FACSS Distinguished Service Award

The FACSS Governing Board presents a Distinguished Service Award to an individual who has demonstrated exceptional, long-term service to the FACSS organization. Typically, that person will have served with excellence in many different capacities and will have contributed to the continuing success of FACSS through consistent dedication and sacrifice.

A candidate for the Distinguished Service Award must be nominated via a written petition, which enumerates the candidate's major contributions. The petition must be signed by at least four delegates, each representing a different member organization of FACSS. The signed petition must be submitted to the executive committee at least 30 days before the Governing Board meeting held at Pittcon in order to be considered and presented at SciX. A Distinguished Service Award will be awarded to the candidate if the Governing Board approved the petition by a majority vote.

John Chalmers

John Graham
Jim Rydzak

John Chalmers,
Retired from ICI plc

John Chalmers spent most of his career in industry. He was employed by ICI plc in the UK for 34 years working within the chemical company’s research departments in the application and development of vibrational spectroscopy in support mainly of the company’s research, production and development activities. He ‘early retired’ as a Business Research Associate at the end of 1999, thereafter setting himself up as a self-employed consultant specialising in vibrational spectroscopy. Additionally, he held part-time posts within the Department of Chemistry in the University of Nottingham from 2000-2010.

John is a Fellow of The Royal Society of Chemistry, CChem FRSC. In 1994, he was the recipient of the Williams-Wright Award presented by The Coblentz Society for outstanding contributions in the ‘Field of Industrial Infrared Spectroscopy’, and in 2015 was made an honorary member of The Coblentz Society.

John has served as President (2008) of the Society for Applied Spectroscopy (SAS) and was a founding member of the SAS UK regional Section, formed in 2010. For many years he served in various committee roles for the Royal Society of Chemistry Analytical Division (RSC AD) Molecular Spectroscopy Subject Group. From 2008-2015, he served as the RSC AD representative to FACSS. He has been an active member for many years of the U.K. Infrared and Raman Discussion Group (IRDG) for which he served as its Chair for a period of nine years.

He has published over 50 peer-reviewed papers in scientific journals, and over 30 technical papers in conference proceedings or other specialised publications. He has co-authored one book, and additionally, he has edited or co-edited another 10 books/reference works, and, also, co-edited with Professor Peter Griffiths the highly acclaimed reference work the 5-volume Handbook of Vibrational Spectroscopy published in 2002; he has authored or co-authored 24 book chapters/reference works. Since 2000, he has been the Article Editor for the publication Spectroscopy Europe.

As full retirement has increasingly loomed, John has become more focused on gardening and walking the beautiful UK Yorkshire dales and moors.

John Graham, INVISTA

Technical Director with experience in directing the operation and setting the strategic direction for the R&D support services groups (Analytical, bioanalytical, Engineering, and IT), and their application to methods development, product characterization, problem solving, and customer support.    Management experience includes, budgeting, capital expense planning, liaison with product development teams, plant liaison, technical reporting, and LIMS.  Management skills include well-developed communication, interpersonal and leadership skills.  Results oriented team player who leads by example.  Technical abilities consist of strong analytical and problem solving skills.   Skills in analytical chemistry are current and specialize in chromatography and molecular spectroscopy; GC, GC-MS, FT-IR, NIR, Raman, GC, HPLC, IC, fluorescence, UV-VIS, and color spectroscopy.  Working knowledge of wet chemistry methods including: acid no., moisture, and Hach methods.  Computer proficiency includes MS office, LIMS, OpenLab, Chromeleon, Omnic, VB programming, and selected lab instrument software.  

Jim Rydzak, Retired from GlaxoSmithKline

Jim Rydzak is an independent consultant and founder of Specere Consulting.  Jim was previously a Team Leader and Sr. Investigator who was responsible for the formation of the Process Analytical Technology (PAT) group at GSK.  Jim joined the spectroscopy group at SmithKlineBeecham, now GlaxoSmithKline, in 1999 and became the PAT Team Leader in 2004.  Jim also started the PAT group at Colgate-Palmolive, where he worked for 16 years, first as molecular spectroscopist, then starting the Process Analytical Group and later as a Group Leader and Analytical & Package Testing lab manager at the Mennen Consumer Product facility, a subsidiary of Colgate Palmolive. Jim’s background in FT-IR, Raman and NIR spectroscopy and interest in real time analysis led him into the field of Process Analytical. 

Jim received his B.S. in Chemistry from Mount Union College in Alliance, Ohio and his M.S. in Analytical Chemistry working for Dr. Peter Griffiths at Ohio University. Jim has taught short courses in molecular spectroscopy for the Center for Professional Advancement for eight years in Amsterdam and New Jersey. Jim has also taught a short course entitled “Process Analytical Chemistry: Out of the Lab and into the Pipes” on PAT at the Federation of Applied Chemistry and Spectroscopy Societies (FACSS/SciX) Conference for ten years. 

Jim is active in presenting at and organizing sessions at SciX Conferences and has served as chair of the SciX program, FACSS Governing Board, Long range planning, sight selection, workshops and employment committee. He is a long time governing board member first serving on the board in 1996 representing the Coblentz Society. Jim was responsible for re-establishing the Process Analysis presence at the conference in the early 90’s.  Jim has been a long term SAS member and he is currently the past President of the Coblentz Society.  Jim is a founding member of the ASTM E55 Committee for the Manufacture of Pharmaceuticals and has served as Executive Secretary and led a working group that wrote a Guidance standard for the Validation of PAT Applications and also is a member of the E13 Committee on Analytical Instrumentation.  Jim has also authored a number of technical papers and presented many at the FACSS/SciX conferences over the years.

Jim has founded a consulting company, Specere Consulting.  His background in spectroscopy coupled with his extensive experience in Pharmaceutical, Consumer Health, Biopharmaceutical, Polymer and Chemical industries provides unique expertise to his consulting clients.


Jim is married for 38 years to his lovely wife Jeanne, an engineer, and has 2 sons that are successfully employed and forging careers of their own.


Past Recipients

Year Name
2015 Michael Blades, Gary Brewer and Keith Olson
2014 Ron Williams and Edward J. Havlena
2013 Mark A. Hayes and Cynthia M. Lilly
2012 O Karmie Galle and Bruce Chase
2011 Patricia B. Coleman and Jon W. Carnahan
2010 Scott McGeorge and Alexander Scheeline
2009 Paul Bourassa and Mike Carrabba
2003 Jeanette Grasselli Brown
2001 David Coleman
1994 L. Felix Schneider
1993 Edward Brame and Syd Fleming