John Sworen announced as Gordon E Moore Medal winner

08 May 2019

SCI America is pleased to announce that John Sworen of The Chemours Company will be awarded the 2019 Gordon E Moore Medal for his work on sustainable textiles.

SCI established the Gordon E Moore Medal in 2004 to recognise early-career success in innovation, as reflected in both market impact and improvement to quality of life. 

John will be presented the award at a luncheon in his honour during Innovation Day, hosted jointly by SCI and the Science History Institute on 10 September 2019 at the Institute’s HQ in Philadelphia, US.

John is a Technical Fellow at The Chemours Company, where his work includes product development of non-fluorinated durable water repellents for use in the consumer textile market. John led a team that invented the Zelan™ technology platform, a superhydrophobic material that has been adopted by many major brand houses.

‘Increased demand for renewably sourced products without sacrificing performance durability calls for innovative ideas to deliver a superior product,” said Craig Rogerson, Chair of SCI America, and Chairman, President and CEO of Hexion Inc.

‘John’s work on Zelan™/ Teflon EcoElite™ exceeds expectations, delivering a breakthrough technology committed to reducing the environmental footprint of treated fabrics. SCI is pleased to honour John’s outstanding work and contribution to science and industry.’

‘The world is demanding more sustainable solutions and John has delivered,’ said Paul Kirsch, President of Fluoroproducts at Chemours. ‘His work on Teflon EcoElite™ has given the textile industry the first-ever non-fluorinated plant-based durable water repellent, which is no small feat.

‘We are so proud that he has received this richly-deserved recognition and can’t wait to see what he will discover next,’ he added.

About the honouree

John began his career as a research investigator at Chemours predecessor company DuPont. While at DuPont, he led the company’s development of fluorinated surface protection products, inventing and commercialising 18 products used as paper, textiles and tile repellents with best-in-class toxicology profiles.

He then became a Technical Fellow at The Chemours Company, where he developed the products for which the Gordon E Moore Medal will be awarded (more above).

In 2008, John received the Bolton/Carothers Innovative Science Award for the development of a short-chain soil protectant used in carpeting materials. In 2018, Teflon EcoElite™, one of the products developed by John’s team at Chemours, was the third-place winner for the Product of the Year award at the Bio-Based World News Innovation Awards. Teflon EcoElite is the company’s non-fluorinated, renewably sourced, 60% plant-based water repellent.

He holds a BS in Chemistry from Pennsylvania State University and a PhD in Organic and Polymer Chemistry from the University of Florida. He has published 13 journal articles, and holds 27 granted and pending patents.

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