he did not return for his Ph.D.

He and Myrna adopted two children, Erv III and Lisa. They moved to Whittier, California, in 1963 and Erv worked in the aerospace industry for the rest of his professional career.

In his spare time Erv enjoyed exercising at the YMCA, and he continued this activity during his retirement years. He also enjoyed gardening and traveling around the world. He was a member of the Audubon Society, the California State Park Association, the National Park Conservation Association, the Whittier Conservancy, and Whitter Hills Oil Watch/Open Spaces Legal Defense fund.

Erv is survived by his wife Myrna and their children. He had a proud record of service to the display industry, and he will be missed by all who had the good fortune to know him.

Maxim Tomilin

Maxim Tomilin

Professor Maxim Tomilin was famous Sovyet and Russian specialist in area of liquid crystal physics and application.

He was born in 1937. In 1961 Maxim Tomilin graduated from Leningrad Mechanical Institute (University). PhD 1969, D.Sc. (Hab.) 1980.

In 1970-2006 he was with Vavilov State Optical Institute, since 2006 he was professor of The National Research University ITMO (Information Technologies, Mechanics and Optics, Saint-Petersburg.

Maxim Tomilin investigated materials’ properties, surface interaction of liquid crystals with different materials, proposed some new solutions of LC based devices. Recently he wrote a set of books and text-books on the LC and history of optics.

He is author of three books, more 300 scientific papers and 60 popular papers, 40 inventions. He organized 10 international conferences.

Maxim Tomilin is founder and first Director of the SID Russia Chapter. He was SID Senior Member. He was awarded with a medal of D.S. Rozhdestvensky Optical Society (Russia), medal of Russian Exhibition of National Economics (at present Russian Exhibition Center) and medal “XXth Symposium Advanced Display Technologies” established by Byelorussian, Ukrainian and Russian SID Chapters.

On the 27th of November 2016 Gus died at home in Los Gatos CA with family at his side. His death was caused by a rare cancer called Mucosal Melanoma (internal) more than four years after it was diagnosed. Our thanks to the doctors, nurses and care he received at Stanford Hospital and the immunotherapy treatments which enabled him to maintain his lifestyle longer than had been expected. Gus was born 17 August 1943, son of Florence Violet (Filson) and Gus Holbrook Carroll in Chicago IL. His childhood home was in Clarendon Hills, a Chicago suburb. He attended high school in neighboring Hinsdale.

He graduated college in 1965 with a BS in Physics from Rose Hulman Institute of Technology, Terre Haute, IN and shortly thereafter wed Mary Elizabeth (Libby) Wilson of Evansville IN. They had two sons, namely, Christopher and Alexander. They were divorced in 1979. While living in the Los Angeles area, he got his MSEE from Cal State Northridge.

He was an expert in analog design and was involved in many varied projects including a virtual reality system that was a hands-on exhibit at the Chicago Museum of Science and Industry. He also had several patents. His customers included RCA, Samsung, Grumman Aerospace, Ford Aerospace and many others.

Gus Filson Carroll

Gus Filson Carroll

His latest project, over the last few years, brought him into a new arena. His son Chris, a mechanical engineer, designed a fish measuring board for marine science. Gus was the sole hardware designer for Big Fin Scientific.

In 1977, on a blind date arranged by their friends, he met his future wife, Stephenie Olson of Los Gatos CA. They wed in 1981 and were married 35 years. They did not have children of their own, however Stephenie brought a daughter into their union.

Gus was the president of the Society for Information Display from 1982-1984, and was a senior member of SID as well as IEEE and PATCA. He was listed in a variety of biographical references, including Who’s Who in Technology Today – Electronics & Computer Sciences.

In 2015 he attended the 50th reunion of his college graduation from Rose along with many of his fellow classmates.

Gus can be defined by his entrepreneurial spirit, curiosity, creativity and sense of humor. He enjoyed playing bridge and had earned several masters points. He faced his mortality with dignity, courage, and a sense of humor.

He is survived by his wife Stephenie Olson, sister Sarah Neeb and husband, sons Christopher and Alexander, their spouses and children, as well as a niece and nephew and their offspring.