Hans Heinrich Kuhn­

Olney Medalist 1997
Milliken Research Corp., Spartanburg, SC


Hans Heinrich Kuhn, a Swiss native, received his MS in Chemical Engineering in 1949, and PhD Organic Chemistry in 1953 from the ETH Zurich (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology) under the direction of the 1939 Nobel Laureate in Chemistry Professor Leopold Ruzicka. At the same institute, he conducted post­doctoral research in the field of synthesis and reactions with styrene oxide until 1957 when he emigrated to the United States. He joined the research department of the Dewey & Almy Chemical Company, Cambridge, MA, a division of W.R. Grace. In 1960, he joined the Deering Milliken Research Corporation, Spartanburg, SC. He held several positions in research, eventually headed a research group of his own and nurtured many young chemists along the way. One said, “You didn’t work “for” Hans, he worked with you in every sense.” His character is legendary. Hans was promoted in 1995 to Milliken Research Fellow, a very special honor.

Hans H. Kuhn, 1997, Olney Medal winner

The Olney Medal awarded by AATCC was given in recognition of a lifetime of work related to textile chemistry. Kuhn received the 1997 award. He developed a new class of polymeric dyes based on polyethoxylated aromatic amines trade named Versatint. 2,3,4,5 Later works involved the adsorption of hydrophilic polymers to the surface of fibers, particularly polyester, resulting in change of the surface characteristics of polyester fabrics from hydrophobic to hydrophilic. One of these Visa programs was marketed for industrial uniforms and career apparel, another in apparel, and yet another in napery for restaurant table “linens.” Most recently, he worked on the adsorption of conducting polymers to the surface of polymers resulting in conductive textiles. 6 He holds approximately 100 US and international patents. He has published books, authored chapters and articles for journals including Chimia, Kunststoffe­Plastics, Melliand Textilberichte, Textile Research Journal and American Dyestuff Reporter.



  1. Hans H. Kuhn, “1997 Olney Award,” Textile Chemist and Colorist, Vol. 29, No. 8, p14­15, August 1997.
  2. J. Miley, “Polymeric Colorants,” J Pure & Applied Chemistry, Vol. 68, No. 7, 1423­1428 (1996).
  3. USP 3 157 633 (1964)
  4. USP 3 449 319 (1969)
  5. USP 4 113 721 (1978) with Peter Hauser
  6. USP 4 877 646 (1989)