Pittcon Heritage Award

Instrumentation dramatically transformed the power, pace, and impact of scientific research. New questions could be asked and answered. Research that once took years could be done in days. The Pittcon Heritage Award honors those visionaries whose entrepreneurial careers shaped the instrumentation and laboratory supplies community and by doing so have transformed the scientific community at large.

The award has been presented jointly with Pittcon since 2002 and is given out each year at a special ceremony during the Pittcon Conference and Expo. The recipient’s name and achievements are added to the Pittcon Hall of Fame, which conference attendees can visit at the show each year. This year’s award presentation was held virtually on March 8, 2021.

2021 Awardee: Professor Dr. Klaus-Peter Hupe


Klaus-Peter Hupe headshot

Professor. Dr. Klaus-Peter Hupe.

Peter Hupe was born in 1931 in Oldenburg, Germany, and spent his childhood in the cities of Emden, Bremen, and Hameln. After working for a year at the Wohlenberg Company in Hannover, Hupe studied mechanical and chemical engineering at the universities of Braunschweig and Karlsruhe. He received his PhD on a scholarship from the University of Karlsruhe’s Institute of Thermodynamics, where he became an assistant professor in 1959.

At that time, he began working with German chemist Ernst Bayer who was using gas chromatography to separate and analyze the purity of chemical compounds. Their research was highly regarded and led to Hupe starting his own “Apparatebau,” or instrumentation manufacturing company, in 1962.

The company’s first project was the development of an automated preparative gas chromatograph (APG 402), one of which is on display at the Museum of Scientific Instruments at the University of Tübingen in Germany.

Hupe also started manufacturing equipment for high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC), which was soon in high demand in both scientific and industrial laboratories. At that time, he wrote or co-wrote various books and other publications on HPLC.

Dr. Ulrich Busch, who had partnered with Hupe’s Apparatebau since its founding, joined the company in 1970 and it was renamed Hupe & Busch Company. In 1972 Hupe & Busch was acquired by Hewlett-Packard (HP), with Hupe staying on as general manager of the analytical products division in HP’s Waldbronn, Germany, facility.

In 1987 Hupe was appointed chair of instrumental analysis at the Free University of Amsterdam, a position he held for the next eight years. During this time, he was active in various scientific committees and coeditor of a number of scientific journals.

Previous Winners of the Pittcon Heritage Award

  • Stan Stearns (2020)
  • Nicholas Pelick and Walter Supina (2019)
  • Michael Morris (2018)
  • Robert Warren (2017)
  • Kenji Kazato and Kazuo Ito (2016)
  • Blaine Bowman (2015)
  • Lynwood Swanson (2014)
  • Günther Laukien (2013)
  • Genzo Shimadzu Sr. and Genzo Shimadzu Jr. (2012)
  • George and John Hatsopoulos and Arvin Smith (2011)
  • Walter Jennings (2010)
  • Alfred Bader (2009)
  • Leroy Hood (2008)
  • David Schwartz (2007)
  • Masao Horiba (2006)
  • Robert W. Allington (2005)
  • Paul A. Wilks Jr. (2004)
  • Kathryn Hach-Darrow (2003)
  • David Nelson (2002)

Pittcon Hall of Fame Inductees

All winners of the Pittcon Heritage Award are inducted into the Pittcon Hall of Fame. There they join the members of the special introductory class of instrumentation pioneers:

Pittcon Hall of Fame

The Pittcon Hall of Fame

The Pittcon Hall of Fame

George Wong

  • Walter S. Baird
  • John Townsend Baker
  • C. Eugene Bennett and Aaron Martin
  • Arnold O. Beckman
  • Howard Cary
  • Wallace Coulter
  • Keene P. Dimick
  • Charles Elmer and Richard S. Perkin
  • Robert Finnigan
  • Chester G. Fisher
  • Maurice Hasler
  • William Hewlett and David Packard
  • J. O. Jarrell
  • Frank Martinez Jr.
  • Erhard Mettler
  • Arthur H. Thomas     
  • Russell Varian and Sigurd Varian   

The Science History Institute thanks the American Chemical Society, which granted permission to adapt the biographical information for these web pages, and Declan O’Reilly, former Charles Price Fellow in Polymer Chemistry at the Institute, for his contributions.

The Institute gratefully acknowledges the generous support of the Arnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation for this undertaking and thanks the Pittsburgh Conference on Analytical Chemistry and Applied Spectroscopy for giving us the opportunity to be a partner in maintaining the Pittcon Hall of Fame.

About Pittcon

Pittcon is the largest and most inclusive conference and exposition on laboratory science and instrumentation in the world. The annual event brings together more than 30,000 conferees and exhibitors from more than 70 countries.