2014 EAS Award for Outstanding Achievements in NIR

Mark Westerhaus FOSS
Mark Westerhaus

Mark Westerhaus received his B.A. and M.A. degrees in psychology from Case Western University in Cleveland, Ohio.  Mark continued his academic career in the Department of Statistics at The Pennsylvania State University where he became interested in statistical applications in agronomy. In 1978, he joined John Shenk as a graduate assistant in the USDA NIRS Forage Network, supplying programming and chemometrical support.  In 1983, John, Mark and Don Nichol formed Infrasoft International (ISI) to provide practical software and calibrations to the feed and forage industries for NIRSystems spectrophotometers. Mark served as vice-president and was responsible for the chemometric development and statistical programming in WinISI.  In 1996, ISI sold controlling interest to Perstorp.  Subsequently, Foss acquired the NIR division including ISI.  Mark became president of ISI in 2005, continuing in that position until ISI was incorporated into Foss in 2010. Mark currently holds the position of senior chemometrician at Foss.

Mark has been applying chemometrics to NIR data for 35 years.  Along the way, he developed several chemometric advancements which were incorporated into WinISI.  These include instrument standardization, MPLS, LOCAL and repeatability files.  Instrument standardization is a patented procedure to characterize and correct for instrument differences.  MPLS is a modification of partial least squares, designed to be more sensitive to small absorption peaks. LOCAL is a patented procedure to make a custom calibration for each sample prediction using similar samples contained in a large product library.  Repeatability files are used to reduce the impact of instrument or environmental variation on NIR calibrations.

Mark has authored or co-authored numerous scientific papers and book chapters.  He has taught many advanced training classes in WinISI software.  He holds three patents.