Managing Director
Graham C. Hill
BSc, MEI

Ted Hill – ECHA Chairman sadly passes away

It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of our beloved Chairman, Edward Hill, who recently passed away at the age of 90.

Edward Hill

Edward C. Hill, BSc, MSc, FEI, MIMarEST, 1928 – 2018

Edward Hill, known to all as Ted, passed away peacefully on Saturday July 28th 2018. Ted founded ECHA Microbiology, originally E.C. Hill & Associates, in 1983, supported by his wife Gisela and son Graham. Ted served at the helm of his growing business, as Managing Director until 2012 and as Chairman until May 2018, and watched it become a globally recognised authority in the provision of on-site and laboratory testing and consultancy for the aviation, marine, petroleum and engineering industries.

The company was established on the basis of the technical expertise and research Ted had developed over many years in the 1960’s and 70’s at the University of Wales College Cardiff, now Cardiff University, where he was a Senior Lecturer in Industrial Microbiology. Indeed, it was during those university years that Ted assisted in the development of Dip Slide tests for microbial contamination, now one of the most widely used tests for simple in-field microbial testing.

It was not the first microbiological field test he developed, and it would not be the last, with his unique thixotropic gel technology serving as the basis of ECHA’s globally used test for microbial contamination in fuels and oils. Ted had a flare for evaluating complex industrial microbiological problems and bringing to industry ingenious but simple solutions.

He was particularly well known for his contributions to the understanding of microbiological growth in fuel, oil and metal working fluid systems and in raising the awareness of the serious operational, cost and safety impacts these can have. He worked closely with the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and their Technical Fuels Group in developing their best practice guidance to help airlines prevent these problems. This invaluable contribution continues to help keep our skies safe today.

Ted was also influential in setting up the Energy Institute’s (at the time The Institute of Petroleum) Microbiology Committee in 1969 and he went on to Chair this group over two spells up until 1997. In recognition of his efforts he was given the Energy Institute’s Award of Council in 1998.

He wrote the Institute’s first guidelines on microbial contamination on fuels, and many other seminal industry documents on the subject of microbial growth in petroleum products and associated corrosion – over 250 technical articles, scientific papers and book chapters in all. His roots were in academia, and he had a passion for lecturing, mentoring his students and passing on
his knowledge to others.

In 1956 University College introduced a new subject, “Microbiology”, into their curriculum. Six years later, in celebrating the opening of their New Natural History Wing, they acknowledged that the rapid growth of the newly revised subject in Cardiff “owed much to the untiring efforts of E.C. Hill, who is in charge of this section”. Ted later went on to develop a range of educational microbial test kits which could be used by children in schools.

Both former students and attendees at the many technical conferences he helped to organise, will remember his engaging lecturing style where he’d rarely pass on an opportunity to tell a good, “bad” joke. But his greatest passion was in using his knowledge to educate industry, and he was always happiest getting his hands dirty, knee deep in microbial sludge in fuel tanks, bilges and factories, talking with marine engineers, plant operators and technical staff about the real?world problems they faced, in a language they understood.

He had an eye for viewing these problems from a different angle. And he had a personality and charm which inspired respect in all those he worked with. He was much loved and will be greatly missed by his family and all the staff at ECHA Microbiology who will strive to continue his legacy.