Two 3M division scientists, Dr. Stanley B. Collins and Dr. Scott R. Culler, are the recipients of the American Chemical Society's (ACS) Team Innovation Award for 2008, the ACS has announced. They will be formally honored in April during the ACS 235th National Meeting & Exposition in New Orleans.
The award has been given annually since 1994 "to highlight the value and importance of technical teams and teamwork ... by recognizing a multi-disciplinary team for successfully moving an innovative idea to a product now in commercial use," according to the Society.
Collins, who retired in 2002, and Culler headed the 3MTM TrizactTM Structured Abrasive development team, which virtually reinvented sandpaper by incorporating 3M's proprietary microreplication technology. Their work led to thousands of new applications for specialized industrial abrasives and further improved the environmental impact of the manufacturing process.
Under Collins and Culler, the TrizactTM structured abrasive team consisted of approximately 25 researchers from nine different 3M laboratories. Collins was recruited from 3M's Optical Technology Center, and Culler from 3M's ESPE Dental Division.
"Collins and Culler headed one of the most extraordinary teams in 3M's 100-year-plus history, generating enormous enthusiasm and excitement throughout the company," says Dr. Stefan A. Babirad, 3M technical director for Abrasives Systems. "The revolutionary engineered family of products they created has had a tremendous impact on manufacturers' abrasive grinding and finishing processes, from electronics and surgical instruments to auto body finishes and golf clubs."
Collins, who holds a Ph.D. in chemical engineering from Oregon State University, is an expert in small particle and microreplication technologies. He retired as division scientist after a 35-year career in various 3M laboratories, and now resides in White Bear Lake, Minnesota.
Culler, currently a division scientist, is in his 23rd year with 3M, and is credited with inventing 3MTM ScotchprimeTM Ceramic Primer for the repair of porcelain dental crowns and bridges. He holds a Ph.D. in macromolecular science from Case Western Reserve University, and resides in Burnsville, Minnesota.