Brian Attwood was born in Bristol, United Kingdom. He graduated from Merchant Ventures/Bristol College of Technology, now the University of West England. He earned his degree primarily through night school. In 1942, Attwood started work at St. Anne’s Paper and Board Mill Co. Ltd. as a production and technical trainee. After an absence of two years to serve in the Royal Air Force, Attwood rejoined St. Anne’s and quickly worked his way to become process and technical director. In 1981, he formed his own independent consulting company, St. Anne’s Paper and Paperboard Developments Ltd.
At St. Anne’s Board Mill, Attwood developed the twin-wire process which was commercialized by Walmesley-Beloit in the “Inverform” machine, which, in turn, influenced the design of the “Bel Bond” former at A.P.M. in Australia. This work led to the development of St. Anne’s subsidiary headbox, capable of supporting the twin-wire forming at consistencies of up to 2 percent. St. Anne’s received the Queen’s Award to Industry for the invention and development of the twin-wire process.
Attwood worked on dry forming with Karl Kroyer of Denmark. But the major part of his activities was associated with cylinder under felt forming that led to the development of the BRDA / St. Anne’s Former. There are over 400 such units in operation worldwide. Attwood also pioneered pressure forming and invented the Hydra Nip Press process. His other contributions include the study of formation using beta radiography techniques, elucidating the mechanism of suction box dewatering, and the mechanism of multi-cylinder drying.
Attwood is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry, a Fellow of the City and Guilds Institute, U.K., and a Fellow of the TAPPI. He also received many prestigious awards such as the Silver Jubilee and Gold medals from the U.K. Paper Industry Technical Association (PITA); the Gold medal of British Paper Industry; the EUCEPA Gold Emblem; and TAPPI’s 2000 Gunnar Nicholson Gold Medallion. He was a trustee of the British Paper Museum and an active and involved member of many professional associations in the U.K., Germany, Finland, Canada, and the USA.
Attwood has 30 patents to his credit and is the author of over 50 technical papers. He also jointly authored a textbook covering multi-ply forming technology.