H. Kenneth Greeson, manager of Textile Chemistry Research at Cotton Incorporated, is the 2019 recipient of the AATCC Olney Medal. Greeson is being recognised for his work in durable press finishing of cotton. He has spent many years working with durable press chemistry—in particular, resin and cross-linking chemistry—and has made several significant advancements in cotton durable press technology.
Most recently, Greeson was awarded a utility patent for his work on the formulation of a non-formaldehyde durable press finish for cotton, known as Purepress. This technology combines smoothness with enhanced strength, tear and abrasion resistance, as compared to the traditional DMDHEU finish. The Purepress finish has comparable whiteness, enhanced strength, no shade change, and no odour; it also requires a lower cure temperature than the traditional DMDHEU resin finish.
Throughout his career, Greeson has applied and shared his knowledge of textile chemistry. His practical work experience, coupled with his textile chemistry education, have allowed him to make some significant contributions to finishes for cotton that enhance the fabric’s characteristics and prolong the usable life of the treated garments. Upon Greeson’s arrival at Cotton Incorporated, he worked with John Turner to develop the Tough Cotton technology, which provides abrasion resistance and improved tear strength for cotton fabrics. Turner originally developed this technology for woven fabrics; however, Greeson modified the technology to make it applicable for knit fabrics.
Not only has Greeson made important contributions to textile chemistry, he also generously shares his knowledge by mentoring and educating interns, contractors, and colleagues. His innate ability to describe, simulate, and perform complex chemical reactions, mechanisms, and application processes makes it possible for him to nurture and guide many future textile chemists, positively impacting their successes and achievements. While this aspect of his work may not easily be measured, it is another example of Greeson’s significant and meritorious contributions to the field of textile chemistry.
Greeson has been an active member of AATCC since 1982. Greeson has shared his knowledge through publications in AATCC Review and Textile Research Journal, in addition to serving as a reviewer for AATCC publications. In recognition of his service to AATCC research committees, he was awarded the AATCC TCR Service Award. In addition to his service to AATCC, he is also the secretary of the Southern Textile Research Conference (STRC).
Greeson received a BS in Textile Chemistry, with a concentration in Polymer Chemistry, from North Carolina State University (NCSU). He began his career in 1981 at Collins & Aikman Corp. as a research chemist assistant before joining Cheraw Dyeing and Finishing/Cone Mills in 1982 as a technical advisor. He transferred to Cone Mills Technical Services as a Senior Finish Chemist/Chemist IV, where he stayed for five years, before becoming the manager of the chemist lab at Granite Finishing Plant/Cone Mills. Prior to joining Cotton Incorporated in 2002, he worked as a Manager in the Applications Lab at Sedgefield Specialties, an Applications Supervisor at Apollo Chemical Corp., and a Technical Services Representative at Stockhausen Inc.
The Olney Medal
Established in 1944 in honor of Louis Atwell Olney, the founder and first president of AATCC, the Olney Medal Award recognizes outstanding achievement in textile or polymer chemistry or other fields of chemistry of major importance to textile science. The award consists of a gold medal, a scroll, and an honorarium. Presentation of the Medal each year is a highlight of AATCC’s International Conference. This year, the conference will be held at the Hyatt Regency, Greenville, SC, USA, from March 10-12, 2020. The Association will present the Olney Medal at the Awards Luncheon on March 12, 2020.
Greeson will deliver the traditional Olney Medal Address on March 12. The title of his talk is “From Foam Technology to Formaldehyde Reduction: Pursuits Toward Safer and Better Textile Chemistry.”