Obituary: Mr Ian C. Sellars

Anti-Corrosion Methods and Materials

ISSN: 0003-5599

Article publication date: 27 June 2008



(2008), "Obituary: Mr Ian C. Sellars", Anti-Corrosion Methods and Materials, Vol. 55 No. 4.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Obituary: Mr Ian C. Sellars

Article Type: Industrial news From: Anti-Corrosion Methods and Materials, Volume 55, Issue 4

It is with considerable regret that Elcometer Instruments Ltd, Manchester, UK, announce the sudden death, recently, of Mr Ian Sellars (Figure 1), the owner and Managing Director of Elcometer, and one of the founders of the modern coating inspection industry.

Figure 1 Mr Ian C. Sellars, owner and MD of Elcometer

Ian Sellars’ earliest memory of the coatings industry was at the age of nine, watching his father make the first manufacturing tool used in the manufacture of the very first gauge that bore this famous company name, the Elcometer 101.

Ian Sellars began working alongside his father in 1958 - where his first job was assembling the valves into the Elcometer 103 “Elcotector” coating thickness gauge. In 1962, upon the death of his father, Ian Sellars took control of Elcometer, at the age of 20.

For nearly 50 years Ian Sellars steered the family business from a small 32 m2 (370 ft2) office employing seven people, into a global manufacturer and supplier of inspection equipment for the coatings and concrete industries, employing over 200 staff in six offices and a comprehensive global network of over 150 distributors.

Under his leadership, Ian Sellars has introduced to the coatings industry a number of firsts, including:

  • 1957/1958 - the world’s first electronic coating thickness gauge, The Elcometer 103 mk 2 “Elcotector”.

  • 1970 - the world’s first single probe ferrous/non-ferrous coating thickness gauge, The Elcometer 150.

  • 1978 - the world’s first digital coating thickness gauge, The Elcometer 250.

  • 1979 - the world’s first microprocessor based digital coating thickness gauge, The Elcometer 255.

  • 1983 - the world’s first digital coating thickness gauge with integral probe, The Elcometer 245.

  • 1984 - the world’s first coating thickness gauge with statistics, The Elcometer 256.

  • 1999/2000 - the world’s first menu driven digital coating thickness gauge, The Elcometer 456.

  • 2006 - the world’s first menu driven high-voltage holiday detector with integrated voltage calculator, The Elcometer 266.

  • 2007 - the world’s first digital coating thickness gauge with Bluetooth, The Elcometer 456 mk 3.

  • 2008 - the world’s first digital surface profile gauge with memory and bluetooth, The Elcometer 224.

Under his direction, Elcometer has won a Queen’s Award for export and a Queen’s Award for technical innovation. Ian Sellars was also able to arrange for the unusual occurrence of two visits from HRH The Duke of Kent, the Vice Chairman of the Board of Trade, to mark the Queen’s Award for Technology and to open a new factory constructed in 1986.

It was his practise to undertake at least one major tour of the distribution network and offices each year and it was on such a trip that he died peacefully in his sleep on an aircraft traveling with his wife Nanette, from India to Singapore.

Ian Sellars died doing what he most liked to do, traveling the world, visiting the company’s distributors and talking to customers about Elcometer’s latest products. He is a great loss to our industry and will be sorely missed by all who knew him.

Over seven generations the Sellars family have been significant members of the Manchester Business Community. His son Michael has been working with his father in the business for last 13 years. In his father’s memory, Elcometer will continue as strongly into the future as it has in the past, under his leadership, with the help of Nanette.

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