In memory of Dr. Robert E. Manning

In memory of Dr. Robert E. Manning

A memorial service will be held at 3 p.m., on Saturday, March 18, 2017 at the State College Presbyterian Church, 132 W Beaver Ave, State College, PA.

robert manningWith great sadness we mourn the loss of Dr. Robert E. Manning who passed away peacefully on Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2016 in State College, PA. A memorial service will be held at 3 p.m., on Saturday, March 18, 2017 at the State College Presbyterian Church, 132 W Beaver Ave, State College, PA. For more information, please visit

Robert began his technical career in 1948 working part-time calibrating viscometers for Dr. Michael R. Cannon, while studying to complete his M.S. in Chemical Engineering at Penn State. In 1954 Robert completed his Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering. Then in 1959, Robert Manning, Michael Cannon, and Betty Cannon co-formed and incorporated Cannon Instrument Company. Robert became the company’s technical director in 1960 and assumed responsibility for daily operations – assisting an ill Dr. Cannon who passed away a few years later. Robert Manning later became the president of Cannon in 1984 when Betty Cannon sold the company to the Arthur H. Thomas Company. Robert “retired” in 1996 but remained active; mainly serving on technical research assignments for Cannon.

During Robert’s tenure with Cannon, he is credited with the development of dozens of glass capillary viscometers and related apparatuses, the design of column distillation packing and products, and the commercialization of the industry’s first fully-automated viscometer in 1974. Most of these products are still in commercial use today. Robert is also credited with starting a technical relationship with NIST formerly known as the National Bureau of Standards. In 2003, Cannon was named the NIST designated laboratory for the dissemination of national viscosity reference standards for the United States. Through Robert’s technical vision and leadership, Cannon was able to grow into a world-renowned and stable manufacturer in Centre County, PA. Cannon had approximately $12MM in annual sales and 100 employees at the time of Robert’s retirement in 1996.

An ASTM International member since 1958, Robert served as the Committee D02 member at large and was particularly active in D02 Subcommittee 7 where he served as Vice Chairman of Section 7A on Newtonian Viscometry for more than 20 years. Robert was also active with ASTM Committee E20 on Temperature Measurement. Robert received the ASTM Award of Merit, the highest society award granted to an individual member for distinguished service and outstanding participation, in 1988. He later received the Sydney D. Andrews ASTM D02 Scroll of Achievement Award in 2002 and the George V. Dyroff Honorary D02 Membership Award in 2003. Outside ASTM, Robert was a member of the American Chemical Society, the American Society of Chemical Engineers, Sigma Xi, and the Society of Automotive Engineers.

We will always be indebted to Dr. Manning for his dedicated research, which has enabled Cannon to achieve and maintain a strong world-wide reputation in the field of viscosity measurement. He is regarded around the world as one of the foremost experts in the measurement of viscosity and has made significant contributions to the development of international standards through his work with ASTM, ISO, and the Institute of Petroleum.

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