Gunnar Nicholson Award

The TAPPI Gunnar Nicholson Gold Medal Award is the highest honor that the Association can bestow upon an individual. Established in 1928, the Gold Medal is granted to those "who have made preeminent scientific and engineering achievements of proven applied benefit to the world’s pulp, paper, board, and forest product industries. The forest product industries include forestry, derived products, their process technology, and their applications."

In 1984 former TAPPI President and Gold Medal winner Gunnar W. E. Nicholson donated $1 million to TAPPI to establish the Gunnar Nicholson Gold Medal Award Fund. Since that time, the Gunnar Nicholson Gold Medal has been accompanied by a cash honorarium worth 5% of the fund, which in recent years has been in between $60,000 - $80,000.

Gunnar W. E. Nicholson was a distinguished paper industry engineer and manager for nearly 75 years. He served as President of the Tennessee River Pulp and Paper Company prior to his retirement. Nicholson joined TAPPI in 1925, was elected TAPPI President in 1946, and received the TAPPI Gold Medal in 1954. 

Nominations are due by August 1 of each year for the award to be presented the following calendar year. 

Nomination Form (Word)


Previous Winners

  • 1928 William H. Mason
  • 1928 Ogden Minton
  • 1933 Ernest Mahler
  • 1935 Edwin Sutermeister
  • 1936 William H. Millspaugh
  • 1937 Clarence J. West
  • 1938 Carl B. Thorne
  • 1939 J. Newell Stephenson
  • 1940 Otto Kress
  • 1942 Robert B. Wolf
  • 1943 Harry Fletcher
  • 1944 D. Clark Everest
  • 1945 Bourdon W. Scribner
  • 1946 William G. MacNaughton
  • 1947 Peter J. Massey
  • 1948 Emil Heuser
  • 1949 Hardy S. Ferguson
  • 1950 George H. Mead
  • 1951 George H. Tomlinson
  • 1952 Raymond S. Hatch
  • 1953 Roger C. Griffin
  • 1954 Gunnar W. E. Nicholson
  • 1955 Vance P. Edwardes
  • 1956 Harry F. Lewis
  • 1957 John D. Rue
  • 1958 Walter H. Swanson
  • 1959 Karl O. Elderkin
  • 1960 Louis E. Wise
  • 1961 G. H. Chidester
  • 1962 W. Boyd Campbell
  • 1962 C. Earl Libby
  • 1963 James d’A. Clark
  • 1964 Ronald G. Macdonald
  • 1965 Allen Abrams
  • 1967 Frederick H. Frost
  • 1968 Johannes A. Van Den Akker
  • 1969 George H. Tomlinson, II
  • 1971 William H. Aiken
  • 1970 Börje K. Steenberg
  • 1972 Lyle C. Jenness
  • 1973 Johan C. F. C. Richter
  • 1974 Ward D. Harrison
  • 1975 Bruce J. Zobel
  • 1976 W. Howard Rapson
  • 1977 Herbert F. Rance
  • 1978 Arne J. A. Asplund
  • 1979 George G. Maltenfort
  • 1980 Roy P. Whitney
  • 1981 Paul J. Thoma
  • 1982 Alfred H. Nissan
  • 1983 Peter E. Wrist
  • 1984 John W. Gilbert
  • 1985 Lennart G. Stockman
  • 1986 David A. I. Goring
  • 1987 Barrett K. Green
  • 1988 Edgar J. Justus
  • 1989 Louis L. Edwards
  • 1990 Jasper Mardon
  • 1991 Jan I. Bergström
  • 1992 Per Borje Wahlstrom
  • 1993 A. Thomas Luey
  • 1994 Jaakko Pöyry
  • 1995 Robert W. Hagemeyer
  • 1996 Joseph E. Atchison
  • 1997 Philip E. Shick
  • 1998 Douglas Wahren
  • 1999 Wayne A. Damrau
  • 2000 Brian W. Attwood
  • 2001 Thomas M. Grace
  • 2002 Leroy H. ‘Pete’ Busker
  • 2003 Carl R. Marschke
  • 2004 Jay Vreeland
  • 2005 Derek H. Page
  • 2006 Nils Hartler
  • 2007 Peder Kleppe
  • 2008 No Award
  • 2009 Gary A. Baum
  • 2010 Richard J. Kerekes
  • 2011 Richard A. Reese
  • 2012 Do Ik Lee
  • 2013 Robert N. Vyse
  • 2014 Art Ragauskas
  • 2015 Charles P. Klass
  • 2016 Ivan Pikulik