Millson Award for Invention

Henry E. Millson was a noted inventor, and head of dyes research for American Cyanamid. He was the 1958 recipient of the distinguished AATCC Olney Medal. He provided an award endowment in 1979, with the stipulation that he never be considered a candidate. After agreeing to that condition, the Association promptly named the award in his honor. The Millson Award for Invention recognizes inventions in the textile field


Any individual member of AATCC may submit a nomination.

Inventions must meet the following qualifications to be considered for this award:

  • Recognized as an innovation
  • Relevant to the textile field

It is NOT required that the invention be patented or that inventors be members of AATCC. The award may be presented to multiple co-inventors and may be given posthumously.

Selection Criteria

Selection is by unanimous choice of the CS70 Millson Award Committee. The following criteria is considered:

  • Invention merits
  • Impact on the textile, fiber, polymer, or medical industries

Millson Award

Originally an annual award, it is now presented every three years (beginning in 2010) at AATCC’s Textile Discovery Summit. It includes:

  • Plaque
  • US$1,000 honorarium
  • Free Textile Discovery Summit registration for recipient and a guest (for the year in which the award is presented)
  • Invitation to VIP cocktail reception at Summit, including professional photos with AATCC President
  • Press release, social media posts, magazine article, etc. announcing award recipient, including photo and bio


Below are past recipients of the Millson Award:

2021: John Crocker and Rick Stanford for developing a standardized washing machine for testing textiles to multiple AATCC standards.

2018 Patrick R. Gruber for developing a green chemistry-based continuous process for producing poly(lactic acid) fibers known as PLA.  Gruber is currently CEO and board member at Gevo Inc., specializing in converting carbohydrates into low carbon chemicals and fuels, lessening reliance on petrochemical sources.

2015 Under Armour- Invention: Creation and development of moisture-wicking athletic wear based on synthetic microfiber fabrics. The development of this athletic wear led to the formation and evolution of the company and popularized a new category of sporting apparel called performance wear.

2012 U.S. Marine Corp Systems Command and US Army Natick Solder Research, Development and Engineering Center- Invention: Their collaborative work developing camouflage patterns to improve combat effectiveness from counter surveillance in a variety of military environments.

Prior to 2010, the Millson award was presented annually.

2006 David A. Offord- Invention: Nanotechnology for oil and water repellent finishing for textiles

2009 Nester B. Knoepfler- Invention: Development of flame retardant treatment of cotton batting during the 1970s

2008 John R. Provost and Wim Prinsen- Invention: Development of the first commercially available inkjet printer for textile fabrics

2007 W. L. Gore and Robert Gore- Invention: Discovery of expanded polytetrafluoroethylene (ePTFE) and its applications

2005 David M. Lewis and C. Douglas Weston- Invention: Cumulative body of inventions in reactive dyes and their applications

2004 Roger Bacon and Leonard Singer- Invention: Development of high performance carbon fibers

2003 Neal E. Franks- Invention: Lyocell fiber (Tencel)

2002 Max A. Weaver- Invention: Development of heterocyclic Azo dyes for polyesters and polyamides

2001 Stephanie Kwolek- Invention: Kevlar

2000 I. D. Rattee and W. E. Stephen- Invention: Fiber reactive dyes

1999 Paul W. Mickler- Invention: Vacuum slot technology for textile finishing

1998 William H. Stewart- Invention: Ink jet printing of carpeting

1997 John D. Turner- Invention: Durable press finishes to 100% cotton garments

1996 Wilhelm Christ- Invention: Airflow jet dyeing machine

1995 Dr. Fredgar Hoffman- Invention: Development of the system of “K” values for dyes and
auxiliaries and for rate of constants for fibers

1994 Angelo J. Sabia- Invention: Development of surfactants and silicone softeners

1993 Bernard F. North- Invention: Advancement of resin finishing technology including ultra low and formaldehyde free applications

1992 Sueo Kawabata- Invention: Kawabata Evaluation System (KES) – textile testing devices

1991 Wolfhard Beckmann- Invention: Rationalization of dyeing process

1990 Ulrich Meyer- Invention: Tracing the cause of catalytic damage to cotton fabrics during peroxide bleaching and largely eliminating the problem

1989 Winfried T. Holfeld- Invention: Improved the dye uniformity of nylon and polyester fabrics

1988 Hugh R. Davidson and Henry Hemmendinger- Invention: Color matching computer systems

1987 Dietrich R. Hildebrand- Invention: Fundamentals of chemical and physico-chemical properties, reaction kinectics and techniques of application of dyes

1986 Andrew G. Pierce Jr., and John G. Frick, Jr.- Invention: Magnesium chloridehydroxy acid mixed catalyst systems in durable press finishing

1985 Herman B. Goldstein- Invention: Process for the manufacture of DMDHEU

1984 Victor T. Fahringer (posthumously)- Invention: Jet dyeing machine

1983 Valentin Appenzeller- Invention: Swimming roll pad

1982 George M. Bryant and Andrew T. Walter- Invention: FFT (Foam Finishing Technology)

1981 L. Russell Maguire- Invention: Flowtrue Logroll

1980 Samuel Smith- Invention: Soil release finishes











Millson Nomination

  • Nominations due March 31

  • Title or description of nominated invention.
  • Include all co-inventors credited with the nominated invention
  • Include contact email for at least one inventor or an a relevant company/organization in the case of posthumous nomination
  • Provide link to inventor(s) LinkedIn and/or other social media profile.
  • Describe the importance of the invention to the textile industry. (Upload additional documentation if applicable.)
  • Max. file size: 256 MB.
  • Self-nominations are accepted.
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

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